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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.

Leave a comment

  • KD

    Thanks; struggle was an understatement. I can see this is going to be interesting.

    • noifandsor

      i’m having trouble logging in.

  • Pingback: How To Enable Windows 8 Hibernate Option()

  • FC

    Thank You! Holy crap this is much more difficult to do than it should be… on a desktop/laptop system no less.

  • Michele C

    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 🙂

    • jrod

      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.

  • phreaky

    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

  • holy windows 8 batman

    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

  • You can just press the power button… 😉

    • Ma

      that only puts the pc into standby, no good if your dual booting win 7 + 8 lol

    • 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.

  • Bob

    Windows 8 is a heap of shit!

  • Goldensad

    Thanks i was struggling  to find shut down button.

  • Kushal Sinha

    Thanks………… it became too easy……..

  • IH

    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.

  • fmustang76

    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.

    • fmustang76

      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.

  • paul reed

    I think its safe to say that most businesses will be sticking with Windows 7 for many years to come.

  • Anonymous

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

    • Jmg1andonly

      You and me both brother, you and me both.

      • That makes three of us… and surely thousands more…

        • Todd Hendrix

          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….

    • max

      Fuck yeah!

  • Zulu

    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.

    • Todd Hendrix

      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.

  • None

    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).

  • cipnr korvo

    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!

  • Norma

    Thanks for the tip, just another to add to my windows h8 list

  • Banjopat

    WIN + i is quicker to open sleep button

    • xlk

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

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

    • phil

      having same issue LOL

      • Todd Hendrix

        Funnier than that, I had to ignore all Microsoft based searched results to get the correct answer and found this article.

  • Jay

    this is completely retarded, I had to google search in order to find out how to shutdown my computer. This is probably going to be the new “vista” ..now with complete shit user interface.

    • FullCircle_360

      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.

  • jettto

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

    • cathy

      how the hell do I shut this down? first day with this window’s 8 crap

    • cathy

      how the hell do I shut this down? first day with this window’s 8 crap

  • ben

    i shut it down using the following cmd commands

    shutdown -s -c “windows 8 sucks” -t 10

  • Harrison Pocket

    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.

    • guest

      But you still have to know to open the power option to find shut down.

  • Guy

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

  • patel mahesh

    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….

  • Pro Tip: Win+I

  • Johan Roug

    why not just CTRL ALT DELETE. You’ll get the option right away

    • guest

      Why not just make an interface that works so people don’t have to fucking google search just to turn their fucking computers off.

  • na

    new things to learn, so your life goes on with microsoft.

  • Frédéric Gauthier-Boutin

    Seriously, I’m pissed off right now. No time to waste on that shit, I try to work… damn!

    Thanks for the post btw…

    • Todd Hendrix

      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…..

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I hope Windows 9 goes back to basics.

  • 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

  • Jenny

    I hate this interface

  • ac2450

    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.

  • Kelly

    Thank you for the helpful information!

  • jim

    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

    • Todd Hendrix

      CTL – alt – end

  • Jim-Bob

    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!

  • SugoiNL

    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.

  • frank

    Can’t you also use ctrl alt delete to shut down as well?

  • I had to do a Google search to help my girlfriend restart her computer.

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

    • guest

      Stupid fucking suggestion. Do not do this. We all know why.

  • Sven

    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?

  • garry

    Even after I read this I have no fucking idea how to shut down windows 8

    • B1ackDiamond

      Make a shortcut with these properties.

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

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

  • Melle

    Sheezum crowe. Wish i had listened when my techie husband said i wouldn’t like windows 8…

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

  • Barry

    STUPID! if it ain’t broke…………….

  • John Smith

    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!

  • Copter162

    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.

    • B1ackDiamond

      Someone else who has never used Windows 8 chimes in.

      • guest

        Windows 8 is absolute pish. Anybody who disagrees works for Microsoft.

  • Daniel

    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.

  • BosOzy

    Simple but very usefull info, epsecially for the people firtst time usingn Win 8.
    Thanks a lot

  • Jen

    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

  • dawn

    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.

  • Karen

    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.

  • asdfghjkl;

    omg thank you soo much. <3

  • Need-Help

    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.

  • CrapInstaller

    Be careful! Installs a lot of crap!

  • Lucy

    Thanks for the post! I was so confused as to what happened to it. At least Alt+F4 isn’t too bad.

  • Pooja

    thank you. It helped me a lot!

  • ed

    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?

  • pleasehelpme

    when i press the off botton, i am not able to see the choices to either restart, sleep or shut down

  • uncle fred

    From desktop, click settings, then power, then sleep, restart or off.

  • guest

    I’ve had Win 8 for a month now. I still fucking detest it.

  • siddhesh mandrekar

    Thanks u so much for helping us…