I am working remotely via the Windows Remote Desktop app. The start menu on the remote desktop has become non-responsive. (I can't get a look at the calendar or the notifications either. But all the other icons on the task bar seem OK.) So, is there some way for me to re-boot the remote desktop? I obviously can't use "restart" from the non-operable start menu! When I try other methods I have found, my home desktop interprets them as telling it, not the remote, to re-boot. Any ideas? One more thing: I don't have admin privileges on the machine and can't much of anything beyond what can be done on the desktop. For instance, ctrl-alt-del to get the task manager is a non-starter.

  • Try Winkey + X to see that menu, choose Admin Command prompt and shutdown /r to restart it. Try that and see if it works for you
    – John
    May 19, 2020 at 19:38
  • Does Windowskey-R still work ? Does right-click menu on teh desktop still work ?
    – Tonny
    May 19, 2020 at 19:38
  • @John Thanks, but no go. May 19, 2020 at 19:40
  • @Tonny Windowskey-R, yes. I can right-click in the main desktop, but right-click is not detected in the task bar. May 19, 2020 at 19:42

5 Answers 5


Press WIN+ R, then run the command
shutdown /s /t 0 to power off or
shutdown /r /t 0 to restart your machine.


  • I need to restart. Would that be "shutdown -s -t 0 /r" ? May 19, 2020 at 19:43
  • 1
    Why -s -t when the docs clearly say it would be /s /t etc ? Is this a specific Run command format? and why the enclosing quotes?
    – Tetsujin
    May 20, 2020 at 15:20
  • 1
    @tetsujin you're right. I was using the old syntax which I used so far. I updated my answer with lastest syntax.
    – Jorge Luiz
    May 20, 2020 at 19:13
  • @bob.scamento, "shutdown -s -t 0 /r" doesn't work because you're trying to use both parameters "-s" and "/r" but "shutdown -s -t 0" and "shutdown /r /t0" would work very well. "-" is the old syntax and the "/" is new syntax accord to with the shutdown documentation. Just to use the cmd shutdown as I mentioned on my answer, I've just update it.
    – Jorge Luiz
    May 20, 2020 at 19:20

If right-click on Desktop still works you can go directly to **

If not:Can you open ANY application that has a File-Open menu?
If so do that.
The File-Browser can be abused as a mini File-Explorer.

Navigate to the Desktop.
Right-click on the emtpy space (not an a file or a folder) and select New->Shortcut.
Set the application for the shortcut to shutdown -s -t 0.
Then double-click the shortcut.


Did you try getting to the Task Manager the 'fast' way?
Ctrl ⌃ Shift ⇧ Esc
which saves having to go through the first screen.

Personally what I do for machines I need remote access to a lot is to put a couple of .bat files on the desktop, one for reboot, one for shutdown [using shutdown.exe /g /f /t 00 or shutdown.exe /p /f].
Saves all the messing around ;-)


The fastest way to shut down a Windows computer without needing to use the Start menu is by clicking on the desktop to focus on it and then pressing Alt + F4. This brings up the shutdown menu without having to go through the Start menu.

Also, if your Start menu is not responding, a quick fix for that would be to bring up the task manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, going into the Process tab and ending the task named explorer.exe. This will close all your open folder windows and make the Taskbar disappear. You can enable it again by going into File -> Run and then entering explorer.exe.


In RDP CTRL + ALT + END will send CTRL + ALT + DELETE to the RDP server.

Pressing ALT + F4 on the desktop in full screen mode (depending on your settings) will give you a screen to exit windows as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.