For Seniors: Shut Down Your Laptop with Windows 7
To shut down your laptop safely, you must log off Windows 7 properly. Windows lets you log off normally, or by hibernating, sleeping, restarting, or switching users.
When you’re done working, don’t simply turn off your laptop at the power source — unless you have to because of a computer malfunction. Windows might not start up properly the next time you turn it on if you don’t follow the proper shutdown procedure.
To properly turn off your laptop, choose Start and then click the Shut Down button. (Simply press the power button later to turn it back on.) Or you can click the arrow to the right of the Shut Down button and choose one of the following from the menu that appears:
Hibernate: If you prefer to stop your laptop running but not turn the power off, choose this option (or simply close the lid of your laptop) to put your laptop into hibernate mode, which saves power while preserving any open documents or programs. When you want to use your laptop again, just open the lid.
Sleep: If you’re going away for a while but don’t want to have to go through the whole booting-up sequence (complete with Windows 7 music) when you return, you don’t have to turn off your laptop. Just select the Sleep command instead to put your laptop into a kind of sleeping state where the screen goes black and the fan shuts down.
When you get back, just click your mouse button or press Enter — or, in some cases (especially on some laptops), press the Power button; your laptop springs to life, and whatever programs and documents you had open are still open. Hibernate is similar to Sleep modes but saves more power.
Restart: If you want to reboot (restart Windows), choose this option after closing programs and documents (if you can).
If your laptop freezes up for some reason, you can turn it off in a couple of ways. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete twice in a row (the preferred method), or press the power button on your CPU and hold it until the laptop shuts down.