139 - How to Turn Off the Computer

The power button is a round or square button that powers an electronic device on and off. The button on a computer that is pushed in and released to turn the computer on. It should not normally be used to turn the computer off. Nearly all electronic devices have power buttons or power switches.

Turning Off a Computer

Use the mouse to click on the Start Button at the lower left hand side of the desktop. When the menu appears, click on Turn Off Computer. Finally, click on Turn Off. This is the sequence for a computer with the Windows XP operating system. It may be slightly different if you have a different version of Windows, but the idea is the same.

How to Force a Computer to Turn Off

There are occasions when a computer is not able to turn off. If it gets stuck and will not finish turning off, you may need to use the power button. To do this, hold the power button in until you hear the computer stop and see the screen go blank. Doing this may result in an error message when you turn the computer back on, but will usually not harm the computer.

Once the computer is off, you can press the same power button once to turn it back on. This type of restart is called a hard reboot or hard reset.

Turning Sleep and Hibernate a Computer

Pressing the power button once, most computers are set up to sleep or hibernate when the power button is pressed once, at least if the computer is working properly.


You should rarely use the power button to turn a desktop or laptop computer OFF. There are a few housekeeping chores a computer needs to do before it turns off, and by using the power button you prevent the computer from turning off in a controlled manner.

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