How to Shut Down or Restart Windows 11

One of the easiest things to do is power down, restart, or sign out of your computer. But with a new OS, the process might seem odd at first. Here’s how on Windows 11.

When it comes to tech, one of the easiest things you think of is shutting down or restarting the device. However, when it’s a brand-new piece of hardware plus a new operating system, it can be harder than you’d think, especially if you’ve never done it before. I remember that shutting down Windows 8 was a challenge the first time. But Windows 11 is straightforward and is like shutting down Windows 10. The main difference is that the GUI looks a bit different. Here’s how to shut down or restart Windows 11 the first time.

Shut Down Windows 11 from the Desktop

If you’re familiar with Windows 10, shutting down Windows 11 from the desktop shouldn’t cause much of an issue. First of all, you can click the Start button and then click the Power button. That will give you two more options – shut down your PC or restart it.

shutdown Start menu

Another option you have is to right-click the Start button and then click on the “Shut down or sign out” menu. That gives you three options: Sign out, Shut down, or Restart the PC.

Shut Down Windows 11 Start Button

It’s also worth noting that instead of right-clicking the Start button, you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + X to bring up the so-called “power user menu.” That will give you the same shutdown, restart, and sign-out buttons shown above.

Note: If you don’t see the Hibernate option, make sure to read our article on enabling Hibernate mode on Windows 11.

Shut Down Windows 11 the Old School Way

The old-school method to shut down your PC on Windows 11 still works, too. You can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + F4. That closes all your apps and brings up the following screen.

Shut down alt-f4

This is where you can choose from the following power options:

  • Switch user
  • Sign out
  • Shut down
  • Restart

Shutdown PC From Lock Screen

Of course, you can also access power options from the Lock Screen. Click the Power button on the lower-right corner of the screen.

Power menu lock screen windows 11

Use the Physical Power Button

Another obvious way to shut down your computer is by using the power button. Typically pressing the power button once will put the device into a “Sleep or Hibernate” mode or it will initiate the shutdown process.


And if your Windows 11 computer freezes up or becomes completely unresponsive, press and hold the power button for 8-10 seconds. This will force it to shut down and should only be used in emergencies. Forcing a PC to shut down could lead to a loss of data. So, use this method sparingly.

Summing Up

That’s basically all there is to it if you want to shut down from the GUI on Windows 11 or if you want to use the physical power button. If you want to be geekier, you can always create a shortcut to shut down or restart Windows. But, there are enough simple methods to do it that you might as well use them.

And for more on Microsoft’s new OS check out our article on managing when your Windows 11 PC goes into Sleep mode. Or read about setting Active Hours to avoid annoying Windows Update restarts of your PC.



  1. G

    July 7, 2021 at 9:04 am

    That’s nice.
    But why don’t you wait until Win 11 is released. THEN I’ll be interested in reading this (not before)

  2. DJ

    November 26, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    I just loaded Windows 11 and there is no longer a start button? Suggestions?

  3. Judith Allonby

    January 5, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    There is NO power button and that power menu does NOT appear in the Start menu. The only way to shut off my computer in Windows11 is to unplug it. It also won’t let me change back to Window10. Windows11 is a nightmare.

  4. Elizabeth Laswell

    February 4, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I do not have a start button on Windows 11. I do not have F4 on my keyboard. Any other “easy” ways to shut down my computer?

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