How To Shut Down Your Laptop: A Step-By-Step Guide


In today’s digital age, laptops have become an essential tool for many of us. Whether you’re working from home, studying for an exam, or just browsing the internet, your laptop is likely a constant companion. However, as much as we rely on our laptops, it’s important to know how to properly shut them down. Not only will this help to prolong the life of your device, but it can also prevent data loss and other problems.

In this article, we’ll be providing a step-by-step guide on how to shut down your laptop correctly. Whether you’re a first-time user or just need a refresher, this guide will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to properly power down your device. So, let’s get started!

Properly Shut Down Your Laptop

Properly shutting down a laptop is an important step in maintaining the health of the device and preventing data loss or corruption. When a laptop is shut down, all processes, open files, and programs are closed and any unsaved work is saved. This helps conserve battery life and prevent overheating or damage to the hardware. Additionally, shutting down a laptop can help recover from errors and reinitialize drivers when the device is rebooted. For these reasons, it is recommended to power off the laptop every night or at least once a week. This includes following the necessary steps to shut down the laptop properly.

Turn Off Fast Startup

The Fast Startup feature, also known as Hybrid Shutdown, has been a default setting in Windows 8 and later versions. This feature speeds up the boot process by keeping the kernel (the core of the operating system) saved on the hard drive while the applications are closed. This is a useful feature for most users who want a faster start-up experience. However, if you wish to fully shut down your system, it is recommended to disable the Fast Startup feature. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do so on your laptop.

1. Open the Run utility using Windows + R.

2. Execute the control command to launch Control Panel.

3. Go to System and Security.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

4. Select Power Options.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

5. From the left panel, tap on either Choose what the power button does or Choose what closing the lid does.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

6. You’ll notice that the Shutdown settings are greyed out.

7. To make changes, click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

8. Uncheck the Turn on fast startup (recommended) option.

9. Press the Save changes button.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

Shut Down Your Laptop

Once the Fast Startup option is disabled, you can proceed with powering down your laptop. There are various methods to accomplish this task, and in this section, we will explore a few of them in detail.

From Start Menu

The traditional method for shutting down Windows is through the Start Menu. To complete this process, kindly follow the instructions provided below:

1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard

2. Use your mouse and click on the Window icon from the bottom left corner of the laptop screen

3. Click on the power icon.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

4. Hit the Shutdown option to close all your apps and turn off the notebook computer

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

5. Wait until the shutdown is complete

6. Note that the power LED turns off or changes to red (if the charger is plugged in)

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

Instead of left-clicking the Start Menu icon, you can also access the Quick Link menu by right-clicking the Start Menu icon or by pressing the Windows + X hotkey. Once the Quick Link menu appears, you can proceed with the following steps:

1. To begin the shutdown process, expand the “Shut down or sign out” option located in the start menu or on the desktop.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

2. From the options presented, select “Shut down” to initiate the shutdown process.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

3. As the computer begins to shut down, the screen will display a “Shutting down” message. Wait patiently until the screen turns black and the computer has fully shut down before disconnecting any cables or turning off the power.

NOTE: Please be aware that if your laptop requires a Windows update, you may be presented with the option to “Update and Shut down.” This process can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the size of the update.

Using Shortcut Keys

An efficient method for activating the shutdown screen is through the use of keyboard shortcuts. One way to do this is by opening the Security Options Window by pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys simultaneously.

1. Locate the power icon in the bottom-right corner of the Security Options screen.

2. Click on “Shut down” to initiate the power-off process.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

3. Allow the laptop to fully power down before turning off the power source or disconnecting from external devices.

Here’s another efficient method to power off your laptop

1. Close or minimize all running programs.

2. Press Alt + F4 to open the Shut Down Windows dialogue box.

3. In the dialogue box, expand the “What do you want the computer to do?” drop-down menu.

4. Select the “Shut down” option.

5. Click “Ok” and your PC will turn off.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

Using Commands

In addition to the traditional method of shutting down your laptop through the Start menu, you can also use dedicated commands on Run, Command Prompt, or Powershell. These scripts can be useful in different situations and are easy to use. Here are three scripts that can come in handy when shutting down your laptop:

Shutdown command options:

1. /s: Shut down the computer within one minute

2. /s /t: Schedule a shutdown after a specified number of seconds (e.g. “shutdown /s /t 3600” to shut down in one hour)

3. /a: Abort an ongoing shutdown process.

Change Power Button Action

Interestingly, you can easily power off a laptop by using the power button, but it’s important to note that you’ll need to adjust a specific setting before doing so. This allows for added control and flexibility in managing your device’s power usage.

1. Begin by opening the Control Panel from the start menu. Navigate to the System and Security section, and select Power Options.

2. Within Power Options, select the option “Choose what the power button does.”

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

3. Under the Power button and lid settings, choose the option for “Shut down” for both On Battery and Plugged In.

4. Once your changes have been made, hit the “Save changes” button to confirm the new settings.

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

5. Now, you can easily shut down your laptop by simply pressing the power button. No need to navigate through multiple menus or use keyboard shortcuts.

Tweak Closing Lid Function

As a common practice, many laptop users tend to simply close the lid instead of properly shutting down their device. By default, this action will put the device into hibernation mode. However, it is possible to customize this functionality to suit your preferences. In this guide, we will show you exactly how to do so.

1. Navigate to the Control Panel window

2. Go to System and Security > Power Options

3. Select “Choose what closing the lid does”

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

4. In the Power button and lid settings section, set the “When I close the lid” option to “Shut down” for both “On Battery” and “Plugged In”

4. Click on the “Save changes” button

How To Shut Down Your Laptop

5. Now, you can close the lid instead of manually turning it off for both battery and plugged-in mode.


Shutting down your laptop is an important part of maintaining its performance and security. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to shut down your device quickly, safely, and securely. You should also take the time to check if there are any updates available for your laptop’s software or hardware. Doing so will ensure that it runs smoothly for a long time to come. With these tips in mind, you can make sure that shutting down your laptop is a stress-free experience every single time!


Q. What is the proper way to shut down my laptop?

To properly shut down your laptop, click on the “Start” button or press the Windows key on your keyboard. Then, click on the power icon in the bottom right corner of the screen and select “Shut down” from the menu. This will close all open programs and shut down your computer.

Q. Is it okay to just close the lid of my laptop to shut it down?

It is not recommended to just close the lid of your laptop to shut it down, as this can cause the computer to go into “sleep” mode, which can lead to battery drain and other issues. It’s always better to do a proper shutdown, this way you can make sure all your files are saved, and your computer is not in some kind of sleep mode.

Q. Can I shut down my laptop using keyboard shortcuts?

Yes, you can shut down your laptop using keyboard shortcuts. Press the “Alt” and “F4” keys on your keyboard to open the shutdown menu, then press the “Enter” key to shut down your computer.

Q. Is it okay to just unplug my laptop from the power source to shut it down?

No, it is not recommended to unplug your laptop from the power source to shut it down as this can cause data corruption and other problems. Always make sure to properly shut down your computer before unplugging it from the power source.

Q. Are there any risks associated with shutting down my laptop improperly?

Yes, there are risks associated with shutting down your laptop improperly. If you don’t properly shut down your computer, you may lose unsaved work or cause damage to your computer’s operating system. Additionally, shutting down your laptop improperly can also cause battery drain, which can lead to shorter battery life over time.

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