Editor’s Note: Updated 09/08/2012 with alternate methods.
You would think that it would be completely obvious how to shut down your computer, but Microsoft’s new Metro UI (or Windows 8 UI or whatever they want to call it now) obfuscates this and many other common features. Since the new Windows forces a “tablet” experience onto all users regardless of their platform, they must assume that most people will let their PCs enter sleep mode, as most tablets do.
Earlier beta versions of Windows 8 included the familiar Start button, so it was rather easy to figure out how to shut down your PC just by doing that. Alas, there is no more Start button (even in Desktop mode), so most people will not be able to figure out how to shut down their shiny new Windows 8-based computers.
The shutdown procedure is a little more complicated now.
First you have to open the Charms bar (Press Window Key + C).
Click on “Settings”. Then click on “Power”.
Click “Shut Down”.
Wasn’t that easy?
The purpose of this article was to point out the usability differences with Windows 8 in regards to shutting down your PC… the method that MOST people will be looking for and won’t be able to find.
Of course there are some alternate methods. You can tap the power button on your laptop, tablet or PC, but that may not work all the time. For one, your laptop manufacturer could have the button configured to go to sleep mode rather than shutting down. Additionally, there could be a hung program (one of the primary reasons people reboot) that could prevent the button action.
If you press and hold down the power button (about 3 to 5 seconds), then your PC will do a hard shutdown… as in abrubtly power off without saving any data. This is dangerous and could leave your drive “dirty” (meaning it will want to do a disk scan on the next boot, read the fix here), or could corrupt your Windows installation (which means you’ll be reading our fix-it tutorial here.)
You can also press Ctl + Alt + Delete, which will bring up a menu with various options (Lock, Switch User, Sign Out, and Task Manager). In the bottom right corner of the screen is a power button. Click that and you’ll get a shutdown option.
You can also create a short batch file and place it on your desktop. Create a text document in Notepad and type in “shutdown -f”. Save the file to your desktop and name it “Shutdown.bat” or something similar. Of course you could also open up a command prompt and type in this command.
Enjoy your new Windows 8 experience!