How do I restart Windows 7 using just three keys on the keyboard (for a blind person)?

This was possible in Windows XP (Win key, u, and then Enter). This doesn't work in Windows 7.

  • 3
    Win Key, Right-Arrow, Right-Arrow, R, Enter. Its not 3 keys but some things you want to be possible are not possible. The Alt F4 solution requires the default action to be not changed.
    – Ramhound
    May 15, 2014 at 18:59
  • 1
    @Ramhound I'd say that's the correct answer; also, AFAIK it's not necessary to press enter.
    – Jonathan
    May 16, 2014 at 1:54

7 Answers 7


It's not exactly three keys, but three steps:

  1. From the desktop, Alt + F4 (opens Shut Down Windows dialogue). (If you're not at the desktop, first do Windows Logo Key + D).

    Shut Down Windows dialog screenshot

  2. R (Goes to "Restart")

    Shut Down Windows dialog screenshot with Restart selected

  3. Enter

If your user needs audible confirmation, just make sure that the sound is turned on and there is a Windows Logoff sound enabled. This way they will know they successfully shut down.

  • 2
    You might want to add Windows + M to get to the desktop via keyboard shortcut. May 15, 2014 at 19:42
  • True, I added that to my answer.
    – user201262
    May 15, 2014 at 19:45
  • 8
    Small detail, Windows + M minimizes all windows that support the minimize command. To make sure to show the desktop, the command Windows + D is more appropriate. But the aforementioned solution works most of the time. May 16, 2014 at 13:58
  • 1
    @Deinonychus: I really appreciate you sharing that shortcut (did not know it!). May 16, 2014 at 15:48
  • 3
    @Deinonychus Even if Win+D is be easier to press, Win+M would work just fine. Example: close everything, press Win+R, type winver, and press Enter. Now press Win+M. While the window doesn't get minimized, it still loses focus, and pressing Alt+F4 would result in the shutdown dialog being displayed. No matter which keyboard shortcuts you use, there's one caveat: some programs might prevent a restart indefinitely. This can be usually be avoided by manually closing all programs, but tweaking @OskarPersson solution and using the force-close shutdown parameter is a more robust solution.
    – and31415
    May 16, 2014 at 17:20

Creating your own shortcut

You can create your own keyboard shortcut in Windows 7.

Start by right clicking on the desktop and select New > Shortcut. In the first textbox that appears, type Shutdown -r -t 00. Click next and name the shortcut Restart. Click Finish. Now you can double click the shortcut and the computer will restart.

Keyboard Shortcut

To add a keyboard shortcut, you right click on your created shortcut on the desktop and select Properties. In the shortcut tab, click in the shortcut key textbox and enter your shortcut. Click Apply and you're done.

Note: Binding the Windows key doesn't seem to work

Key sequence

You can also press the following key sequence (release after every individual key):

WinRight ArrowRight ArrowUp ArrowEnter

  • 1
    You could also change the default button on the Start menu to "Restart" and it would reduce the number of arrow keys to three.
    – user201262
    May 15, 2014 at 19:01
  • You might to either increase the time to at least 1 second which implies the /f parameter (shutdown /r /t 1) or use the force-close parameter explicitly (shutdown /r /f /t 0). This way Windows won't wait indefinitely for programs to close.
    – and31415
    May 16, 2014 at 17:31

Press these keys in this order:











Log off:





  • I'll vote this up because you do actually have the best answer (closest to the correct number of keypresses, always works), but you need to fix Log off. It is not always the default action. So you need to do it the same way you do the others to be sure.
    – trlkly
    May 18, 2014 at 16:48
  • @trlkly what would it be exactly for Log off? I think depending on where it is located it will be a different series of key presses.
    – zoplonix
    May 20, 2014 at 19:41
  • Since you didn't know it, I did for you. As you can see, it's the same combination as the others, just with the letter that is underlined in the menu for Log Off.
    – trlkly
    May 21, 2014 at 22:35
  • @trlkly thats what I was going to put but it doesn't work 100% of the time. When I press Right, Right, I don't see Log off in the menu so I can't use L to jump to it. The version I had up works for me and the one you have up works for you. Is there one that works for both? That's what I was asking before
    – zoplonix
    May 22, 2014 at 18:22
  • I guess there isn't a universal option, then. Unless you go Windows Right Right L Left Enter. (The left enter won't do anything if the first four buttons worked.) I find it curious that yours is set up to have "Log Off" be the default. I've never seen that before (unless you are using Remote Desktop, but then you don't have a Shut Down option). Did you change any settings?
    – trlkly
    May 23, 2014 at 17:38

You can use AutoHotKey to do it.

AutoHotkey is a free, open-source macro-creation and automation software utility that allows users to automate repetitive tasks in Microsoft Windows. Any application user interface can be modified by AutoHotkey (for example, overriding the default Windows control key commands with their Emacs equivalents). It is driven by a custom scripting language that is aimed specifically at providing keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys.

You can send the shutdown to any key or combination of keys you would like.

For example, if you have a multimedia keyboard, you could add this to the default script:

Media_Stop::"Shutdown -r -t 00"

This would make the Stop key on the multimedia keyboard reboot the PC.

You could also do key combos as well, its all well documented and easy to follow.

Below would be the script to make Ctrl-Win-C reboot the PC:

^#c::"Shutdown -r -t 00"
  • 2
    Don't forget to put it into Startup folder. May 16, 2014 at 12:59
  • 1
    @ThomasW. AHK has an option to additself to startup on install
    – Keltari
    May 18, 2014 at 17:54

Ramhound's comment is spot on. I noticed your Windows XP shortcut was for Shutdown and not Restart. In that case the shortcut is very much the same: Windows, Right Arrow, Right Arrow, u. No Enter needed.


You can do this in 2 key strokes, beating the tiring long winded 3 step approach of the dark ages (although I admit, this has to be set up first!)! And you don't have to install any third party software!

Create a batch file with the restart command. Open notepad and type in

shutdown -r -f -t 1

Save it to your computer with the .BAT extension (EG restart.bat).

Create a shortcut to your batch file... Edit the shortcut property and change target to something like: cmd.exe /C "path-to-your-batch". to make it possible to pin it.

Now, drag the shortcut into the task bar and leave it beside the start menu. Now, press the Windows Key + 1. That's it (Screen shot below, see the black console icons with the C:).

You could also create another bat file for shutdown with the following

shutdown -s -f -t 1

Again, drag it to the left of the restart bat file, and press Windows Key + 2

enter image description here

Screen shot showing the task bar, with the first graphic for restart, and the second for shutdown.


Windows Key + R, 'shutdown /r', Enter

C:\Users\Chloe\>shutdown /?
Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e | /o] [/hybrid] [/f]
    [/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c "comment"]]

    No args    Display help. This is the same as typing /?.
    /?         Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.
    /i         Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
               This must be the first option.
    /l         Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
    /s         Shutdown the computer.
    /r         Full shutdown and restart the computer.
    /g         Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
               rebooted, restart any registered applications.
    /a         Abort a system shutdown.
               This can only be used during the time-out period.
    /p         Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
               Can be used with /d and /f options.
    /h         Hibernate the local computer.
               Can be used with the /f option.
    /hybrid    Performs a shutdown of the computer and prepares it for fast startup.
               Must be used with /s option.
    /e         Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
    /o         Go to the advanced boot options menu and restart the computer.
               Must be used with /r option.
    /m \\computer Specify the target computer.
    /t xxx     Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
               The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
               If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
    /c "comment" Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
               Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
    /f         Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
               The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
               specified for the /t parameter.
    /d [p|u:]xx:yy  Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
               p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
               u indicates that the reason is user defined.
               If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
               xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
               yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
  • it's much slower than windows+D then alt+F4
    – phuclv
    May 16, 2014 at 15:05
  • also I believe you want shutdown /r as the OP asked for reboot rather than shutdown
    – David
    May 16, 2014 at 16:12
  • taskkill /im explorer.exe would do too. May 17, 2014 at 12:20
  • Open notepad and type in "shutdown /r /t 00" and save it as name.bat and there you go.
    – Aaron
    May 18, 2014 at 10:40

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