Learn more with dummies

Enter your email to join our mailing list for FREE content right to your inbox. Easy!

Shutting Down Your PC

Many of these shutdown options are found on the official Shutdown menu, which you can access by clicking the triangle button in the lower-right corner of the Start button’s menu (see this figure). For dealing with computer shutdown, here are your choices:

You can find several options for shutting down your PC from the Start menu.

You can find several options for shutting down your PC from the Start menu.
  • Keep the computer on all the time: This option is viable. Really, it is.

  • Log off: Tell Windows that you’re done without having to turn the computer off and then on again.

  • Lock the computer: Use this quick way to suspend computer operations and present the login screen, but without actually logging off.

  • Switch the user: Allow another user on the same computer to access their account without logging off from your own account.

  • Sleep mode: The computer slips into a special, power-saving Sleep mode, like going into a low-power coma.

  • Hibernate: The computer turns itself off, but when you turn it back on again, it comes back to life much faster that it does when restarting. Think “suspended animation.”

  • Restart: You turn the computer off and on again in one step, mainly when installing or upgrading software, or sometimes to fix minor quirks — like slapping Windows upside its head.

  • Shut down: Just turn the darn thing off.

  • Yank the power cord out of the wall: This method is satisfying, but not recommended.