In this guide we’ll talk about not being able to shut down your Windows 10 computer. The issue may lie in:

  • Windows Update
  • Fast startup
  • Windows System Files
  • Unwanted running applications since startup
  • Other issues that need recovery

And we are here to give a solution for each of them.

Before following any of these, make sure you’re really stuck, because sometimes there may be some system processes working to install updates, for example, or making some changes – before shutting down. So, the first time this occurs, please be a little patient and leave it up to 3 hours. If it exceeds this time limit and this isn’t the first time your update got stuck, try the following steps:

Method I: Force Shut Down:

Before you get the problem fixed for the long run, you may need to force your computer to shut down: here is how you can do that.

  • Press and hold your power button until the computer is shut.Image result for hold power button
  • Remove any source of power (Battery / Power cable / unplug the power cords) for 5-10 minutes.
  • Start your computer and try to shut it down normally.

Method II: Make sure you have the latest Windows 10 version

Having the latest Windows 10 version is always a good idea. Microsoft is always sending new updates and fixes for the common issues through it, so we can always begin our problem solving by checking for updates.

To check if there are any updates you can do, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings from your start menu.
  2. Click on Updates & Security.
  3. Click on the Check for updates button, your computer will then check for, download and install any updates found.

If you updated your Windows now, check if your computer shuts down, and if the problem persists, continue to the next method.

If your update is getting stuck or not working either check out the in-depth article below…

Windows 10 update stuck – what to do?

… or do the thing that most people reported that solved their problem – use the troubleshooter:

  • Type Troubleshoot in start menu and then choose Troubleshoot.
  • Choose Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter. 
  • If needed, choose Try troubleshooting as an administrator.
  • Choose Apply this fix.
  • Close the troubleshooter.

Method III: Disable fast startup

Fast startup is a hybrid type of startup which makes your computer not fully shut down when you do it, so it can start up again quickly. This mode can cause many issues including our shutdown problem. Follow these steps to disable it:

  • Open “control panel” and search for “power options” and choose Power Options.
  • From the left pane, choose “Choose what the power button does
  • Choose “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.
  • Uncheck “Turn on fast startup” and then select “Save changes”.

Method IV: Repair Windows System Files

In case there is a problem with some system files, this step will fix all system errors (it will take some time):

  • Type “cmd” in your start menu, right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  • Click Yes to give it permission.
  • Type the following command then press enter:
  • sfc /scannow

    (make sure you put a space between “sfc” and “/scannow”)

 Method V: Try closing the computer using Command Prompt

One of the best things about CMD (command prompt) is that you can directly request a forced shut down which stops any running applications. Here are the steps:

  • Launch CMD as administrator with the same steps in Method IV.
  • Type this command to force shutting down your computer:

shutdown -s -f

  • A message will appear saying that your computer will be shut down in a minute. 

Method VI: Stop Windows Delivery Update Optimization

Windows 10 is always downloading updates, that’s why Microsoft came up with this service so that if there are several Windows 10 machines on the same network, computers can exchange the update files instead of downloading them on each computer. So, if a computer on the network is getting any updates from yours, shut down won’t occur until the files transfer finishes. The good news is that you can turn off this feature, here’s how:

  • Open Settings from your start menu.
  • Go to Update & Security.
  • At the Windows Update page, click on Advanced options.
  • Now, click on Delivery Optimization.
  • Turn off the Allow downloads from other PCs button.
  • Now try to shut down your computer again.

Method VII: Let’s do a System Restore

This will bring back your computer to a previous state, this may help avoid any error that happened during shutting down or running Windows update:

  • Open Control Panel and search for recovery.
  • Open System restore.
  • Click Next.
  • Choose a previous restore point and click Next.
  • Click Finish.
  • After the system restore is finished, try shutting down your computer again.

Method VIII: Control which apps can start automatically

There are apps and processes that can’t be easily shut when you want to turn off your computer: this may be the reason for your shutdown problems. Most probably these are apps that already running automatically with Windows Startup without asking for your permission. So here we can control them and disable every app that you don’t really need on startup. This will also increase your startup speed as well as its shut down speed. Let’s do it:

  • Open task manager from your taskbar or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  • If you see the small panel, click More details to switch to the big panel.
  • Open the Startup tab.
  • Right-click on the apps you don’t need to start automatically at Windows Startup and select Disable.

We have a full guide talking about how to do it, make sure to follow the steps there; it may help you solve the issue:

How to disable and enable startup programs

Still stuck? Ask your question in our forum!

About Author

Mina studies communications and electronics engineering and works as a technical support. He keeps himself up to date with the latest developments and news in technology. He loves helping people with their daily tech issues, so he's always ready to go the extra mile.

10 Comments

    • Hello Mark,
      the easiest way to shut down your computer is to hold the power button for a few seconds until it’s powered off. This method must work despite all the software issues you might have. Once done, power on your computer again and redo all the steps in the guide to fix it.

      • Did not work for me regardless.

        No issues detected either… There is ZERO reaction when i hit power off or restart…

        • Hello Martin, please try to press the Power button and hold it until your computer is shut down. You can then start it again and see if normal shut down is back again.

  1. Forget all the other options!!!!!!

    The easy way
    1. Close your session
    2. At you user logo, perform restart
    3. When the screen shows your user starting session, shutdown

    Voila!!!!!! (Maybe Microsoft will find outs how this procedure works and define an automatic procedure)

    • Hello Gaston, would you suggest some methods for closing the session? Because I think this is the main issue we have. Do you mean sign out?

  2. Hello,
    Your article has helped very much, system restore seemed to have helped my problem, but only briefly… my problem is that not only will my internet explore not refresh automatically, my laptop will also not shut down unless I press the power button. Even Using the force shut down through CMD wont work. Shut downs through alt + f4 results in a shutting down screen loop and won’t actually shut down, I’m currently trying to enter into safe mode by shift + restart and now it’s stuck again in the loop screen. Do you have any other troubleshooting advice you could give me ? I’m not sure If this will help but , I noticed that my problem came back when I went back to work on a particular photoshop file…

    • Hello Sophia,
      thank you and sorry for the issue. Well since you’re doubting the photoshop process in general (this isn’t related to a certain file), I advise you to check your Task Manager, end all Adobe Photoshop tasks and then try to shut down your computer again. See if it works. If you still encounter such a problem, don’t hesitate to open a thread in our forums and I’ll be there to help you out.
      https://win10faq.com/forums
      Good luck.

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