We all want our computers to move as fast as we do, so it can be frustrating when you want to turn your PC off, and it won’t respond. First, be patient and give it 10 minutes to try to respond and shut down properly. If the computer remains on, here are a few tips to safely force it to close.
The most common reason Windows will not shut down is because it is waiting for programs to finish running or a task is stalled. Start by assuming this is the cause and try pressing “CTRL-ALT-DEL”. You will get a screen that, depending on the version of Windows you are running, will allow you to log-off, close any open programs, or force the shutdown completely. Through this Task Manager box that is brought up, be sure there are no programs still running (eg. A print job is still processing). If programs are listed as still running, you can either wait for them to finish and the box to clear, or force close them through the options in Task Manager. Then try to log-off and shut down.
If this doesn’t work, disconnect the power supply to the computer, or hold the power button for approximately 10 seconds. Once it is forced off, reboot the computer and shut it down properly. If it still will not shut down, you can try starting it in Safe Mode. Again, disconnect the power or force the power button to shut it down. Power back on the computer and hold the F8 button before you get the Windows screen to start loading. From the Windows Advanced Options Menu, select “Safe Mode” Once your computer has started in this mode, shut it down, reboot and attempt to shut down properly.
If you were successful in shutting down your computer in Safe Mode, the problem may have been bad drivers, a virus, or a software problem. To fix these, start by following the directions to download for free and use Quick StartUp to disable programs you don’t need or use from loading when you start your computer. If there are outdated or poor software programs on your PC, it will be helpful for you to download or purchase updates or remove them completely. To fix a driver problem, press the Windows key + R. In the text box, type devmgmt.msc and Enter. You will get a list that you can expand using the + buttons to view the devices on your computer. When you double click, you there is a Drivers tab where you can select to install updates to the driver software for the things most likely to be causing your shut down problems (try the wireless card, Ethernet card, graphics programs, battery drivers or power management drivers). After attempting these fixes, try to start and shut down your computer properly to see if this solved the problem.
If you are still having issues, or you think you have a Virus, download an anti-virus program and run a scan (or use your existing Virus program to do the scan). We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, which you can download for free. The scan will alert you of any viruses and inform you of what you need to do. If you need to schedule an appointment to have a virus removed, you can call us at 505-954-4400.
One of the other things that can affect how your computer shuts down is the Power Options. So it may be useful to check and make sure your settings are to actually turn off the PC when you press the Power Button, and not put it in Stand-By or Hibernate mode. Under Control Panel, go to Power Options and you can select what happens when you press the Power Button.
If none of the above work, you can resort to trying a System Restore. To do this, from the Start Menu, select All Programs/Accessories/System Toos/System Restore. This will allow you to restore the settings on your computer to a previous time (eg. Several days ago when it did power off properly).
If after attempting the troubleshooting options above you are still have problems, consider bringing in your computer for a diagnostic appointment in-shop or scheduling an on-site tech to come to your residence. There may be more complicated issues with your hardware where parts need to be replaced, such as the hard drive, keyboard, or motherboard. Our support specialists would be happy to take a look and make recommendations for how to get your computer in healthy condition again.