How to instantly (and safely) shut down your Windows 8.1 PC

Let’s face it: yanking the plug is the quickest way to shutdown your computer.  Nothing beats it; however, it’s obviously not the best idea.

The cardinal reason techies admonish people not to do this is because of file corruption.

If Windows is in the middle of writing data to the hard drive and the voltage unceremoniously plummets, you’ll not only forfeit your unsaved files but also damage the spinning platter (assuming you’re using a traditional spinning hard disk)

When talking about “Old School” drives there’s something called the Flying height which is the micro distance between the platter and the head.  This distance is so minuscule that it’s virtually infinitesimal. In fact, if you touched the platter with your finger, the residue from the print could be “too-high” for the head to pass over.  After all, the head is only about 3 nanometers above the platter so there’s not a lot of room for error.

To put that into perspective, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick;  you get the picture.

So yanking the power isn’t an option, so what’s the next fastest way?

Sure you could wrestle your mouse into submission and click the Shutdown button but – c’mon – that’s annoying especially if your mouse is about as intransigent as those demented shopping carts at Costco.

You know what I mean right?  You know the ones where the right wheel spins like a Ferris wheel but the left wheel is adamantly stuck in one position and refuses to move?

If you’re mouse is on the fritz (or you’ve lost your mouse), the keyboard can become a better friend than your dog.

Let me show you two of the fastest mouseless ways to shut down your Windows PC.


Before Windows 8.1, shutting down the PC was a royal pain but with the advent of Windows 8.1 it couldn’t be easier.

Just press the Windows Key on your keyboard, and hit the “u” key twice.  Of course if you have any open applications you’ll have to wait for them to terminate but it’s a pretty quick way to get the job done.

Shutting down Windows 8.1

Alternatively, you can simply press Windows Key + d to bring the Desktop to the foreground and then press Alt + f4 and hit Enter to close down for the night.

Both ways are fast and efficient and beat the heck out of finding that elusive shutdown button.

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: