How to Power Down Windows 10 - dummies

How to Power Down Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Instead of reaching for your computer’s power switch, you should turn off Windows 10 with its own power button. A click of the Start menu’s power button offers three options: Sleep, Shut Down, and Restart.


Sleep, the most popular option, puts your computer into a low-power slumber, so it loads quickly when turned back on.

The built-in power switch in Windows takes a few clicks to reach, however. To save time, tell your computer’s mechanical power button how to react when pressed: Should it Sleep or Shut Down?

The same question applies to laptop owners: Should your computer sleep or shut down when you close the lid?

To answer that question, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button, choose Control Panel from the pop-up menu, and select the System and Security category.


  2. Click the Power Options icon.


    The Power Options window appears, set to the Windows normal setting: Balanced (Recommended).

  3. From the left panel, click the Choose What the Power Button Does link.

    A window appears, as shown here, offering a menu. The menu differs slightly whether you’re viewing it on a desktop PC, a battery powered laptop, or a tablet.

    Choose how your computer should behave when the power button is pressed.
    Choose how your computer should behave when the power button is pressed.
  4. Select your changes.

    Using the menu, you can tell your PC’s power button to Do Nothing, Sleep, Hibernate, or Shut Down. (When in doubt, choose Sleep.)

    Laptops and tablets offer extra options on this window that let them behave differently according to whether they’re plugged in or running on batteries. You can let them run at full power when plugged in, for example, but conserve power by putting them to sleep when they’re running on batteries.

    Laptop owners also find a menu letting them choose the laptop’s behavior when they close its lid or press its sleep button.

    You may need to click the words Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable to see all your options.

    For extra security, select the Require a Password (Recommended) button so that anybody waking up your PC needs your password to see your information.

  5. Click the Save Changes button.

Windows saves your changes until you choose to revisit these steps.