Demo: Smart ways to turn off your computer

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Watch this demo to learn about the recommended ways to turn off your computer or make it sleep.




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After seeing the title of this video, you might wonder, “How hard can it be to turn off my computer?” Well, believe it or not, there are several ways to do this.

Some ways help you save energy and turn your computer back on really fast. But most important, carefully turning off your computer helps keep your information safe.

Hi, I’m John Swenson, a writer on the Windows team at Microsoft. Today I’m going to show you some recommended ways to shut down your computer or make it sleep.

If you’re using a laptop instead of a desktop computer, you have even more options for how to do this, plus it’s probably even more important for you to save energy, especially when running on battery power.

By default, when you press the power button on your computer case, Windows puts it into an energy-saving mode called sleep. This button does the same thing on a laptop, like I have here, or a desktop computer.

You can also click the sleep button on the Windows start menu. Let’s make this computer go to sleep that way.

Click the Start button and look in the lower-right corner of the Start menu. This is the sleep button—also sometimes referred to as the power button.

Let’s make this computer sleep now.

When your computer goes into sleep mode, Windows automatically saves your work. You might hear the computer's fan stop. Usually, a light on the outside of your computer case blinks to indicate that the computer is sleeping.

Because Windows saves your work, there's no need to close your programs and files before you put your computer into sleep mode. The next time you use your computer, your screen should look exactly as it did before it went to sleep.

To wake your computer, press the power button on your computer case, like this.

When you wake your computer from sleep mode, it should start within seconds, so you can resume work almost immediately.

There are times when you don’t want to make your computer to go to sleep and you’d prefer to shut it down, such as when you're not going to use your computer for an extended period of time.

Shutting down your computer is as easy as making it sleep.

In general, it’s best to leave your computer turned on, however, so it can download important Windows Updates, which it can do from sleep mode.

To turn off your computer completely, click the Start button, point to the arrow next to the Lock button, and then click Shut Down.

This closes any programs you have open, closes Windows, and shuts down your computer.

You can also shut down your computer using its physical power button, but only if you change the default action of the button.

Here’s how to make the power button shut down your computer instead of go to sleep.

First, open Control Panel and type power into the search box.

Under Power Options, click Change what the power buttons do.

On a desktop PC, you can only choose what happens when you press the power button on your PC case.

On a laptop, you can choose what the power button does when you are running on battery power or when you’re plugged in—and you can choose what happens when you close the laptop’s lid.

Right now, I want to change what happens when I press the power button on my laptop. To do that, I’ll click this arrow and select Shut Down. I’ll change this both for when my laptop is running on battery power or plugged in.

I’ll finish by clicking Save changes. Now when I press the power button on my laptop, it will shut down completely, not just go to sleep.

There is one more option we haven't discussed: You can set your computer to enter a state called hibernation, which uses even less power than sleep mode. You can read more about hibernation in Windows Help.

Now you know the various options for turning off your computer. Pick the one that works best for you!