How to restart a Windows computer ? 9 different ways

9 different ways to reboot a Windows computer to reset some settings.

In this tutorial, we will cover various methods to reboot a Windows PC using Command Prompt (CMD) and other techniques. This technical MS tutorial covers various methods to safely restart your Windows computer, including using the Start menu, Power User menu, keyboard shortcuts, Command Prompt, but also using batch files or shortcuts. By following these techniques, you can maintain system performance, troubleshoot issues, and ensure a stable computing environment. Which is for anyone using any computer at work or at home, very important.

Why restarting Windows fixes many computer problems ?

Restarting a computer can resolve various issues, such as software crashes, memory leaks, and system performance degradation. When you restart your computer, all running applications and processes are closed, freeing up memory and resources. Upon restart, the operating system loads fresh, resolving any lingering issues. Windows is the most used operating system in the world, and sometimes when misconfigured it can cause issues. However, for real time and mission critical purpose, is it not the most stable operating system available.

How to reboot a computer safely ?

To safely restart a Windows computer, it is recommended to save all your documents and close all the opened applications. Then you can use the Start menu, Ctrl+Alt+Del, or the shutdown /r command in the Command Prompt. Following the steps outlined in this tutorial ensures a smooth reboot without causing additional problems.

1. Restarting Windows 11, 10, or 8

On the 3 latest Windows versions, the procedure is similar. Note that we do not cover the Windows Server versions, but most of the technics from this tutorial ca be applied also to servers.

Using the Start Menu

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Select the power icon at the bottom (Windows 11/10) or top (Windows 8) of the screen.
  3. Select “Restart.”

Using the Power User Menu

  1. Press the Win (Windows) key and X to open the Power User Menu.
  2. Go to “Shut down or sign out.”
  3. Select “Restart.”

2. Restarting Windows 7, Vista, or XP

  1. Open the Start menu from the taskbar.
  2. In Windows 7 and Vista, select the small arrow next to the right of the “Shut down” button.
  3. In Windows XP, select “Shut Down” or “Turn Off Computer.”
  4. Choose “Restart.”

3. Restarting a Computer with Ctrl+Alt+Del

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the shutdown dialog box.
  2. Choose the power icon to access the “Restart” option.
    • Windows 11, 10, and 8: The power icon is on the bottom right of the screen.
    • Windows 7 and Vista: The arrow is next to the red power button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
    • Windows XP: Select “Shut Down” from the menu, then “Restart.”

4. Restarting a Computer with Alt+F4

  1. Close all open windows to focus on the Desktop.
  2. Select a blank area on the Desktop and press Alt+F4.
  3. In the menu that appears, choose “Restart” and click “OK.”

5. Restarting Windows from Command Prompt

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Enter the following command: shutdown /r
  3. Wait for the computer to restart.

Here another tutorial on how to copy files using PowerShell scripts.

6. Restarting a PC with a Batch File or Shortcut

  1. To restart a computer with a batch file, enter the following command: shutdown /r -t 60
  2. To create a Desktop shortcut, right-click the Desktop, go to “New” > “Shortcut,” and enter the command as it’s written above.

By following this tutorial, you can safely reboot your Windows computer using various methods, including CMD. Remember to save your work and close all open applications before restarting to avoid potential data loss or corruption. Regularly restarting your computer can help maintain its performance and resolve minor issues that may arise during daily use. Additionally, it is essential to keep your operating system and software up to date to ensure stability and security.

7. Scheduled Restart Using Task Scheduler

You can schedule an automatic restart using the Windows Task Scheduler to ensure your computer reboots at a specific time or interval.

  1. Press the Win (Windows) key and type “Task Scheduler,” then open the application.
  2. In the Task Scheduler window, click on “Create Basic Task” in the right pane.
  3. Enter a name and description for the task, then click “Next.”
  4. Choose when you want the task to start (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc.), and click “Next.”
  5. Specify the start time and recurrence pattern, then click “Next.”
  6. Select “Start a program” and click “Next.”
  7. Click the “Browse” button, navigate to C:\Windows\System32, and select “shutdown.exe.”
  8. In the “Add arguments (optional)” field, type “/r” and click “Next.”
  9. Review the task settings, then click “Finish.”

Your computer will now automatically restart according to the schedule you’ve set.

8. Restarting Windows in Safe Mode

In some cases, you may need to restart your computer in Safe Mode to troubleshoot or fix issues. Safe Mode starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services, allowing you to isolate and fix problems.

  1. Press the Win (Windows) key and type “msconfig,” then open the “System Configuration” application.
  2. In the “System Configuration” window, click the “Boot” tab.
  3. Check the box next to “Safe boot” and choose “Minimal.”
  4. Click “OK” and choose “Restart” when prompted.

Your computer will restart in Safe Mode. To exit Safe Mode and restart your computer normally, repeat steps 1-4 and uncheck the box next to “Safe boot.”

9. Restart the PC if Windows if it freezes

If any of the options above canot be applied because an application is locked and the screen freezes, then you can use this way, that is not recommended : Press the laptop or workstation power button for a few seconds, usually 10 seconds are enough.

Conclusion on Windows rebooting options

That’s it for this tutorial that explains how to restart a Windows computer using multiple technics. By understanding and utilizing these various methods to easily restart a Windows computer, you can maintain optimal performance, troubleshoot issues, and ensure a stable and secure system. It is also a very good practice to keep the Windows operating system up to date and to update the drivers for your machine and all peripherals. Here is another Windows tutorial to customize your PC and enable the Windows 10 Dark Mode.

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