Fix Windows restarts when you select shutdown - gHacks Tech News

Fix Windows restarts when you select shutdown

A particularly common issue that Windows users run into is that the PC does not shut down when you select the shutdown option but restarts instead.

While this looks to be an error caused by the operating system, it sometimes hints at larger issues that users and administrators may be unaware of.

Here is what happens usually. When you select shutdown using the Start menu, the Ctrl-Alt-Del menu, or other means, Windows runs the shutdown command but restarts the PC instead of executing the shutdown command.

While this can be a hiccup and resolved when you select shutdown the next time, the issue may also persist so that users use other means such as cutting the power connection to turn off the computer.

Option 1: Caused by a crash

automatic restart windows

One common cause for the restart instead of shut down issue is a crash. Windows is configured to automatically restart when the system crashes and that includes crashes that happen after you activate the shutdown option.

The configuration leads to an endless loop of shutdown commands and reboots provided that the crash happens on every shut down of the system. It is thankfully pretty easy to disable the option.

While that won't take care of the issue that caused the crash in first place -- you should investigate it using the Event Viewer or other means -- it ensures that Windows shuts down if you select the shutdown option.

Here is how you disable the automatic restart when the system crashes.

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-Pause to open the System Control Panel applet. If you don't have a Pause-key tap on Start, type Control Panel, select the result, and select System & Security > System. Or, tap on start, type sysdm.cpl and press Enter to open the Control Panel applet directly.
  2. Select "Advanced system settings".
  3. Activate "Settings" under Startup and Recovery.
  4. Remove the checkmark from "Automatically restart"
  5. Close the configuration windows.

Windows should shut down after you made the change if the shutdown issue was caused by a crash.

Option 2: Disable Fast Startup

windows fast startup

Fast Startup was introduced in Windows 8 by Microsoft to speed up the start (and shut down) of the system.

The feature is enabled by default on Windows 8 and newer versions of Windows; while it works just fine most of the time, it may also cause issues such as issues with dual-boot systems or with mouse and keyboard not working properly.

Disabling Fast Startup sometimes resolves shutdown and restart related issues on Windows machines.

  1. Tap on the Start button to display the start menu.
  2. Type powercfg.cpl and select Power Options to load the Control Panel applet.
  3. Select "Choose what the power buttons do" when the Power Options window opens.
  4. Locate "Turn on fast startup (recommended) under Shutdown settings and uncheck the optinos.
  5. Select save changes.

Note that system startup is slowed down when you disable the option. It may resolve your shutdown issues on the other hand.

Now You: Have you experience shutdown issues before on Windows?

Summary
Fix Windows restarts when you select shutdown
Article Name
Fix Windows restarts when you select shutdown
Description
A particularly common issue that Windows users run into is that the PC does not shut down when you select the shutdown option but restarts instead.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Comments

  1. Tom Hawack said on July 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm
    Reply

    Here with Windows 7 I’ve never experienced Windows restarting when ordered to shutdown, maybe because I’ve always had “Automatically restart” unchecked in the Advanced System settings.

    Also, rather than Windows 7’s dedicated built-in commands I prefer using Nirsoft’s nircmd application with 3 links on my desktop :

    Power-off :
    C:\Windows\nircmd.exe qboxtop “Confirm POWEROFF?” “POWEROFF” c:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00

    Reboot :
    C:\Windows\nircmd.exe qboxtop “Confirm REBOOT?” “REBOOT” c:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00

    Standby :
    C:\Windows\nircmd.exe qboxtop “Confirm STANDBY?” “STANDBY” C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe Powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Sleep

    With the confirmation options because I already happened to click one of those links inadvertently (always when wondering what my answer to a user’s comment here would be, of course! ). I mention this Nirsoft tool for those who might be interested, not as an argument against Windows’ dedicated commands.

  2. Mark Hazard said on July 2, 2018 at 3:00 pm
    Reply

    I haven’t encountered that problem yet, but the solution is good to know.
    Thanks Martin.

  3. Robert G. said on July 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm
    Reply

    Thanks Tom for the command lines.

  4. just me said on July 2, 2018 at 10:19 pm
    Reply

    Hi, i have this problem with win10…

    Sometimes when shutting down, pc shuts down, but keeps running in a way.

    My screen blanks, like it shoud when closing. but the lights and fans keep running.

    Then i need to press the start button for 5 secs to “close all”/shut down

    This behavior is not allways, but many times.

    1. Teiji said on July 10, 2018 at 3:29 am
      Reply

      I had this happen before. You should turn off Fast Startup and also run the Troubleshooter for any pending updates. It usually fixes it for me. Some pending updates will cause that and prevent the system from shutting down properly.

      1. Anonymous said on July 10, 2018 at 6:42 pm
        Reply

        thanx for the info Teiji

        i’ll see what i can do about it

  5. Rush said on July 2, 2018 at 11:17 pm
    Reply

    Martin, do you have my IP and are you running ghost software?

    Just kidding….LOL

    But, I have encountered a problem lately, whereas, every time I refresh my system, I always… Power Options / choose what the buttons do, including what closing the lid does….Shut Down.

    Lately, when I go to shut down, (Win 8.1) I turn off WiFi, depress the power button, but seems to enter sleep as opposed to shutting down, so I did UN-check the quick start-up, and seemed to help. That was about a week ago…that is why I tease about IP/Ghost software.

    1. sunnytimes said on July 3, 2018 at 11:04 pm
      Reply

      i have a similar issue except when i press the power button the laptop does nothing .. i had to make a shut down shortcut and stuck it in the quick launch .. really annoying tho , i like to listen to music and just hit the button to turn it off. all my settings say shut down with power button.

  6. o_O said on July 3, 2018 at 11:00 pm
    Reply

    LOL, I think I had just this issue few days ago… on win 98se

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.