The average household computer user does not need a computer to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and most people simply power down the computer after use. At one point in time, many computer users actually left their desktop computers powered up overnight, only turning off the monitor in order to save the screen. Today, most experts, including government and public utility agencies, encourage households to turn off computers when not in use, to conserve electricity.
The easiest way to shut down a computer is to press the "Power" button. If you own a desktop or laptop computer, however, this practice of shutting down a Microsoft Windows based PC is highly discouraged. In fact, most computer manufacturers, such as Toshiba, Dell and HP only encourage users to press the "Power" button when no other options will turn the computer off.
The Windows operating system saves your settings and configurations while you use the computer and right before you shut the system down. If you press the Power button, then the OS may not have adequate time to store your configurations before the hard disk drive stops spinning.
There is a proper as well as a safe way to shut down the Windows operating system, so that you don't experience any technical difficulties.
Click the "Save" button in the applications that you are currently using. For example, if you are typing up a document in Microsoft Word, click the save icon at the top of the window. In many cases, applications will save versions of your documents throughout your session. However, you should do a manual save to make sure the correct version gets saved.
Exit out of all applications in Windows completely before you shut Windows down.
Click on the Start button in the bottom left hand corner of the Windows desktop. This reveals the Start Menu. This the menu that gives you access to various applications and features in the Windows operating system. It also hosts the Shut Down button.
Click on the Shut Down button on the Start Menu, if it is present. If not, you may have to open the shut down menu by clicking on the right-pointing arrow that is next to "Switch User" or "Log Off." You have the option to change this button in Windows, so it may be different for you when compared to other users.
Wait while the Windows operating system performs shut down procedures. This take a few seconds to minutes to complete.
Press the "Power" button only if the operating system hangs after you have properly tried to shut down Windows.
You may need to troubleshoot which applications are preventing the Windows OS from properly performing shut down procedures.
Sources and Citations
- "Change what happens when you close your laptop." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Change-what-happens-when-you-close-your-laptop>.
- " Change what happens when you press the power button on your computer." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Change-what-happens-when-you-press-the-power-button-on-your-computer>.
- " Log off from Windows." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Log-off-from-Windows>.
- " Sleep and hibernation: frequently asked questions." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Sleep-and-hibernation-frequently-asked-questions>.
- " Switch users without logging off." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Switch-users-without-logging-off>.
- " The Start menu (overview)." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/The-Start-menu-overview>.
- " Turn the guest account on or off." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Turn-the-guest-account-on-or-off>.
- " Why wont my computer turn on or off quickly?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Why-wont-my-computer-turn-on-or-off-quickly>.
- " Turning off your computer properly." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Turning-off-your-computer-properly>.
- " Turn off a computer: frequently asked questions." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Turn-off-a-computer-frequently-asked-questions>
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