There are several ways to restart, hibernate, sleep, or shutdown Windows 8, but none of them are exactly intuitive. Microsoft has brought back the Start button in Windows 8.1, now in public preview, and it allows shutting down your computer much easier.
Shutdown Windows 8.1 from Start Button
Right click the Start Button and it will display the power user menu. You can also bring up the power user menu by hitting Windows Key + X on the keyboard. Then just go to Shut down then you can select between Sleep, Shut down, or Restart. Here’s an example of the Start button on the desktop.
The Start button is also available from Start Screen. Just hover your mouse in the lower left corner to display it. In this example I have it pulled up while in the App Switcher.
To get the Hibernate option, simply follow my article: How To Enable Hibernate Mode in Windows 8
If you’re waiting until the final version of Windows 8.1 to upgrade, here’s a few ways to make shutting it down easier: