How to shut down and restart in Windows 11

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Leaving your PC on all the time can be convenient, but you should still turn it off about once a week. Shutting down your computer gives it a chance to shut down background processes that can build up over time and drain your PC’s performance.

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Shutting down also gives your computer’s components, such as its cooling system, a chance to rest.

Like any other machine, computers can break down if they run non-stop for too long. Sleep mode helps minimize this risk, but your computer can still benefit from a complete shutdown once in a while.

Restarting your PC is sometimes necessary to apply important updates, including security patches, so you should shut down or restart every week or so.

Here are some ways to shut down or restart your PC in Windows 11.

How to shutdown and restart via taskbar

1. Click the Start button on your taskbar. (The Start button looks like four squares.)

2. Click the circular power button at the bottom right of the Start menu.

3. Next, choose whether you want to shut down your computer, restart it, or put it to sleep.

If you’re all about efficiency, you can save a step when stopping this way

1. Right-click the Start button on your taskbar and hover over Stop or Log Out

2. Select Close, sleep, to restart Where sign out

Windows 11 taskbar showing shutdown options

Right-clicking the Start button is another way to shut down your PC.

Screenshot/Adam Benjamin GameSpot

How to shut down and restart with shortcuts

1. On your desktop, tap Alt + F4 (note: if you have a browser or another application open, this instantly close the app). Windows will ask you if you want to shut down, switch users, log out, put your computer to sleep, or restart your computer.

2. Select your preferred option, then click OKAY.

Windows 11 shutdown menu

When you press Alt + F4 from the desktop, Windows 11 will ask you what you want to do.

Screenshot/Adam Benjamin GameSpot

You can also use a classic combination to force a stop.

1. Hurry CTRL + Other + Wipe off simultaneously to display the options menu

2. Click the circular power button in the lower right corner of your screen

3. Picking out Sleep, Close Where To restart

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