How To: Shut Down and Reboot Windows 8.x

Access to Power Options is pretty straightforward in Windows 7 and older versions, not so much in Windows 8. It’s not too hard altough there are several ways to access these options.

Windows 8 Power Options

1. The Charms bar

To access the Charms bar you can press Win+C or move the mouse to the upper righthand corner of the screen. Select Settings and from the next menu Power. At least three options should appear: Sleep, Shutdown and Restart.

Windows 8 - Charms bar - Settings
Windows 8 – Charms bar – Settings
Windows 8 - Power Options
Windows 8 – Power Options

The same Settings panel can appear directly (without going through the Charms bar) if you press Win+I.

2. Shut Down Windows box

This box pops-up if you press Alt+F4 while in Desktop mode. From there you can Switch User, Sign Out, Shut Down or Restart your computer.

Windows 8 - Shut Down Windows box
Windows 8 – Shut Down Windows box

Windows 8.1 Power Options

1. The Start Button

All of the above methods work in Windows 8.1 but you can also use the newly added Start button to access the Power Options. Simply right-click the Start button, hold the mouse cursor over “Shut down or sign out”. From the related submenu you can Sign out, Sleep, Shut Down or Restart your computer.

Windows 8.1 Start Button - Power Options

This menu can be accesed via the Win+X shortcut in Windows 8. However, some items are missing compared to the Windows 8.1 version, including the power options. Keep in mind that shutting down windows from the Start button menu will perform a full shutdown, so you won’t benefit from the “fast startup” feature. This is a new Windows 8 feature that performs a hybrid shutdown by saving system related information to a hibernation file. That information is used to resume your PC and log you in when you turn your PC on.

It seems the Start button shut down is the only exception. The other shut down methods will perform a hybrid shutdown using fast startup.

2. The SlideToShutDown app

The Slide To Shut Down action is currently available in Windows Phone 8. For a computer user this can be a great way to quickly shut down the PC without having to go through menus and options.

This feature is also available in Windows 8.1, although reaching it is not intuitive at all.. The SlideToShutDown app is stored in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. After you located the app, right click on it and you can pin it to Start or the Taskbar.

Windows 8.1 - System32 - SlideToShutDown app
Windows 8.1 – System32 – SlideToShutDown app

Now you can simply launch the app, whether you’re in Start or Desktop mode and your computer will turn off as you perform the swipe down action with your mouse or finger (for touch-enabled devices).

Windows 8.1 - Slide to shut down your PC