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Stupid Geek Tricks: Restart Windows 8.x Using Just the Keyboard

Everybody knows that to shut down Windows you’ve always had to click on the Start button… but what if you don’t want to click? What if your mouse broke or you are just feeling lazy and don’t want to reach over? Here’s how to restart or shut down Windows 8 using just the keyboard.

In previous editions of Windows, you could easily do this by popping up the Start menu and navigating with the Windows key and then the arrow keys, but Windows 8.x has that really annoying Start Screen that they are thankfully removing in the next version. So how do you manage it in the meantime?

It’s really simple.

First, use WIN + X to pull up the power tools menu.

Then use the U key on the keyboard to pop out the “Shut down or sign out” menu.

Now you can use the U key to immediately shut down, or R for restart, S for sleep, or I for sign out. You are now a keyboard ninja. Be proud of yourself.

Update: Mr Wizard in the comments points out that you can also click on the desktop (or just make sure the desktop is the active window) and use ALT + F4 to bring up the shutdown dialog.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/6/14