How to make your pc shut down at night (but only when you’re not using it)

By Jody Macgregor published 10 August 19

Or, you know, ever?

Depending who you ask, turning off your PC at night is either a good way to save electricity or a good way to speed up the deterioration of your hardware. Or maybe it’ll help prevent the build-up of dust. Or maybe powering down and then up again uses more electricity than just leaving it to hibernate would. Or maybe the RGB gremlins will get sad if you don’t leave a light on for them. At this point there’s so much conflicting advice, it’s tempting to just throw up your hands and stop caring.

Our weekend question is this: Do you turn your PC off at night? Or ever? Do you only reboot if a driver update tells you too, or Windows starts acting up? Here are our answers, let us know yours in the comments. And be kind to your RGB gremlins.

Joanna Nelius, hardware staff writer

Pretty much every night, otherwise I put into sleep mode. I used to put my old rig into sleep mode every night because I didn’t want to wait forever for it to boot up, but after I built my current rig with Windows 10 and an M.2 NVMe SSD, the only benefit of sleep mode is that it alleviates some stress on the components, if that even makes a difference at all with modern PCs. But I generally have my PC on for 16 hours a day, so fully shutting it down at night (or at least every once in a while) helps maintain performance. Also, I don’t want all that RGB lighting bouncing off the walls as I’m trying to sleep.

Chris Livingston, staff writer

I honestly never used to, because it’s just so convenient to sit down at the desk and have the PC on and ready to go. Also, I’m lazy. Plus there was some myth about how turning a PC off and on is actually worse than just leaving it on all the time, which seems kinda dubious but makes for a good excuse to continue to be lazy. But for the past year or so I’ve been turning mine off just about every night. Partly because my PC only takes a few seconds to boot up (as opposed to my old one, which took forever) and partly because it just seems more sensible to turn something off if I’m not using it.

Andy Kelly, section editor

I used to leave mine on for weeks, and possibly even months, at a time. But I’m more environmentally conscious these days and it just feels wrong leaving it on now. In the grand scheme of things this gesture probably means nothing, but it makes me feel better. It also helps that I have Windows running on an SSD and it boots up in like 10 seconds. When PCs used to take five minutes to warm up and whirr to life, I maybe understand leaving it on more. But today? Nah. Off it goes. Mains switch and everything.

Evan Lahti, global editor-in-chief

Dust makes heat, and heat is the enemy. I can’t stand the thought of even more particulate matter being hoovered into my system while I’m sleeping. Plus, my internet is quick enough here in San Francisco (140+ Mbps) that I don’t have a need to download game updates overnight. If you’re looking to change this habit, just look up your GPU’s idle power draw.

Jarred Walton, senior hardware editor

Umm. yes, I usually turn off a PC at night. Usually. Perhaps even two or three of them, because who wants RGB lighting spilling out from under the desk? But my laptop is always on, unless I’m traveling and I put it into sleep mode, so when I come into my office in the morning it’s ready to go—all the emails and other messages I may have missed are queued up and waiting.

My main desktop also stays on. It’s used for things like testing GPUs, running other gaming benchmarks, playing games, and just about anything else I don’t do on my laptop. It also has about 8TB of storage available, and it’s where I store all the documents, data, and other doodads I’m working on. If I turn it off and then go to my laptop or another desktop and want to view some files, I can’t and end up having to go turn it on. That’s annoying and I’m lazy, a winning combination.

Actually, there’s another oddity with the desktop—if I power it off or put it into sleep mode, it turns back on within the next 10-15 minutes. I’ve tried disabling wake on LAN and any related items that might cause this behavior, but to no avail. None of my other PCs or desktops do this, but the only way I can guarantee it stays off is to flip the power switch on the PSU or surge protector—but the latter isn’t an option because my modem is connected to the same power strip.

I guess that makes me the bad guy. The person with the most PCs also happens to be the least environmentally conscious. It probably helps that I don’t live in a state with crazy power costs.

Wes Fenlon, senior editor

My dad always left our family computer on, growing up, so for a long time I never thought much of it. That was just the norm, and there was something fun about rebooting a PC for the first time in months. I even remember in IRC, folks would post stats about how long since their last disconnect. But once I got to college and started keeping my desk and PC in my room, I started turning it off occasionally to get rid of the noise, light, or heat. And these days, like Andy, I feel like it’s wasteful to just leave it on 24/7. Booting my PC up for work in the mornings now feels like a nice ritual.

Andy Chalk, news writer

I never turn my PC off. It’s a habit I got into years ago when I was running a local BBS, and at some point I heard the story about turning a PC on and off being harder on the components than letting it run full time, which made it easier to justify leaving it on (and is also probably nonsense). I’ve also been running [email protected]/Boinc for just about forever and I would hate to disappoint my fellow researchers at Berkeley by slacking off. Plus it’s just so damn convenient. I sit down in front of my PC and it’s like the Power Button Fairy has already popped by to do me a solid. Reading all these other responses has me wondering if I should change my ways, though. Maybe it’s time to start flicking the switch?

Are you one of those who wants to know why..

  • laptop shuts down randomly
  • laptop randomly shuts off
  • laptop keeps shutting down and restarting
  • computer shuts down randomly
  • why my laptop turns off randomly
  • laptop shuts off suddenly
  • laptop keeps shutting off

Great, continue reading because we’ve got some nice solutions.

We all know the fact the technology has brought great reliability among the people. No doubt it has greatly helped the people by all means. But after all it is technology! Like humanity, it also has some problems. The laptop is generally the most usable technology among the people now-a-day. Every work is happening with the help of laptops. But as mentioned it also have some problems, like shutting down, overheating, etc. Let us discuss the most common reasons laptops shuts down randomly and how to fix it?

Yes, it is true that the excessive use of laptops leads to a random shut down. Most of the people do not understand the reason behind this problem. This generally leads to dissatisfaction of the customers towards the desired brand companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony, etc. No matter what, your laptop shuts down after an excessive use. The most commonly caused problems include, overheating, battery, hardware failure, ram cashing, faulty power supply, no laptop service, or window issue.

These following information can greatly help you in understanding the issues and reasons why your laptop shuts down suddenly and how to fix them!


Studies shows that in randomly shut down of computer 9 out of 10 case it’s problem with overheating.

Overheating is generally caused by excessive use of laptop. It can also be caused by using your laptop in a place having high temperature, or by placing your laptop over the heating absorbing items. Another major cause of this problem is of cooling hardware or the dust problem. Most of the laptop after a long usage carry this major problem. In this, the laptops become extremely hot and the fan throws extremely hot air. Fan not working is one of the main reason of overheating

How to fix: Check if your fan is working properly or not. If fan is working fine then get a cooling pad for your laptop to overcome heating problems.


Battery problem is another major reason for random shutdown of laptop. This problem usually occurs after a long use age of laptops, or excessive charging. If your laptop shuts down randomly, test your battery if it’s working well or not. If it isn’t, you really need to buy a new battery. Make sure the battery has the same amperes the laptop requires, otherwise your laptop might have problems while working.

How to fix: Change the battery or get it checked with any laptop repairing center.

Hardware failure

This isn’t a common problem, but when it occurs, you cannot resolve this problem by yourself. If you are sure that all the parts of your laptop are working well, but the laptop just turned off, you should go and have your laptop checked by the service centers. Make sure the service center has enough expertise to check and repair your laptop. Because, most of the people do not have enough laptop hardware repairing expertise.

How to fix: Take it to the service center of laptop company.

Computer virus

This is the most common problem that persists in almost every computer. A Virus is like an Armageddon for computer. It almost destroys everything on your laptop.

How to fix: Do not panic, you can easily fix this problem by installing antivirus software. If you still have the virus problem in your computer, you need to go and have your laptop checked by the service center.

Ram issue

Most of the laptops either stop working or just turn off randomly because of ram crashing problem. This problem generally occurs when your ram stops working or by the displacement of your ram.

How to fix: To resolve this problem, unplug your ram, cool and clean it out and plug it again. Check if the problem is solved or not. If it doesn’t go and have your laptop checked by the service center.

Faulty charger or power supply

There is another major cause for the laptops to turn off randomly that is the faulty power supply. It is the most dangerous problem as it can cause severe problems to your laptop like your laptop can go dead due to the faulty power supply. Because the value of current decrease and also increases, so it greatly damages the battery and laptop itself. If you are having the same problem, it is recommended for you to change your power supply as soon as possible. If you are not sure if it’s the problem of power supply, you can also test it, whether it’s working well or not!

How to fix: Find an alternative charger of same company and plug it into your laptop and test it. Or get a new one.

No laptop service

There is no doubt in the fact that the service of laptops is very important as it greatly affects the processing of laptops. With no service of laptop, there comes great problems. The most common problems are overheating, random shut down and slow processing. Therefore, it is mandatory to service your laptop regularly from dust for a smooth and fast processing. There is no other way to resolve this issue.

How to fix: Take your laptop to a well know service centers or laptop repairing shop and have them clean it properly. Or you can do it yourself if laptop is not under warranty by removing the cover and cleaning the dust with brush or air blower.

What to do if everything fails?

Another major question that often comes in every mind is what should be done if all the above reasons fails? Well, there is a simple solution to your problem. That is, you can simply reinstall your windows. How it will benefit? It will remove all the viruses from your computer and make the processing of your computer faster and smoother.

What if the problem remains?

In most of the cases, you might have seen some laptops don’t seem to work even after checking every part of your laptop! I myself had the same situation once. If you have the same problem with your laptop, it is recommended to take your laptop at the service center to get it repaired. There is no other solution to that problem. This is the only thing you can do if your laptop randomly turns off without any warning.

These are some of the common reason why your laptop shuts down randomly and their solutions that can greatly help you out in resolving the issues of random shuts down of your laptops. The above mentioned solutions are the best and the easiest ways to resolve these problems. If you do not have such problems, you are the lucky one to use a perfect machine.

Friday, July 3, 2015

If you work on your computer till late night then you might often forget to shut down your PC. At the morning you will discover that your computer was on all the night. To avoid it, this article will tell you how to get your computer to shut down at a time specified by you.

Method 1: Create a task schedule job to shut down the PC

Step 1: Press the start button and click on the option “Task Schedule”. If you are using windows 8, please just press the “win” key, type “schedule task” and select it.

Step 2: Please fill in the task name, and choose “Run with highest privileges”.

Step 3: Switch to the “Triggers” and choose “New”, and then set up a schedule.

Step 4: Choose the “Action” tab, click “New”, and then input “shutdown” to the program box.

Step 5: Now head to the conditions tab, and check the box to only start the task if the computer is idle for more than . minutes.

Finally, please choose to the “Settings” tab, and you can choose to restart the task every 15 minutes if the task fails.

Method 2: Use Wise Auto Shutdown to make your PC shutdown automatically.

Wise Auto Shutdown is a freeware utility that can turn off your computer automatically. It can shut down, log off, and restart your computer at a schedule time with simple settings. Just have a try!

Launch Wise Auto Shutdown and select “Shut down” item, and then set a specified time for it.

Now you can automatically shut down your computer when it is not be used. Contact us by leaving any feedback when you are using Wise Auto Shutdown.

It’s convenient to close the lid of our laptops, go to a meeting, return, and open the laptops to be right where we left off without having to wait for our machines to boot. We save a lot of time in our lives not waiting for our devices to shut down and start back up, but we should not make putting our machines to sleep all the time our modus operandi. A habit of always putting a machine to sleep rather than shutting it down may override the conscious act of deciding whether to put our devices to sleep or shut down.

Some Considerations:

  • When you decide to put a PC to sleep rather than shut down, it’s good practice to observe the LED pulse before moving the machine. The more applications running, the longer it takes for your device to go to sleep. Sleep shuts down the display and parks the disk drive to prevent damage.
  • Normal shutdowns and startups allow the machine to perform self-tests, clear out the RAM, and alert you to software updates or minor errors.
  • Power surges or power drops occurring when a machine is powered by its power adapter are more harmful to a sleeping computer than to one completely shut down.
  • The heat produced by a sleeping machine exposes all components to higher heat more of the time. Computers left on all the time may have a shorter life.
  • A sleeping machine still consumes power. Power adapters plugged into power outlets, even if they are not connected to a computer, continue to draw power.
  • Plug power adapters into the wall before connecting to your machine.

As we hurry through our lives, we may close the laptop lid before a machine has fully shut down.This may cause the device to go to sleep instead of fully shut down. What if you forget the power adapter is not plugged in? If your battery expires while your machine is sleeping with the power adapter not plugged in, your machine may have difficulty waking. The sleep LED may be pulsing, but there isn’t enough power from the battery to start the hard drive and power the display. If this happens, plug your adapter in for ten minutes or so before trying to wake your machine.

Some say leaving a computer on all the time saves wear and tear on the components. While frequent restarts do cause more wear on components, it’s fine to shut your machine down daily. From a maintenance standpoint, shut down at least once a week. From a green energy saving standpoint, shutdown and unplug or turn off surge protectors and power strips.

Windows 10 and 8.1 comes with a secret hidden Slide to shut down feature. Which allows only scroll down to shut down your windows easily. Here How to Enable Slide to Shutdown feature in Windows 10. For this, you have to only Create Slide To Shut-down shortcut in Windows 10. Slide To Shut-down provides an easy user interface to shut-down Windows with a swipe. It was created for PCs and tablets with Connected Standby. Connected Standby is a power management feature similar to what smartphones have.

Windows 10 Slide to shutdown feature

To see the Slide to Shutdown feature in Windows 10 in action,

  • Press Windows + R shortcut keys on the keyboard
  • Type command slide to shutdown and click ok
  • The Slide To Shut Down feature will make the lock screen roll down halfway through the screen.
  • Then all you need to do is to pull it down to shut down your PC.

To quickly shut down your Windows 10/8.1 touch device, you can create a Slide To Shutdown shortcut on your desktop. If you want to have permanent access to the feature, you can create a shortcut or pin the slidetoshutdown.exe file to the Start menu or Taskbar.

Create Slide To Shutdown Shortcut

  • To create a Slide To Shutdown shortcut, right-click on your Windows desktop
  • Select New then Shortcut
  • Now in the Create Shortcut wizard that opens.
  • In the Type the location of the item field, Type %windir%\System32\SlideToShutDown.exe
  • Click on Next.
  • Give the shortcut a name – SlideToShutDown,
  • and click on Finish.
  • Now select the shortcut right click on it select properties
  • Click on change Icon select the appropriate icon for this.
  • Now when you want to shut down your tablet or touch device, click /touch this icon.
  • The lock screen will roll down halfway through the screen and stay there.
  • Drag it down to the bottom edge of the screen and your computer will shut-down.

Tablet users especially may find this feature more useful, if you create its shortcut on the desktop or pin it to your taskbar. The Slide to shutdown feature can be used with the mouse as well, you can drag the overlay down with the mouse pointer.

Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast. Read more.

Want to shut down your Windows 11 PC? There are several ways to do it. All of them work equally well, so pick the one that suits you the best.

Press the Power Button on Your PC or Tablet

No surprise here: It’s perfectly OK to turn off your PC using a physical power button on your device. In general, pushing the button once will either put the PC to sleep or begin an automatic shutdown process. You can change this behavior in Control Panel if you’d like. Or you could use one of the software-guided shutdown options listed below.

If your PC becomes completely unresponsive, you can usually force it to power off by holding down the power button for 5-10 seconds. This should only be done in emergencies, however, because forcing a shutdown carries a slight risk of data loss. (But don’t worry; if you regularly press your PC’s power button once to shut down, that’s perfectly OK.)

Use the Power Button in Start

Another handy way to shut down your Windows 11 PC is by clicking Start in your taskbar. When the Start menu opens, click the power icon near the bottom of the menu (that looks like a circle with a vertical line near the top). In the menu that appears, select “Shut Down.” Your PC will begin the standard shutdown process.

Right-Click the Start Button

You can also shut down from the “power user menu” that appears when you right-click the Start button. When the menu pops up, select “Shut Down or Sign Out,” then click “Shut Down.”

Press Alt-F4

If all your windows are closed or minimized (and you’re looking at the desktop), you can initiate a shutdown by pressing Alt+F4 on your keyboard. A “Shut Down Windows” window will appear. Select shutdown in the drop-down menu (usually selected by default), then click “OK” or hit Enter. Windows will shut down as usual.

Use the Command Line

You can also shut down from the PowerShell or Command Prompt. To do so, launch Windows Terminal (search “terminal” in Start) and type shutdown /s on a blank line, then hit Enter. A warning pop-up will appear telling you that Windows is about to shut down, and after a minute, your PC will power off completely.

Use the Ctrl+Alt+Delete or Login Screen

If all those options weren’t enough, you can also turn off your PC from the Ctrl+Alt+Delete screen. Just press Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard, and when the black full-screen menu appears, click the power icon in the lower-right corner of the screen and select “Shut Down” in the list.

You can also shut down your PC in a similar way from the login screen (or launch Task Manager), which also contains a nearly identical power icon in the same location. And once your Windows 11 PC is turned off, here’s how to turn it back on.

A few days ago I showed you how to create a Windows 8 shutdown tile, the idea being to circumvent the ridiculous hoops Microsoft makes you jump through just to turn off your computer.

Some would argue that doing so is an antiquated idea. After all, Windows 7 and 8 don’t need regular reboots to continue running smoothly the way earlier versions did. On most modern systems you can leverage sleep/hibernate modes almost indefinitely, enjoying the benefits of quick wake/standby without ever actually shutting down.

Ah, but sleep mode continues to draw a bit of power, so it’s not always the best option–especially for battery-conscious laptop users. And, let’s face it, some users are just accustomed to turning off their PCs at the end of the day.

It’s long been one of the great ironies of Windows that you’re supposed to click through a shut-down process rather than just pressing the power button. After all, isn’t that the off switch?

Turns out you can indeed use the power button to shut down your PC. It just requires a quick bit of configuration. Here’s how to do it in Windows 8 (and Windows 7, once you reach the Control Panel):

1. Click the Desktop tile (or press Win-D) to enter Desktop mode.

2. Access the Charms bar by mousing into one of the right corners (or pressing Win-C), then click Settings.

3. Click Control Panel. (Interestingly, there are actually three other ways to access the Control Panel in Windows 8. Use whatever works best for you.)

4. In the search field, type power, then click Change what the power buttons do.

5. You should see two pull-down menus alongside When I press the power button. One is for when the laptop’s running on battery power, the other for when it’s plugged in. Choose the shut down setting for one or both.

6. Click Save changes and you’re done.

As you may have noticed, this screen also lets you change the functions for the sleep button (if your laptop has one) and for what happens when you close the laptop’s lid. Indeed, perhaps you’d prefer the latter action to shut down your PC, while keeping the power button for sleep or hibernate. The choice is yours.

Answers to Personal Computing Questions

Should I turn off my computer or put it to sleep?

Answer: This question can invoke quite a bit of debate, but my short answer is to put the computer to sleep each night or any time you leave the computer for more than 15 minutes. If you are not going to use the computer for more than a day (such as leaving it for the weekend), it is best to turn the computer off.

Idle 15 minutes to 24 hours: Sleep Idle 24 hours or more: Shut Down

When a computer is in “sleep” or “standby” mode, it consumes almost no energy, so the difference between letting it sleep overnight or turning it off during the night is negligible. However, if you have a laptop running off a battery charge, the difference may be noticeable. I have noticed that my laptop’s battery life only lasts about five to six days in sleep mode, but will last for weeks if the computer is off. Therefore, if you are not going to be using your laptop for more than a few hours and do not have AC power available, it is best to turn the computer off.

The most important way to save energy is to not leave the computer running normally when you are not using it. I have my computer set to automatically sleep if it is idle for 15 minutes and my screen dims after 5 minutes. This way, I know that I won’t accidentally leave my computer running for a long period of time. I also put my computer to sleep manually if I know I am going to be taking a break for more than 15 minutes.

Finally, if you put your computer to sleep every night and hardly ever turn if off, it may be good to at least restart the computer every few weeks. This may help improve performance in case some errant processes are consuming unnecessary RAM or CPU time.

Mac users: The keyboard shortcut for putting your computer to sleep is Command-Option-Eject.

Shutting down your PC versus putting it to sleep has been a long-debated subject. Some argue that turning a computer on and off too many times will damage the components which decreases the overall lifespan. Others say that putting a computer to sleep is a waste of electricity, especially if left unused for an extended period of time.

So who’s right in this matter?

In this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of these options to decide which is better for your computer.

What Happens During a Shutdown?

A shutdown is like an off switch to software and hardware components. All opened programs receive a timed notification from the OS to stop reading and writing files before a forced shutdown occurs.

Shutdown signals are then sent to the remaining devices and drivers, slowly cutting power little by little.

However, if you force a computer to shut down by holding the power button, you’ll risk file corruption and potential damage to the hard drive.

What Happens During Sleep Mode?

Think of sleep mode as a way for your computer to take a nap.

All open files are stored in the RAM (random access memory) which runs in a low-power state.

Most other software and hardware components are also disabled during this time but can be quickly “woken up” by tapping on the mouse or keyboard.

Advantages of Shutting Down the PC

Stress on Hardware Components

This is arguably one of the biggest factors in the Shutdown versus Sleep Mode debate.

Back in the day, computer components were a little more susceptible to possible damage from consistently powering the computer on and off, most notably with the hard drive and fans.

Nowadays, these parts are manufactured better, so they are able to withstand this kind of stress (both from sleep mode and a shutdown state) to a certain degree.

Unless you are constantly powering your PC on and off like a toy, the wear and tear from a daily shutdown is very minimal and won’t cause noticeable damage.

Power Consumption

Sleep mode draws power to the RAM to store opened files and programs. This means an increase in electricity usage which some consider to be a wasted resource since the computer isn’t being used during this time.

While a PC still draws a little bit of power when shut down (unless it’s unplugged from the power source), it still remains a better energy-saving option.

Clean Reboots

Think of this as a way for the OS to clean itself out.

Shutdowns clean out minor system issues like bugs, leaked memory, and unused network connections. Also, Windows runs its update in the background and some of these updates require a reboot.

If you never power off (or reboot) your computer, all of these issues snowball and may cause a decrease in performance and load times.

Power Surges

Although it’s rare, random power spikes and surges can damage your computer when powered on or in sleep mode.

Major damage includes file corruption, a scratched hard drive, and data loss, which can all lead to an unbootable computer.

A shutdown lowers the risk of this type of damage happening to the components.

Advantages of Putting PC to Sleep


If your computer is in sleep mode, it can quickly be woken up with a tap of the mouse or keyboard.

Powering a computer on from a shutdown state requires extra time waiting for it to boot and load all of the necessary files (although this can be expedited with an SSD card). This can be seen as an inconvenience to those who frequently use a computer throughout the day, as a lot of time is lost waiting for a computer to boot up.

Background Maintenance Programs

Your computer runs important maintenance programs in the background like virus scans, disk cleanup, and system backups, particularly during evening hours (while your computer is in sleep mode).

Unless you schedule these tasks to be done during daytime hours, shutting off your computer may interfere with these necessary programs, which may leave your computer more susceptible to malware.

Which Is the Better Option?

Considering the above factors, it’s better to shut down your computer during an extended period of time (such as overnight) and put it in sleep mode during shorter periods of time (such as throughout the day).

In other words, leveraging a combination of both is ideal for the longevity of your computer. You will get the daily benefits of a clean reboot with less power consumption when you only use your computer when you need it. The risk of a power surge is also lowered, and background maintenance programs can still run normally throughout the day with a nightly shutdown. More importantly, you don’t need to worry about potential damage to hardware, especially since computer parts are manufactured better (just don’t constantly power your PC on and off like a toy).

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Below are steps on how to restart, shut down, and hibernate a Windows computer from a batch file or the command line.

There is no way to start or boot up a computer using a batch file. Running a batch file to execute an action against a computer requires the computer be turned on and an operating system to be loaded.

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
  • Windows XP.
  • Windows 95, 98, and ME.
  • MS-DOS.

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10

Microsoft Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 includes a command to shut down the computer through the command line, shortcut, or batch files. Below are the steps required for creating a shutdown, restart, and hibernate shortcut.

  1. Create a new shortcut.
  • How to create a Windows shortcut.
  1. For the location of the shortcut, enter one of the following commands, depending on what you want to do.

To shut down the computer, type the following line in the location text field.

To restart the computer, type the following line in the location text field.

To hibernate the computer, type the following line in the location text field.

  1. Click Next, and then type either Shut down, Restart, or Hibernate for the name of the shortcut. Once the shortcut is named, click Finish.
  • For additional information about the shutdown command, see our shutdown command page.

After completing the above steps, double-click the shortcut icon to shut down, restart, or put the computer into hibernation.

After the shortcut is created, you can assign the shortcut a keyboard shortcut to shut down the computer using the keyboard. For more information, see: How do I create a Windows shortcut key?

If you want to create a batch file, you can add any of the above shutdown commands into the batch file with any other commands. For more information, see: How to make a batch file.

Shut down and restart shortcut in Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP includes a new shutdown command that allows users to shut down the computer through the command line, shortcut, or batch files. Below are the steps required for creating a shutdown and restart shortcut.

  1. Create a new shortcut.
  • How to create a Windows shortcut.
  1. For the location of the shortcut, type one of the following commands, depending on what you want to do.

To shut down your computer, type the following line in the location.

To restart the computer, type the following line in the location.

  1. Click Next, and then for the name of the shortcut type either Shut down or Restart and then click Finish.

After completing the above steps, double-click the shortcut icon to shut down or restart the computer.

Shut down and restart shortcut in Windows 95, 98, and ME

Create a batch file with the following lines, corresponding to the action you want to perform.

Restarting the computer

Shut down the computer

When typing the above two lines, spacing is important. Also, make sure to enter the exit line at the bottom of the batch file in case Windows cannot restart the computer because of the open MS-DOS window.

Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows ME users can also run the following command to perform different forms of rebooting or shutting down.

Where n is equal to one of the numbers below, depending on the action you want the computer to perform.

  • 0 – LOGOFF
  • 1 – SHUTDOWN
  • 2 – REBOOT
  • 4 – FORCE
  • 8 – POWEROFF

Shut down and restart shortcut in MS-DOS

If you need to restart from MS-DOS, see the debug routines page for steps on how to write a debug routine to restart these computers.

Shutting down your computer after every use just doesn’t happen for everyone. People are typically one or the other when it comes to powering off your computer or not. You either power down every day or you’re someone who has probably never shut down their computer since they got it and powered it on for the first time. For those that shut down their computer frequently great, you are doing the right thing, but for those who never shut down their computer, well keep reading.

Why Shutting Down Your Computer Is Important

Before we get into the reasons on why shutting off your computer is important it’s good to note the differences between the three modes of turning your computer “off.” Most computers have a sleep, hibernate, or shut down mode, but what’s the difference between each and when should you use each one?

Sleep mode is a power-saving mode that stores all of your open files, software, and other data in the computer’s main memory, or RAM. During sleep mode, the rest of your computer shuts down besides the RAM, which continues to draw power from the battery outlet. Everything you were previously working on remains open and can be pulled up when you open up your laptop or press the power button. Sleep mode is best used when you need to step away from your computer for a moment but will come back to it within a few hours.

Hibernate is similar to sleep mode with the exception that your computer completely shuts down and draws no power, unlike sleep mode. Everything you previously had open and running is stored in a hibernation file on your hard drive. When you open your laptop or turn the screen back on your computer everything will be just as you left it. Hibernate mode is best used when you don’t need to access your computer for a while or if you won’t have access to a power source later on and need to save battery life.

Shutting down your computer is when all the software, programs, files, and processes are closed and the memory in the RAM is cleared. Before shutting down it is important to save all your work as your computer will not re-open anything you were previously working on before shutting down. It is best to shut down your computer when you don’t need to use it for a while and to save power. Shutting down your computer also allows it to run faster with a clear RAM.

By Katie Wickens published 8 February 22

Waking your PC from sleep is faster, but can’t it cause issues?

Whether your turn your PC off at night can be a controversial topic, depending on who you speak to. Older generations often told their children to leave their PC running, and only to reboot when it’s completely necessary.

The logic was that the surge of power when turning the computer on would shorten its lifespan. While this can be true, leaving your computer on 24/7 (opens in new tab) can also cause wear and tear. In either case, unless your upgrade cycle is measured in decades, there’s not a lot in it. If your only concern is to maximize the lifespan of your components, neither option will put you ahead.

The decision here is going to hinge on which option suits your lifestyle better.

Leaving your computer on hibernate or sleep mode is super convenient. You can go right back to where you left off, and won’t have to wait for the darn thing to boot up. If you’re running your OS on one of the best NVMe SSDs (opens in new tab) of today, this shouldn’t be an issue, but an older HDD might make you wait an age. This can also be the case if you have a lot of programs set to run on startup.

Having the ability to remote into your PC from anywhere can be a lifesaver, too. Imagine rushing out the door only to realise you need access to some file you forgot to upload to the cloud. Nowadays, if you’re thinking of playing games away from your PC, leaving it on sleep means you can access the raw power of your gaming rig wherever you go, with game streaming services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now (opens in new tab) .

Turning your computer off when you’re not using it also means that your computer can’t complete any important tasks. Processes like virus scans and system updates will have to run when you’re trying to work, or while you’re playing a game. Tasks like these can be resource heavy and inconvenient, but if you leave your computer running you can schedule these to run overnight, or any time that’s convenient for you.

While there are lots of compelling reasons to keep your computer running, there are some scenarios where it’s definitely best to shut it down. Electricity can be expensive and sometimes every cent counts. If you are concerned about energy costs, leaving your computer on all the time will reflect on your utility bill.

As well, a PC waking up from sleep can sometimes just flat out refuse to do so. That’ll mean you have to reboot anyway, and if you’ve relied on your PC remembering where it left off for so long, setting it back up can be a pain.

If you are running custom water cooling, it’s best you don’t leave your machine running. Should the pump die when you aren’t around, the results could be catastrophic.

Whether or not you leave your computer running will largely depend on what matters most to you, but you should always make sure you let your PC restart when it needs to do important updates. These could be patches for recently discovered vulnerabilities, for example, and will need a restart to take effect.

I think I’ll give leaving my PC on overnight a go now I’ve written this. I will be keeping an eye on my energy bill, and the state of my components, however.

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She’s been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.

Even though sessions vary with usage, everyone needs to step away from their computers at some point. Many of our users wonder if it’s a good idea to leave their computers on, or turn them off. The answer to this question depends on many factors ranging from electricity bills to concerns about wear and tear. The following sections address the “on or off” debate from many viewpoints, allowing you to decide what works best for you.

  • Power concerns.
  • Leaving your computer on overnight.
  • Will turning off a computer wear down moving parts (e.g., fans)?
  • Does turning off a computer wear down the power button?
  • Does turning off a computer cause soldering cracks?
  • Will turning my computer off help prevent a power surge?
  • Computer power misconceptions.

Power concerns

Associated costs

One of the biggest contributing factors when deciding whether or not to turn off your machine is the electrical cost. A bill for electricity can be expensive, and a computer like many household electronic devices adds to the cost. Unless you’ll be away for a very long time from a computer that’s on, the difference in price isn’t a large concern. However, if you’re looking to save a few dollars a month, shut it down.

If you decide to leave your computer on all day, we recommend turning off the monitor if you’re leaving for more than half of an hour.

Time to resume

In our opinion, the time for your computer to resume working is a bigger factor than the cost of electricity. For instance, if you open and close your laptop frequently, you don’t want to have to reboot it completely each time. Knowing a bit about the different power states of a computer should help you in your decision.

  • Sleep – All open applications and files are stored in RAM, and the rest of the computer components are put into a low-power state. This option is best when you step away from your computer for a short time because it allows work to be resumed almost immediately.
  • Hibernate – With hibernate mode, all open applications and files are copied onto your computer’s boot drive, and the rest of the computer is essentially shut down. This option is good if you’ll be away from your computer for a short time.
  • Shut down – When you shut a computer down, all files and applications are closed, and power to the computer’s internal components is cut off. Shutting down is a good option if you’ll be away from your computer for an extended period (e.g., more than eight hours).

The time to resume from different power states is much more significant on hard disk drives than it is on solid-state drives. Since boot times on modern SSDs are so fast, shutting down your computer is not nearly as much of a factor.

Leaving your computer on overnight

Our recommendation is to turn off your computer when you go to bed, as it saves you a bit of money on your electricity bill. However, for tasks to run during the night (e.g., backup, ScanDisk, Defrag, updates, or a virus scan), you’ll need to leave your computer on while you sleep. Unless you don’t mind these tasks being performed during the day.

Will turning off a computer wear down moving parts (e.g., fans)?

No. The only moving parts that caused an issue internally were within a component, not the computer itself. In older hard drives, the head would come into contact with the disk platter upon shutdown, which caused it to wear. However, any hard drive manufactured today doesn’t have this issue.

Does turning off a computer wear down the power button?

Before 1994, it may have been beneficial to leave the computer on due to potential power switch related issues associated with certain manufacturers that caused the power buttons to break early. However, this issue was only applicable to a very small portion of old OEM computers, and today is no longer a problem. Power buttons can still wear out, but they have a life cycle that outlasts the other components of your computer.

Does turning off a computer cause soldering cracks?

No. Solder can withstand changes in temperature; turning a computer off frequently does not harm it. For example, many individuals turn their TV on and off each day, sometimes several times. Much like a computer, components inside the TV get hot and cool down, and these devices rarely have problems.

Will turning my computer off help prevent a power surge?

No. A power surge destroys electrical devices, regardless of whether they are on or off. Having the power cord connected to a surge protector can safeguard a computer from an electrical surge.

If a storm causes a blackout or brownout, it can cause problems with a desktop computer. To prevent these power-related problems from affecting a computer, use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

Computer power misconceptions

“As the computer boots, it takes more power.”

This statement is not true.

“Turing off my computer causes power surges.”

This statement is also untrue. See our surge page for information about power surges.

“Leaving a computer on causes it to overheat.”

Unless a fan within a computer fails while it is on, the computer will not overheat.

“A laptop is different than a desktop it should be turned off.”

Although physically different, a laptop can also remain on 24/7, and all information mentioned above still applies. The exception here, of course, is if you’re running a laptop from the battery (not plugged in). In this case, the laptop is not going to be able to run all day, and we suggest conserving your battery usage.

“How can I make my computer not go to sleep? I’m trying to download some software that takes 10 hours; the problem is that my computer goes to sleep and then the download resets, so I have to start again. Is there any way that I can disable sleep mode on Windows 10 so it won’t reset the download?”

The sleep mode is a low-power state in Windows system, which only consumes a very small amount of power. When you’re away from your PC for 15 or 30 minutes, it will go to sleep mode automatically. The thing is if there are still programs running, it will result in data loss. Thus, many users want to set computer to never sleep with windows 10 to avoid data damage. This post will introduce you 2 ways to make your computer not sleep on Windows 10.

Way 1: How to Disable Sleep Mode on Windows 10 Via Settings

  • Open Setting in Windows by clicking the Settings icon or press Windows + I

Click “System” option in the settings, which including Display, notifications, apps and power

On the System section of Settings, click Power & Sleep on the left side. Find the “Sleep” and expand the drop-down menu, select “Never” to stop computer from sleeping on Windows 10.

Way 2: How to Turn off Windows 10 Sleep Mode in Control Panel

  • Type “Power Option” in the search box and then press Enter to open Power Option window.

Click “Change when the computer sleeps” link in the left pane.

Now you can see the “Put the computer to sleep” option, select “Never” for both “On battery” and “Plugged in” to prevent Windows 10 from going to sleep.

With the 2 easy methods mentioned, you must have understood how to set windows 10 never sleep completely. The changes made to sleep mode will only apply to the current power plan, if you want to turn off sleep mode in all power plans, just switch to that power plan and put computer to never sleep.


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There are few certainties in life: Death, taxes and turning your computer off and on when there’s a problem. This is usually the first piece of advice you get from friends, family and tech support.

Rebooting your computer helps keep it running smoothly. It clears the memory, stopping any tasks that are eating up RAM. Even if you’ve closed an app, it could still tap your memory. A reboot can also fix peripheral and hardware issues. If your computer is still running slow, this one trick could help.

So, how often should you be rebooting your computer? Let’s take a look at how rebooting can impact your system and when exactly you should be doing it.

Give your computer a fresh start

We recommend that you shut down your computer at least once a week. A reboot process returns everything to its boot-up state, from your computer’s CPU to its memory. Tap or click here to see how to properly restart your PC or Mac.

Rebooting your computer involves two steps — shutting down the computer and then starting it up again. When you reboot/restart your computer, it will lose power during the process and start up again on its own.

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Your computer itself will occasionally prompt you to restart it, usually after downloading an update. Newer machines need fewer restarts, but a major software patch usually requires one.

Reduce wear and tear

Your computer is full of moving parts. Its CPU, essentially the brain, has its own fan. High-end graphics cards also need their own cooling system. Though solid-state drives are becoming more popular, most PCs still use hard disk drives, consisting of spinning discs.

All of these components wear down over time and the longer you keep your computer running, the shorter their lifespan will be.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of leaving it on to avoid having to go through the bootup process, but it will help you get more life out of your machine. If you are stepping away for a few hours or would rather not completely shut things down, you can put your PC down for a nap.

Sleep it off

Sleep mode puts your computer into a low-power state. The fans will stop spinning and the hard drive will stop functioning, so things will get quiet.

With sleep mode, your computer’s current state stays in the memory. When you wake up your machine, your open apps, documents, music, etc., will be right where you left them. Tap or click here to see how your iPhone and Apple Watch can help you improve your sleeping habits.

To put your PC in sleep mode:

  1. Open power options:
    • For Windows 10, tap Start >Settings >System >Power & sleep >Additional power settings.
    • For Windows 8.1 / Windows RT 8.1, swipe in from the edge of the screen, tap Search (or if you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Search), enter Power options in the search box and tap Power options.
    • For Windows 7, tap Start >Control Panel >System and Security >Power Options.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you’re using a desktop, tablet, or laptop, select Choose what the power buttons do. Next to When I press the power button, select Sleep >Save changes.
    • If you’re using only a laptop, select Choose what closing the lid does. Next to When I close the lid, select Sleep >Save changes.
  3. When you’re ready to make your PC sleep, press the power button on your desktop, tablet or laptop, or close your laptop’s lid.

On most PCs, you can resume working by pressing your PC’s power button. However, not all PCs are the same. You might be able to wake it by pressing any key on the keyboard, clicking a mouse button or opening the lid on a laptop. Check the manual that came with your computer or go to the manufacturer’s website.

It takes less time to wake up a computer than it does to turn it on after a shutdown, but sleep mode still consumes power. If you want to clear out bugs, memory leeches, nonfunctioning network connections and more, a reboot is the way to go.

Keeping your computer secure helps you avoid malware and direct hacking attempts designed to steal your personal information. Here are some ways you can help reduce your online risk when you use your computer at home.

Tips to protect your computer

Use a firewall
Windows has a firewall already built in and automatically turned on.

Keep all software up to date
Make sure to turn on automatic updates in Windows Update to keep Windows, Microsoft Office, and other Microsoft applications up to date. Turn on automatic updates for non-Microsoft software as well, especially browsers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and other apps you regularly use.

Use antivirus software and keep it current
If you run Windows you have Windows Security or Windows Defender Security Center already installed on your device.

Make sure your passwords are well-chosen and protected
To learn how, see Protect your passwords.

Don’t open suspicious attachments or click unusual links in messages.
They can appear in email, tweets, posts, online ads, messages, or attachments, and sometimes disguise themselves as known and trusted sources.

Browse the web safely
Avoid visiting sites that offer potentially illicit content. Many of these sites install malware on the fly or offer downloads that contain malware. Use a modern browser like Microsoft Edge, which can help block malicious websites and prevent malicious code from running on your computer.

Stay away from pirated material
Avoid streaming or downloading movies, music, books, or applications that do not come from trusted sources. They may contain malware.

Don’t use USBs or other external devices unless you own them
To avoid infection by malware and viruses, ensure that all external devices either belong to you or come from a reliable source.

Protect your personal information online

Your privacy on the internet depends on your ability to control both the amount of personal information that you provide and who has access to that information. Find out how to protect your privacy on the internet.

Protect yourself from scams

When you read email, use social media, or browse the web, you should be wary of scams that try to steal your personal information (also known as identity theft), your money, or both. Many of these scams are known as “phishing scams” because they “fish” for your information. Find out how to protect yourself from phishing scams and avoid tech support scams.

Prevent and remove malware

One important step toward greater workplace security is to protect your computer against malware.

Windows Security

Windows Security (or Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 8 or early versions of Windows 10) is built in to Windows and provides real-time malware detection, prevention, and removal with cloud-delivered protection. It is intended for home, small business, and enterprise customers. For more info, see Help protect my computer with Windows Security.

Other ways to remove malware

To assist all Windows customers, including those who are not running Windows Security, Microsoft provides Microsoft Defender Offline.

Microsoft Defender Offline

Microsoft Defender Offline runs outside of Windows to remove rootkits and other threats that hide from the Windows operating system. This tool uses a small, separate operating environment, where evasive threats are unable to hide from antimalware scanners.

With Windows 10 and 11, Microsoft Defender Offline is built in to the operating system and can run from Windows Security. It is provided as a separate download for previous versions of Windows.