Shutting down (turning off) your PC, making it sleep or hibernating it

Watch a video about how to shut down (turn off) your PC. (To view captions in your language, tap or click the Closed captioning button Closed Captioning button.)

There are three ways to shut down your PC – you can turn the PC off completely, you can make it sleep or you can hibernate the PC.

Turning off your PC completely

If you're going on holiday and don't plan to use your PC for a while, you might want to turn it off completely. Before you start shutting down, remember to close any desktop applications you have – this will prompt you to save your work.

Some types of PCs also have a Power button on the Start screen. If your PC has a Power button Power button, tap or click it, then tap or click Shut down.

Note

  • The Power button on the Start screen is available only in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update. How can I get the update?

If you can't see the Power button on your Start screen, here's how to shut down:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click Power, then tap or click Shut down.

Here are some other ways to shut down your PC:

Show all

Shutting down from the Start button

In Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, there's a faster way to shut down desktops and laptops.

  1. Move your mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen and right-click the Start button or press Windows logo key Windows logo key+X on your keyboard.
  2. Tap or click Shut down or sign out and choose Shut down.

    Menu showing shut-down options

Note

  • If you're on the desktop, you can also shut down using touch. Press and hold the Start button on the bottom-left corner of the screen, tap Shut down or sign out, and choose Shut down.

Shutting down PCs with InstantGo

With InstantGo, your PC wakes up instantly from sleep with your applications and data up to date. Your experience can last all day with extended battery life, so if you bought a Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 PC that came with InstantGo, there's really no need to shut down completely. If you want, there's a quicker way of doing this:

  1. Press and hold the power button on your PC (about four seconds) until you see Slide to shut down your PC on the screen.

  2. Then, swipe down or drag the lock screen down with your mouse.

    If you change your mind, swipe up or drag the lock screen up with your mouse to go back to what you were doing on your PC.

Sleep

This uses very little power, your PC starts up faster and you're instantly back to where you were before. You don't have to worry that you'll lose your work because of your battery draining because Windows automatically saves all your work and turns off the PC if the battery is too low. Use sleep when you're going to be away from your PC for just a little while – like when you're taking a coffee break.

For a lot of PCs (especially laptops and tablets), your PC goes to sleep when you close your lid or press the power button. Here's how to check if this is what happens and to change it if it doesn't.

Making your PC sleep

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re using a desktop or tablet, tap or click Choose what the power button does, and under Power button settings, select Sleep and tap or click Save changes.

    • If you’re using a laptop, tap or click Choose what closing the lid does. Then, next to When I close the lid, choose what you want your laptop to do, when it's running on battery and when it's plugged in, and then tap or click Save changes.

  3. When you’re ready to make your PC sleep, just close your laptop's lid or press the power button on your desktop or tablet.

Hibernating

This option was designed for laptops and might not be available for all PCs (PCs with InstantGo don't have the hibernate option). Hibernate uses less power than sleep and when you start up the PC again, you’re back to where you left off (though not as fast as sleep). Use hibernation when you know that you won't use your laptop or tablet for an extended period and won't have an opportunity to charge the battery during that time. First check to see if this option is available on your PC and if it is, turn it on.

Hibernating your PC

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. Tap or click Choose what the power button does and under Shutdown settings, select Hibernate (if it's available).

Now you'll see hibernate in these two places:

  • In the Power menu in the Settings charm.

  • In the Shut-down menu.

    To get here, move the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen and right-click or press the Start button, or on your keyboard, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key+X.