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How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard? [Mac & Windows]

We explain how to shut it down using Alt+F4, from the start menu, via Command Prompt, and more!

You can turn to keyboard shortcuts to shut down a laptop when it is not responding to a mouse or a touchpad or in case they are unavailable. Many key combinations, such as “Alt+F4” in Windows and “Ctrl+Option+Command+Power” in macOS, help shut down a laptop from the keyboard. 

Key Takeaways

  • Keyboard shortcuts can be useful to shut down a laptop when your mouse/touchpad is not working, or the computer is not responding to its commands.
  • Powering off via “Win+X,” “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” keys, or the “Command Prompt” are a few shortcuts you can use on a Windows laptop.
  • Make sure to save all your unsaved files and close the current tabs before shutting down your laptop to maintain its healthy running.

How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard?

Using the “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” keys and creating a Desktop shortcut are among the several methods I will discuss in this section. Use these when you use your laptop’s keyboard to power the device off.

Also Read: How To Change The Color Of Your Keyboard

Windows Laptop

Windows laptop has a plethora of keyboard shortcuts you can use to turn off the system instead of using a mouse or a touchpad. Before proceeding, also read our similar guide on how to shut down a PC with a keyboard

Ctrl+Alt+Delete Keys

This key combination comes in handy when your laptop is stuck or frozen and is not responding to the cursor. While these keys are commonly used to access Task Manager, it also lets you shut down the computer.

  1. Altogether, press the three keys on your keyboard, Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Ctrl+Alt+Delete Keys (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. You will see a message, “Preparing Security Options,” briefly.
  3. Next, there should be five options on your screen. 
  4. Notice the “Power” symbol on the bottom left edge of this window.
    Shut Down From Task Manager
    Shut Down From Task Manager (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Navigate to it using the “Tab” and “Arrow” keys. 
  6. Once highlighted, press “Enter.”
  7. Select “Shut Down” to proceed.

Win+X Keys

Another way to shut down via the keyboard is by using the “Windows+X” keys. The side menu makes it quicker and easier to navigate to the power option.

  1. Press the “Windows+X” keys together.
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Win+X Keys (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Notice a menu bar open up from the bottom left corner.
  3. Go to “Shut Down Or Sign Out.”
  4. Pick “Shut Down” from the mini-menu.
    Shut Down From Menu Bar
    Shut Down From Menu Bar (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Also Read: How To Unlock Keyboard On HP Laptop [SOLVED]


Press the key combination, “Alt+F4.” Once the dialog box appears, select “Shut Down.” Then, click “OK” to go ahead with the process.

How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
Alt+F4 Keys (Image By Tech4Gamers)

From The Start Menu

This is the most common way of shutting down a laptop, though not everybody knows how to launch the “Start” menu from the keyboard. Hence, I have simplified the steps for you below.

  1. Tap the “Windows” key to access the “Start” menu.
    Windows Key
    Windows Key (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Use the “Tab” and “Arrow” keys to come to the “Power” symbol.
    Power Menu
    Power Menu (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Hit “Enter” to view the “Power Options.”
  4. “Shut Down” from the sub-box.
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Shut Down From Start Menu (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Create A Desktop Shortcut

Instead of going to different menus, you can just put up a shortcut on your Desktop and conveniently use it to turn off the laptop. Before proceeding, get an overview of how long laptops last.

  1. Come to the “Desktop” and right-click anywhere on the screen.”
  2. From the mini-menu, highlight “New.”
  3. Choose “Shortcut.”
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Create Shortcut (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Type the code %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0 in the window and select “Next.”
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Shut Down Code (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Name the shortcut and confirm its creation by hitting “Finish.”
    Finish (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  6. The icon will now appear on your “Desktop.” 
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Shut Down Shortcut (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  7. Clicking on it will force your laptop to shut down.

Also Check: How To Change Corsair Keyboard Color

Create A Shortcut Key

Specifying a shortcut key to turn off the computer is another method you can use. However, make sure to choose a key you do not use often to avoid shutting down your laptop unintentionally. 

  1. Again, head to the “Desktop” and right-click on the shortcut you created in the above step.
  2. Go to “Properties.”
    Properties (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. A new window will pop up. Stay on the “Shortcut” tab.
  4. Specify any key in the “Shortcut Key” section, such as “Number 4”.
  5. Select “Apply” and “OK” to save the shortcut key.
    Select Shortcut Key
    Select Shortcut Key (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  6. Once set, you can press the specified key to shut down your laptop anytime.

Via The Power Button

You can force shut down your laptop by long-pressing the “Power” key on your keyboard. However, this is only recommended when your computer is not responding to any other key. Frequently forcing your laptop to shut down can affect its battery life and overall functioning.

How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
Power Key (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Change Power Button Settings

Windows laptop lets you modify what you want to use the “Power” key for. For instance, with a few tweaks in its settings, you can directly turn off the laptop by simply pressing the button.

  1. Go to the “Control Panel” from the “Desktop.”
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Control Panel (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Pick “Hardware And Sound.”
    Hardware And Sound (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Click on “Power Options.”
    Power Options
    Power Options (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Using the tab, head to the left pane and select the first option, “Choose What The Power Button Does.”
    Choose What Power Button Does
    Choose What Power Button Does (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. You will see two boxes next to “When I Press The Power Button.”
  6. Select “Shut Down” from the drop-down in both boxes.
  7. Hit the “Save Changes” button.
    Change Settings
    Change Settings (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  8. Now, pressing the “Power” key will shut down your laptop.

By Closing The Lid

Your laptop can be set up to shut down when the lid is closed. Use “Step 1 to Step 3” from the above section, then proceed with the following.

  1. Just below the option “When I Press The Power Button,” you will see another setting, “When I Close The Lid.”
  2. Set it to “Shut Down” as well through the drop-downs.
  3. Press the “Save Changes” button on the bottom.
    Choose What Closing Lid Does (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Closing the lid will now shut down your laptop.

Also Read: How To Connect Brother Printer To A Laptop Wirelessly

Via Command Prompt

Command Prompt can perform a long list of functions on your computer, though you have to enter the correct code for the desired task. 

  1.  Launch the “Run” box by pressing the “Win+R” keys.
    Win+R Keys (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Type “cmd” and hit “OK” to open the Command Prompt window.
    Run Box (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Execute the code “shutdown.exe /p /f” to perform a force shutdown.
    Shut Down Code In Command Prompt
    Shut Down Code In Command Prompt (Image By Tech4Gamers)

macOS Laptop

I have got you covered, even if you own a Mac. Apple also offers many ways to power off its laptop via keyboard shortcuts, which I have mentioned below. On the other hand, learn what to do if your Mac is low on memory.


Holding these four keys, “Ctrl+Option+Command+Power,” on your Mac laptop will give you access to the power options, including the choice to shut down the system. 

Ctrl+Option+Command+Power Keys
Ctrl+Option+Command+Power Keys (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Power Button

Similar to a Windows laptop, long-pressing the “Power” button will force shut down a macOS laptop. Again, I want to remind you to save any open files to avoid losing important unsaved data.

Power Key
Power Key (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Also Read: How To Perform Disk Check? [Mac, Windows & Linux]

Apple Menu

One of the options Apple menu offers is to shut down your macOS laptop. Thus, navigate to the menu to safely turn off your device.

  1. Use the “Tab” and “Navigation” keys to move to the “Apple” menu on the extreme left of the top pane.
  2. Press “Enter” to open the sub-menu.
  3. Select “Shut Down.”
    How To Shut Down Laptop From Keyboard
    Shut Down From Apple Menu (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Use Terminal

Like Command Prompt in Windows, macOS offers Terminal to its users. There are different codes for each function you want the Terminal to carry out.

  1. Start by launching the “Spotlight” bar with the “Command+Space” buttons.
    how to shut down laptop from keyboard
    Command+Space Keys (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Search for “Terminal.”
  3. Enter the code “sudo shutdown -h time.” Instead of “time,” allocate a time limit after which you want your laptop to power off, such as 10 minutes (sudo shutdown -h +10). However, if you want it to turn off instantly, the code would be “sudo shutdown -h now.”
    sudo shutdown
    sudo shutdown (Image By OSXDaily)
  4. Type your password and hit “OK.”

Final Words

Conclusively, knowing how to shut down a laptop from the keyboard can be used when experiencing system freezes or if the system becomes unresponsive to cursor commands. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Shut Down My Windows Laptop From Keyboard?

For a Windows laptop, use “Alt+F4,” “Win+X,” or create a shortcut key to turn off the system quickly.

How Do I Shut Down My MacOS Laptop From Keyboard?

You can power off via the “Ctrl+Option+Command+Power” keys, the “Power” button, and more.

Does A Force Shut Down Harm My Laptop’s Health?

It is not ideal to force your laptop to shut down, usually by holding the power button. It can result in data loss, damage the system’s battery, and adversely affect the laptop’s operation.

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Uzair Qureshi
Uzair Qureshi
I'm a passionate computer hardware expert specializing in CPUs and GPUs. With a lifelong curiosity for hardware and extensive hands-on experience, I provide valuable insights, practical advice, and in-depth analysis on these components. Engaging with the hardware community, I exchange knowledge and stay at the forefront of technological advancements.


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