I cannot shutdown my computer: when I normally press the buttons shutdown, restart, standby nothing happens.

All the applications are actually closed and I've not done any particular thing with my computer today. Suddenly it doesn't want to respond to the shutdown buttons.

What can I do?

  • Does it shut down if you goto your start menu and select it that way? – Eric F Oct 1 '14 at 14:16
  • if you open a command prompt, and type shutdown -f -s -t 10 will it shutdown in 10 seconds? (-s = shutdown, -r = reboot, -f = force, -t = time in seconds) – LPChip Oct 1 '14 at 14:17
  • Yes, exactly: "if I goto my start menu and select it that way" it does not respond to the buttons... Do you think that if I try to restart by prompt, next it will be ok? – neoDev Oct 1 '14 at 14:17
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    @neoDev - By saying "Yes, exactly" it indicates your computer does shutdown if you issue that command. Please clarify – Ramhound Oct 1 '14 at 14:20
  • Okay, so if restarting the normal way doesn't work, it seems some program or service is preventing your pc from shutting down. If you have programs open and you issue a shutdown, will at least these programs close? – LPChip Oct 1 '14 at 14:22

Open up a Command Prompt Window by Pressing Windows + R.

Type shutdown -s -t 0 -f.

Your computer shuts down!

(You could change 0 to the time in seconds after which you want Windows to shutdown)

  • Although this works, its not the solution to his problem, but a workaround. – LPChip Oct 1 '14 at 14:18
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    The question is " What can I do? " – Kunal Gupta Oct 1 '14 at 14:20
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    Yes, he obviously wants an answer to solve it once and for all, not find a way to shutdown his pc. You can also say: hold down the powerbutton for 5 seconds and the pc will go off. really not what you want, but it works too, doesn't it? – LPChip Oct 1 '14 at 14:21
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    I am not sure the reason this answer is getting downvotes. The question isn't exactly clear. The user says his computer won't shutdown, except, this command actually does shut the computer down. Additionally there is little difference between this command and the Shut down option in the Start Menu. In reality, they do exactly the samething, just with different arguments. – Ramhound Oct 1 '14 at 14:31
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    But you didn't just wait. You criticized someone else's answer that may or may not work fine for the OP. – EBGreen Oct 1 '14 at 14:37

Because the question itself is not 100% clear, this is what I was able to make of it so far.

All of the sudden, when you go to the start menu, and press shutdown, and you get the shutdown box, you choose one of the options, and press OK, but nothing happens.

My first suggestion is to try again with Notepad open to see if at least notepad is being closed or not.

This will indicate if shutdown is being blocked by a program that is not responding and keeps the system active, and/or if a system component is damaged which prevents you to do this.

My recommendation is to hold the power button for 5 seconds until the PC is fully powered off. Unplug the power cord and press the power button once to ensure that all power in the system is gone. Wait 5 seconds and plug in the power cord.

Start up your system and check if the shutdown options work now. If so, it was a program/service that crashed. If this happens again, you should look into what program is hanging and why it does. If not, it was just an event happening once.

If you can't shutdown at this time though, a system component is corrupted.

Start a command prompt and type in: sfc /scannow. This command will check all system components and fixes any issues there may be.


You will want to look in your BIOS settings. Most have an option that dictates the functionality of front PWR and RESET buttons for a chassis. Make sure they are setup properly so that the PWR handles a shutdown and RESET resetting of course. Since you indicated that it will shut down through windows and it is just the buttons that don't work I would recommend this.

Also check that the buttons are still physically plugged into the motherboard. If you had it for years and all of a sudden this is happening, the wires could have come loose. Open up your computer case, and locate on the motherboard the pins that do this. It could help to have your motherboard manual for this. Ensure tha the two wires coming from the front button are going to the PWR pins. Do the same for the RESET wires.

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    He says the windows startmenu shutdown options don't work. – LPChip Oct 1 '14 at 14:27
  • My mistake. I thought he said it DID work by his "yes exactly" – Eric F Oct 1 '14 at 14:29
  • @EricF - I am not sure, why you even bring up the buttons on the case, author even in the lack of clarity indicates his problem exists within the software itself. – Ramhound Oct 1 '14 at 14:33
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    All three buttons he mentioned can be found on certain towers. Calm down, I was trying to help based on what he had initially asked. – Eric F Oct 1 '14 at 14:36

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