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How to Fully Shutdown Windows?

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By default, Windows enables a feature called Fast Startup (Hybrid Shutdown) that can shut down and boot up your PC much faster than Windows 7 or previous versions of Windows.

When "Fast Startup" feature is enabled, Windows will hibernate instead of shutting down. "Fast Startup" closes your active programs and puts the computer into a low-energy hibernation state that allows you to boot up your computer much faster next time.

In this article, we will cover how to do a complete shutdown, instead of hibernating Microsoft Windows.


💡 How to Disable Fast Startup Permanently

To turn off Fast Startup manually, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Control Panel and select Power Options.
  2. Click on Choose what the power buttons do.
  3. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  4. Under Shutdown settings, uncheck the Turn on fast startup box.

Fully shutdown Windows instead of hibernating it

When you click "Shut down" in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, you're not actually shutting it down fully, the way you did in earlier versions of Windows. Even though the menu item is called "Shut down", Windows actually does a partial hibernation, which is why the shutdown process usually takes so long. It does this so that it can boot to Windows faster the next time you turn on the computer.

⚠️ A partial hibernation may sound interesting, but it is not that useful. Especially when using an SSD, you can expect your boot time to be reduced just a few seconds at most. However a full shutdown or restart can effectively fix various issues such as memory leaks and unresponsive services.

Shut down Windows 8/8.1/10/11

If you prefer to have your PC completely shut down, you can either turn off "Fast Startup" feature or use the following methods to totally shutdown Windows.

Method 1: Perform a full shutdown using Shift key

If you would like to perform a hard shutdown, simply hold down the Shift on your keyboard and then click the "Shut down" option in the Start Menu, or on the sign-in screen.

Method 2: Use command line

Open the command prompt by simply typing "cmd" (without the quotes) and hitting the Enter.

Type "shutdown /s /t 0" (without the quotes) in the window that appears, followed by the Enter.

Alternatively, type "shutdown /s /f /t 0" (without the quotes). This command instructs Windows to shut down immediately and forcibly close any open applications.

Windows system uptime

"System uptime" is the amount of time a computer has been running since its last reboot. However, you might be surprised by the system's uptime, which could be several hours or days, even if you have recently powered on your PC. In order for this time to reset, you must either restart your computer or shut it down completely. "Shut down" option in the Start Menu doesn’t reset Windows uptime, but restarting does. You can type "shutdown -r" (without the quotes) using the Windows command line.

You can find and learn Windows uptime by using Task Manager, the command line tool "systeminfo", or a dedicated system uptime software.

Vov System Uptime Icon Vov System Uptime Windows

Fatih Ramazan Çıkan
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Fatih Ramazan Çıkan LinkedIn
Software development enthusiast | Electronics engineer

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Comments Responses (2)

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Dave Kelsen
Jul 29, 2023 at 06:22 pm (PST) | Reply
For what it's worth, holding down the shift key while pressing the 'shutdown' icon does not fully shut down Windows 11. Neither holding the shift key down until the entire machine goes off, nor releasing the shift key after the 'shutdown' process begins results in a shut down computer.
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Jul 30, 2023 at 06:28 am (PST) | Reply
Hello Dave,

Just tested and I can confirm that pressing the shift key does fully shut down Windows 11. You can test yourself using the uptime software. While system uptime does not change in classical shutdown, it is reset with this method.

Windows 11 version 22H2 (OS Build 22621.1848)

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