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How To Restart, Log Off, Sleep And Shutdown Windows 8

Users who have started using Windows 8 struggle finding options to Shutdown, Restart, Sleep and Shutdown their PCs. From Windows 95 to Windows 7, the Power Control options have always been accessible from Windows Start Menu, but because Windows 8 is specifically optimized for tablets where users generally don’t require shutting down or restarting a lot, the new Metro Start Menu only contains the options to lock and log off Windows. There are two ways to access Power Control options in Windows 8; you can either use classic hotkey combination Alt+F4 on desktop or open Charms box using Win+C hotkey to Restart, Shutdown, and put your PC to sleep.

It’s advisable to close all programs after saving changes. Open Charms Menu using Win+C hotkey and click Settings.

Now click Power button to access Shutdown, Restart, Sleep, etc., options.

The Lock Screen and Log Off options can be accessed from Windows 8 Start Menu user tile menu.


The classic Windows XP like Power Control dialog is accessible via Alt+F4 keyboard shortcut. Before using this shortcut method, make sure all running applications are closed or inactive.

hotkey shutdown

If you are interested in the Classic Start Menu, you can use Metro Controller to bring Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8 to easily access Power Control dialog.


  1. Exactly I spent 20 minutes today just trying to delete a print queue and 30 minutes learning how to shut off my computer. I have been developing with Windows since 2.0…..

  2. holy mackerell, a hotkey, going through settings just to switch off a computer? seems that is not the right use for settings. Were they drunk at microsoft when they made this?

  3. How can you logg out from facebook and Your accout for good? So my facebook account wont be logged in?? i really need help. i dont get it… Ive tried looking for the off-for-good button but, i dont think it exist.

  4. Day 2…this computer is going back and I will reconnect my old one…..nothing should be this frustrating. I thought new technology was making things easier…well they sure got this one wrong.

  5. how do I log off my email account on windows 8 the guy that set up the computer put my partner and I in the log in now only my emails show up.

  6. Thanks! It took me ages to figure out how to log off. Now I need to find out whether it’s even possible to have 2 users logged in at the same time. Just got a new laptop and I want my money back. Windows 8 = worse OS ever

  7. Make a shortcut with these properties.

    C:WindowsSystem32shutdown.exe -r -t 00 <== Restart

    C:WindowsSystem32shutdown.exe /s /t 0 <== Shutdown

  8. Nearly three years after this post was created people (like me) are still finding the need to Google how to restart Windows 8. Guess intuitive user experience is not a priority at Microsoft.

  9. Windows 8 is a total piece of crap. At total waste of time and slow because of all the useless junk they put in it. If the programmers who came up with this worked for me I’d fire their ass immediately.

  10. Thank you so much! You got me out from this GUI madness…

    I mean why logout and shutdown menus are not in same option? Optimized for Tablets and Touch screens? Silly, most of us still use mouse and keyboards!

  11. Thanks for posting!! I wasted 5 minutes looking for the shutdown!! dumbass microsoft, must have chickens pecking keys that make these new programs

  12. The second step didn’t work for me. I clicked Start and it didn’t do anything. So why can’t we just click the Windows (Start) key and type restart or shutdown?

  13. Guys, if you want to shut down your PC…press the power button. Don’t hold it down, just press it once.

  14. I am sooo happy I only need to use Win8 to test web apps on IE10, instead of having to use it daily. Thanks for this article about how to restart Win8, ridiculously useful.

  15. Apple still has a leg up on intuitive user interfaces. Amazing what Microsoft has tried to do to keep away from legal problems with Apple over Windows 8. Just shutting down required a search. Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle, we have a problem here!

  16. how about this – im on a remote desktop session on win 8 and i cant access the shortcuts alt-f4 and whatever you suggest in there. pressing them just activates them on my computer not on the remote widows 8

  17. I agree while heartedly with the response below. i’m beginning to hate window 8,,,all right maybe I just need to gain experience on it. Another problem is changing the date and day on “8”. Next problem is to see if my printer is compatible. Already have an email not into Canon. I’m assuming their answer will be it is not compatible.

  18. This OS feels like such a waste of time.. 2 days after installing it, it downloads and applies some update from Microsoft and my PC is now dead and won’t boot.

    Booted into safe mode to see if there is anything I can do and had to google how to restart the damn thing

  19. Holy crap, so stupid. Why is every other windows release a complete and utter train wreck? I had to update one machine at work for purposes of tech support, but that is the only machine I will ever update to Windows 8 for sure. Any machine I buy that has it will IMMEDIATELY get downgraded to 7 or XP PRONTO. I shouldn’t have to google how to restart my flipping computer. So stupid… Thanks for this information. I figured that was where it was at, but the first time I looked at it I totally missed the Power button icon. I don’t know how I missed that.

  20. Today I tried typing “reboot” in the start screen and it worked. Logoff and shutdown also work. Even if it find no program by those names, it work.

  21. i use win 8 consumer preview.whenover i shut down and again start then it take so many time and it not show some instal software…so i again instal this software…like chrome….so please give me solution of this problm….

  22. I found this by messing around on windows 8 but I couldn’t figure out how to get the side bar thing while other programs were open, would be nice if MS add the shut down, restart etc options in a sidebar that would appear if you hover your mouse in said area regardless of what program is running.

  23. I think I spent about 2 minutes looking before I defaulted to a cmd prompt “shutdown -s -f -t 01” command

  24. If you move the cursor to the lower left corner, a Start menu icon pops up. If you move the cursor to the lower right corner, a Settings menu icon opens. Found through experimentation.

  25. completely stupid….. SHUTDOWN in the settings… WTF!!!
    should be POWER OPTION RIGHT AWAY….!!!!

  26. Amazing… I had to make a Google research to restart my virtual machine… Really stupid.
    By the way, thank you for your post.

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH! This is much better. So much quicker, & simpler. YOU ought to work for Microsoft. 🙂

  27. This is lame! I’m all for tablets, and I find it great that we’ll be able to use the same OS on computers and tablets. But “shut down” should be accessible in a much easier way… even for tablet users. it’s not like tablet users will always put it in sleep (automatic) and never shut down.
    I hope Windows changes this

    thanks alot for the article though!

  28. this is the stupidest thing Microsoft has done yet.  hope they fix it for the final release… they could at least add a shutdown tile to the “metro” start screen.

    I saw a developer video on youtube showing a start menu popup in the lower left corner of the metro screen that listed a power settings option to shutdown/restart/sleep/etc..,but that shortcut does not seem available in the consumer preview release (all I get is a popup showing the last application used same as upper left corner popup).

  29. In our time of eco awareness I think that making it harder on the user to do the right thing and turn off his/her computer when not in use is a bad move.

    • Very astute comment. I know for fact that leaving a machine on reduces its lifespan. Microsoft is intentionally hurting all of us and it needs to stop immediately.

  30.  I’m really struggling to understand why Microsoft put so much effort into making soemthing simple incredible complicated.

    • I have no clue. I honestly believe there is someone in charge that is literally inept and incompetent and sadly it has been that way for as long as I can remember. Bill Gates had to quit his job to start a full time company to give away all his money. I think he needs to be jailed for gouging….

  31. Been using Windows since 3.1 and this isn’t looking good from my point of view (Laptop). Maybe the tablet world is doing better with Windows 8. 

    The above info helped me when I needed to restart after installing updates.Anyway, to access shutdown options faster, I found that at least when logged in, you can use the old “CTRL + ALT + DEL”. Then In the lower right corner you will see a “power” icon that has sleep, shutdown and restart options. If you change your mind you can press “ESC” to leave that screen.Hope this helps.

    • Forgot to mention. That screen also has the other usual “Lock PC”, “Switch User” and “Log Off” options. As well as the “Task Manger” and “Change Password” options.

  32. So do you do this without a mouse? I can’t seem to access that black menu with search and other options without using the mouse.

    • That’s only if the power button is configured to turn of the computer. Some folk may have their computer set to stand-by or hibernate.

  33. if i need a tablet windows 8 if i need a pc windows 7 is all i need. Windows 8 sux on a pc but its good if you like tablet pc. Maybe windows will be better finger crossed x|x

  34. win 8 still needs a lot of work. Is a bit of a jump from win 7 for the standard end user or beginners that only know the basics like start menu shutdown

  35. I wonder how many hits has your page. I looked under a lot of rocks today, but failed to find a shutdown button, then I was in a hurry and turned power off 🙂

    • ctrl+alt+delete look at the bottom right hand corner and you will see a power button. Click it and you will see the option to shutdown, restart or sleep. Hope this helps.

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