How to Shut down or Restart Windows 11

There a number of methods to shut down or restart Windows 11. In this guide, we will review most of them, so you will be able to compare them and find what works best for you.

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In Windows 11, Microsoft has done a lot of visual improvements. It includes the new Start menu and the taskbar, new Settings, and much more. The Start menu hosts the power menu for your PC. If you want to shut down or restart Windows 11 (or any other Windows version for that matter,) go to the Start menu.

Along with Start in Windows 11, the power menu also received a new UI. That may cause slight inconveniences for those used to the now-classic Start menu from Windows 10. This article will help you retrain your muscle memory and learn how to shut down, restart, or put to sleep Windows 11.

How to shut down or restart Windows 11

  1. Find the Start button in the taskbar. It now has four blue squares.
  2. Locate the power button at the bottom-right corner of the Start menu and click on it.
  3. Select Shut down, Restart, or Sleep.Shut Down Or Restart Windows 11

Done! Besides the Start menu, there is also a context menu of the Start button, known as Win + X menu, which also allows you to turn off or restart the OS.

Shut down Windows 11 using the Win + X menu

The Win + X menu has not received any changes after migrating from Windows 10 to Windows 11. You can still use it to access different tools and the power menu. Learn more about how to open the Win + X menu in Windows 11 in our dedicated post.

To shut down Windows 11 from the Win+X menu, do the following.

  1. Press the Win + X Alternatively, right-click or tap and hold the Start menu (the latter works on devices with a touch screen.)
  2. Select Shut down or sign out.
  3. Select one of four options: Shut down, restart, sleep, or sign out.Windows 11 Shut Down Restart WinX Commands

How to turn off a Windows 11 computer using the Alt + F4 shortcut

You can shut down a Windows 11 PC using the classic Alt + F4 shortcut. Minimize all open Windows and then press those buttons on the Desktop, then select the option you need.

Alt F4 Classic Shut Down Windows 11 Dialog

Tip: Make sure you have no windows in focus when pressing the Alt + F4 buttons; otherwise, you will close the currently open app without bringing the shutdown dialog. You can quickly minimize all apps using the Win + D hotkey.

How to shut down Windows 11 from the lock screen

You can turn off your Windows 11 computer using the power button on the lock screen. Similar to Windows 10, it lives in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Press the button, then select Shut down, Sleep, or Restart.

Lock Screen Power Button

Advanced ways to shut down Windows 11

You can create a script that will invoke the classic Shut down dialog for you. After that, you can create a shortcut for it and open it with one click.

Notepad Shut Down Windows Script VBS

Create Classic Shut Down Windows Script

  1. Open Notepad or any other text editor that allows saving files in plain text (txt.)
  2. Copy and paste the following commands:
    dim objShell
    set objShell = CreateObject("shell.application")
    objshell.ShutdownWindows
    set objShell = nothing
  3. Save the file and then change its extension from txt to vbs. You can save it with a proper extension right away by using the quotation marks in the file name field, for example, "shutdown.vbs".Save Shutdown.vbs File
  4. Place the file somewhere in a safe space, then create a shortcut to it.Shutdown VBS File
  5. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.Shortcut Properties Menu
  6. Select Change Icon.Change Icon
  7. Choose any icon you prefer, then save the changes. A suitable icon can be found in the C:\Windows\system32\shell32.dll file.

That is how you create a shutdown shortcut in Windows 11.

So, clicking this shutdown shortcut in Windows 11 does not turn off your PC immediately. It only brings the shutdown dialog, allowing you to choose one of the power options. Therefore, you should not worry about accidental shutdowns and losing unsaved data.

Also, you can automate the steps above using the Winaero Tweaker app. Run the application, then find the Classic Shutdown shortcut option. Click Create shortcut, then place it wherever you want on the desktop, taskbar, etc.

Winaero Tweaker

Use the shutdown.exe tool

Finally, one more traditional method to shutdown the OS is to use the built-in shutdown.exe tool. To shut down Windows 11 using it, open a new command prompt, Windows Terminal, or PowerShell, and type:

shutdown /s /t 0

This will perform the full shut down of the OS. This means that the fast startup feature will not be used the next time you start your computer, so it will start a bit slower.

If you are using Fast Startup, you should modify the shutdown command and add the /hybrid switch as follows:

shutdown /s /hybrid /t 0

Finally, to restart your Windows 11 computer, use the following command:

shutdown /r /t 0

Here is a little note on the arguments for the shutdown tool we used.

  • /r - restart the OS.
  • /s - shutdown the OS.
  • /hybrid - perform a hybrid shutdown that preserves that fast startup feature.
  • /t 0 - don't wait before shutting down. Instead of zero, you can specify here a number of seconds to wait before performing the shutdown action. E.g. /t 10 - wait 10 seconds and then restart or shutdown.

That's it.

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3 thoughts on “How to Shut down or Restart Windows 11

  1. Simon

    I installed Windows 11 in a VM and it runs, but I noticed that there is no option anymore where you can disable the fast boot in energy settings. I talk about the setting if WIndows should save some files to the drive during shutdown. Either they removed it from the system (which would be good since SSDs are fast enough anyway) or they removed the possibility to disable it. Can you confirm it?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko

      I bet that Fast Boot is not accessible inside the VM.
      That’s why the option isn’t visible.

      Reply
  2. maccentric

    “The Win + X menu has not received any changes after migrating from Windows 10 to Windows 11”

    It most certainly has. I can no longer use Win+X U U to shut down. Almost annoying enough to revert to 10 honestly, my most used feature of the task bar.

    Also, Powershell has been changed to Windows Terminal.

    Reply

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