How to Shut Down a Windows 8 Laptop


imageWhile the title of this article might seem ridiculous, it’s really not a joke, the Windows 8 interface is going to be a big change and it’s already been demonstrated that “average users” (such as Chris Pirillo’s Dad) might be left with their heads spinning just trying to figure out how to open a program.  Another one of those tasks that has changed is the simple act of turning off or putting to sleep your laptop.  The Windows Start button that’s been there since Windows XP is now gone and there’s no way to get it back, so the simple act of clicking “Start > Shut Down” doesn’t work.  While you can huff and puff all you want as to how ridiculous this is, Microsoft isn’t backing down and insist once users get used to the changes it will be more intuitive and natural to use than any previous Windows release, and it will of course work well for tablets and touchscreens on which the Start button is kind of awkward to use.  So, adapt or die as they say, Windows 8 will soon be the only OS available on PC laptops come 2013 and you’ll need to know how to turn it off.

First we offer a video that shows a few ways of how to perform the shut down of a Windows 8 laptop:

How to Shut Down or Sleep a Windows 8 Laptop

Watching the video is the surest way to learn how to do this, but here’s a written explanation for the four most straight forward methods:

  1. Drag your cursor over to the right side of the screen, a bar will pop out called the “Charms Bar”, click on the settings icon shaped like a gear and a few more icons will pop out one of which is a power icon, left click on that power icon and it’ll ask if you want to shut down, restart or sleep.
  2. Hold down the Windows Key + “I” at the same time to open up a panel that again has a power icon on it that you can use to shut down the laptop.
  3. Hold down Alt + “F4” key and a dialog box will pop up that gives you the option to shut down, restart or put to sleep the laptop.
  4. Log out of your profile by going to the home screen (screen with tiles), to get to the tiles screen from your desktop you need to drag the cursor to the lower left corner of the screen.  Once on the tiles screen click on the user profile icon in the top right corner and choose to sign out.  After you have signed out there’s an option to power off the laptop on the lower right side of the profile screen.

There’s also a way to configure your Windows 8 laptop so that it shuts down or goes to sleep when you simply close the lid.  To do this you need to go to your Control Panel, which is a chore to find in and of itself.  You need to right click in the lower left corner of the screen to bring up a menu with a shortcut to the Control Panel.  From within the Control Panel go to Power Options and then System Settings, once there you can configure what your laptop does when you close the lid or push the power button.  You can configure it so that that doing either will properly shut down the laptop or put it into hibernate. 

Windows 8 Control Panel

For those who are trying to decide whether they want to wait for Windows 8 to buy a laptop or get one now with Windows 7, my recommendation is to simply buy something you can find that fits your needs now and then if you want to upgrade to Windows 8 later you can do so for only $14.99 by purchasing the upgrade from the Windows Upgrade Offer website Microsoft is operating.  You can get the $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade for any laptop purchased between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 203.  The offer lasts until February 28, 2013 so you have a while to decide whether you’d want to upgrade and see how initial reactions are to the Windows 8 OS.  Obviously there are a lot of changes and some might simply be more comfortable using Windows 7 for the next few years, even if it isn’t the latest OS.

3 Responses to How to Shut Down a Windows 8 Laptop

  1. QuestionHERE August 21, 2012 at 3:06 am #

    I have a question: can I get that windows 8 downloaded saved on the computer or disk and not install it till maybe 1-2 years later or is their a exp date after you download it?

    • LenardG August 21, 2012 at 5:59 am #

      You will probably be able to do this. There is no expiry date except for the initial purchase. It was said in one of the Windows Blogs that you can perform a clean install as well, so that implies you can burn your image and install it later.

  2. LenardG August 21, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Another way to shutdown is to press Windows+C, which brings up the charms bar. You can use the cursor keys and ENTER to navigate there and select shutdown. No mouse needed :-)

    Also, at least with my Thinkpad X201i, by default, Windows 8 did kind of “hybrid sleep” when I selected shutdown. It might be some kind of configuration, I don’t know. As I have an SSD, I just disabled hibernation, after which the notebook shuts down properly.

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