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2,847 Tutorials

Can't shut down Windows 8 PC

What to do if you shut down isn't working properly

If you are having problems shutting down your Windows 8 PC or laptop, our Helproom Editor can help.

HELPROOM QUESTION: Since upgrading my PC from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Pro I've been able to shut it down properly. I select Shut Down, but every time the PC restarts and refuses to stay off. I've had to resort to holding down the power switch until the power is cut, but this is starting to cause problems as Windows now thinks it's having problems starting up and is attempting to repair. Can you fix this?

HELPROOM ANSWER: This problem can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes it's caused by devices such as oversensitive USB mice which are configured to wake the system from sleep and picking up vibrations. Other times it can be due to faulty device drivers.

However, seeing as your system was working correctly right before the upgrade a likely cause in your scenario is the new Hybrid Shutdown mode offered by Windows 8. We've seen this happen on a system where hibernation had been previously disabled, causing some confusion when the system was upgraded with the new shutdown procedure which uses a new form of hibernation which has then failed to work.

To check your own system, go to the desktop and press Windows+X, then select Power Options. Now click on "Choose what the power button does".

Look under "Shutdown settings". Here you should usually find an option called "Turn on fast start-up (recommended)". If this option is missing, you probably have hibernation disabled.

To re-enable it, open up a command prompt as Administrator and type powercfg /H on. Now restart the system and come back to the shutdown settings to see if the fast start-up option has appeared. Make sure it is selected and try shutting down the system again. You don't need to enable the Hibernate option in the list. With any luck it will now shut down correctly.

Other users have sometimes cured shutdown problems by disabling fast start-up if it has already been enabled.

Read the following articles:

For more on the changes in Windows 8 and how to use them visit Windows 8 Advisor. For detailed advice on installing Windows 8 Release Preview, read our article: How to install Windows 8.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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