On my Windows XP I simply press Start -> U to see the Windows shutdown menu, so I can choose whether to shut down or restart or standby or whatever.

Is there a similarly elegant way to do that on Windows 7, without touching the mouse?

  • 3
    just press and hold the power button for 5 seconds Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 22:22
  • 4
    just press the power button once ;-) Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 8:31

9 Answers 9


Try Win+D, followed by Alt+F4. Attempting to close the shell should display the shutdown dialog.

  • 4
    This work on pretty much ANY version of windows.
    – tylerl
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 0:22
  • 23
    Bear in mind that this WONT work if you had pressed WIN+D once BEFORE this sequence. [WIN],[ESCAPE],[ALT]+[F4] is a more robust solution which you know will work even when you can't see the screen. You send ALT-F4 to the start button.
    – tylerl
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 0:26
  • 17
    Shorter is to hit Win followed by ALT+F4 twice. Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 2:35
  • 14
    +1 for getting me to close my web broaswer because I didn't hit Win D first... Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 3:39
  • For me, this popups an alert Are you sure you want to exit Virtuawin.
    – Konerak
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 11:25

Win , , space = shutdown

Win , , = shutdown menu ( or to navigate)

  • 3
    Don't forget to mention that shutdown is still accessible from Ctrl+Alt+Del, using tab or the arrow keys.
    – JdeBP
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 1:28
  • 8
    Actually, the first combination executes the default action (that can be overridden to be Sleep, for instance) Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 4:38
  • It's worth to change the default action to lock in order to avoid accidental shut downs. This happened to me more than once, before I changed it. After the change the items in the shutdown menu are still accessible with the keyboard via their shortcut key (u - shutdown, s - sleep, h -hibernate, etc.)
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 11:57
  • Win-R

  • type shutdown -t 0

  • enter

About the shutdown command

  • 5
    +1 for command line goodness and shutdown -f -t 0 will make sure this happens
    – Nixphoe
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 19:44

in order (not together)

  1. Win

  2. U

  • thanks, Jeff. I've yet to take the time to learn all the nuances of this site.
    – StevenV
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 12:58
  • 1
    +1 for explaining "in order (not together)". I didn't understand the answers above till you pointed this out.
    – User
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 4:22

Another way is to press Ctrl+Alt+Del, then Shift-Tab twice, followed by Enter or Space.

This way is useful if you want to shut down without installing Windows Updates: Normally Windows 7 has no way to shut down without installing updates like XP did, but this way you can get to a shutdown menu with separate entries for Shut down and Shut down after installing updates.

  • 4
    This doesn't work if Process Explorer is wired up for Ctrl+Alt+Del (menu Options/Replace Task Manager). Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 8:38

Why not just configure your power button to shut your computer down? Just go to "Control Panel"/"Power Options" and click on "Chose what the power buttons do".

Alternatively, I just press Win, left arrow key (followed the left arrow key again and the up arrow, if shutdown is not your default option!)

  • 5
    Perhaps because for the same reason that xe doesn't want to move xyr hands from the keyboard to the mouse, xe doesn't want to bend down and grope blindly under the desk to reach the power button on the case that is sitting on the floor. Not everyone has a laptop or a Microsoft keyboard, you know. ☺
    – JdeBP
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 1:55

If you have Process Explorer installed and running:

  1. Alt + TAB to Process Explorer

  2. Alt + F, H, S, Y

  • Brilliant - simple to learn and involves "only" 5 keypresses. I can hear the whole planet running towards their nearest Apple stores ...
    – immutabl
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 10:54

I got very fed-up with the Windows 7 Start Menu, its look and behaviour upset the tricks I've learnt since Windows 3.1. So I installed [Classic Start Menu] Classic Shell and got the old style menu back. Try it, you might like it.

It's lightweight, reliable and eminently configurable and your fancy-schmancy Windows 7 Start Menu is still there. I have mine set-up so Option + Click instantly displays it.


I have switched to Classic Shell which is even better than Classic Start Menu. All the above applies and more!

[In case anyone marks this as spam I'd just like to state that I have absolutely no connection with the organisation that produces it and you're welcome to contact me for further details if you like.]

  • I found something similar. You It is a direct way of reverting back to the Classic Start Menu. But I haven't tested it. Here's my blog post that links to it (the original was written in German, in 2009) sites.google.com/site/dataanxiety/blog/… Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 13:25
  • 1
    Why not uninstall and use Win 3.1? It is guaranteed to keep those tricks you love :)
    – saintali
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 16:14
  • Why not go back to notebook and pen? Guaranteed not to bluescreen every hour ;-)
    – immutabl
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 7:55

I'm a keyboarder so I will do anything to keep from using the mouse. I find that if my pointer is actively on the desktop, the old Alt F4 works for me every time. Alternately, Windows key followed by a right arrow and then the enter key works for me as I have my system configured now.

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