Despite Windows being one of the most popular operating systems in the world, many people don’t about keyboard shortcuts!

There are a TON of different keyboard shortcuts, all intended to make using the computer a bit faster.

An example of a commonly used shortcut is CTRL + V, otherwise known as the Paste Shortcut. No more right-click-pasting!

Today, we are going to take a look at some of the ways you can shut down or sleep your computer using keyboard shortcuts. By the end, you should be able to sleep or power off your laptop/desktop in no time!

Let’s get started.

What is a Keyboard Shortcut?

A keyboard shortcut is a certain combination on your keyboard that can be pressed to trigger a certain action. If you are doing a lot of work in a certain program, learning the keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time, especially if the action you are performing is hidden in a menu somewhere.

One of the most common sets of keyboard shortcuts is the copy, cut, and paste ones. Copy is CTRL + C, cut is CTRL + X, and paste is CTRL + C. If you are doing a lot of copying and pasting, these little shortcuts can be performed with your left hand while your right is busy doing other things on-screen.

Now that you know what a keyboard shortcut is, let’s see how we can sleep or shut down Windows using them.

Fingers using keyboard shortcut
You might know the popular keyboard shortcuts, but we bet you didn’t know about these!

4 Ways to Shut Down or Sleep Windows with a Keyboard Shortcut

Alt + F4

The Alt + F4 shortcut is a pretty well-known option.

On Windows 11, this combination will pull up the “shut down menu” where you can decide to either sleep or shut down your computer. If you choose to shut down the computer, it will also close all of your running apps for you.

The only caveat with this shortcut is that it can also be used to close windows that you are currently using. If you press Alt + F4 while in a browser, for example, it will immediately close your browser. If you don’t have a window selected, it should pull up the menu with your various shut down options.

CTRL + ALT + DELETE

CTRL + ALT + DELETE is another well-known shortcut that many people are aware of.

This shortcut is most often used to access the Task Manager menu and monitor computer performance or close applications, but it can also be used to sign out of your account, sleep, and even shut down your system.

To log out, press CTRL + ALT + DELETE and select the sign out/log out options in the center of your screen. To sleep or shut down, press CTRL + ALT + DELETE and press the power symbol on the bottom right of your computer screen (there should be a total of three options down there). You can then select to sleep or shut down your computer.

WINDOWS + X

The WINDOWS + X shortcut isn’t as well known to the average user, but it can be super helpful.

Pressing WINDOWS + X will pull up the Power User Menu. On the Power User Menu are a few options, including Apps and Features, Power Options, Task Manager, Settings, and a lot more. Near the bottom of the menu, usually the second from the bottom, is the shut down or sign out options. As they state, you can either shut down or sign out of your current session. This command is a useful one since you can open PowerShell, Command Prompt, and a lot more from this helpful menu. Still, even if you aren’t an advanced “Power User”, you may find it helpful.

WINDOWS

As simple as it sounds, you can also just press the WINDOWS key in order to pull up the Start Menu. From the Start Menu, you can click the Power Button at the bottom right (for Windows 11) and then select sleep or shut down.

Which Shortcut is Best?

As a general rule, the best shortcut to shut down or sleep your computer is whichever one you prefer! Some prefer tapping the WINDOWS key and selecting shut down from there, but it does require a mouse to work, so if that’s something you mind, then a key combination might be better for you.

If you are having mouse problems and are trying to shut down your computer, ALT + F4 may be the best option for you. Since you can use the TAB key and ENTER to select your choice, you can finish the process without ever having to touch your mouse. Just be careful that you don’t accidentally close a window that you might need!

4 Ways To Shut Down or Sleep Windows with Keyboard Shortcuts FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the fastest way to shut down Windows?

You can quickly shut down Windows by pressing ALT + F4 and pressing ENTER.

How many keyboard shortcuts does Windows have?

There are over 100 keyboard shortcuts, but many people use around 10-20 regularly.

What is a keyboard shortcut?

A keyboard shortcut is a time-saving process where certain keys are pressed to trigger a certain action on the computer.

What is a function key?

A function key is a key on a keyboard that usually has specific software assigned to its use. On a standard keyboard, they are numbered F1-F12.

What does CTRL + ALT + DELETE do?

The CTRL + ALT + DELETE shortcut opens up a Windows menu where you can select to open the Task Manager, monitor your computer, shut down or sleep your computer, or sign out of your current account.

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