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
  • The taskbar isn’t working (Click here to find the solution for this one)

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.
  • 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. If you want to know more about what new features and changes are in the latest update, check out this detailed guide.

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 this in-depth article 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.

For a complete guide that focuses on how to disable the startup programs, click below:

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.

44 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.

          • My laptop will not completely shut down. It will appear to shutdown but it always restarts back up. This happens even when you disconnect the power with the battery out and it restarts when the power is reconnected. My IT tech said he has never seen a computer that will not remain shut off.

          • Hey darrell, I’m afraid I’ll be exactly the same as your IT tech, I really never seen anything like this before. When did you start getting this issue?
            But anyway, let’s try some tricks… try to update the battery drivers in your Device manager (both adapter and removable battery drivers). Try to disconnect any power source for a full day and then retry plugging everything back and see if it’s back to normal. Also if you didn’t disable fast stratup, please do! It will be amazing if you keep us updated about this rare issue and I’ll keep looking for a similar situation for you.

      • Have tried all method.

        There was no problem for 2 3 times after uninstalling of intel management engine

        But now the problem reoccurring.

        Shutting down the laptop using power button. .

        Really frustrating

        • Try to get the management engine at your laptop’s manufacturer’s official website, it’s the safest place to get the most compatible version and then restart and check if everything is okay.

    • Install the intel manahement engine driver but old version because new version is creating problems.Download and install version 10

      • Hello Dhurv, yes this may solve the problem but if we are discussing a drivers issue I would recommend download the latest one released on the official website of the computer manufacturer’s website.

  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.

  3. If this did not help you, you feel like this article is just covering the trivial basics, none of these people are listening to you, and you know for a damn fact that something is wrong, you’re probably not crazy– especially if you own a laptop with an 8th generation Core i5 or i7 chip and are running Windows 10 Professional.

    Modern Intel chipsets include “Active Management Technology” to let IT departs do things like put systems to sleep at night and over the weekend by remote. It also lets them wake them up by remote for maintenance. Modern versions of Windows include lots and LOTS of provisions for power saving. It’s impressive, really.

    However, these two systems do not always get along.

    If, when trying to use “Shut Down” from the Start menu, you are merely returned to the login screen, every time, you may try the following (which you should UNDO if it has no effect for you).

    1. Navigate to the Device Manager in the Control Panel (or by pressing Window-X and finding it in the list).

    2. Expand the “System devices” category.

    3. Navigate down to Intel Management Engine Interface. (If this does not exist, STOP.) Double-click it.

    4. In the pop-up dialog, select the “Power Management” tab.

    5. UNCHECK “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”

    6. Shut down– you may have to do it the hard way one or two more times. If you do, double-check that the setting took effect.

    7. If the system begins shutting down normally, this has resolved your problem. You should check for updated drivers from Microsoft, your system/motherboard vendor, or from Intel, until this is no longer necessary, as it indicates a bug.

    The rest of you, remember that sometimes it really IS a crazy technical problem. Occam’s Razor does NOT always apply.

    • Hello Matt, thank you so much for your contribution! I checked it and this is maybe the solution if the problem occurs because of a power management problem. But I myself, I don’t have the Power Management tab in the Intel Management Engine Interface window, and I think many people don’t, it really depends on the kind of hardware and software everyone got. But I’m happy this may help some of our readers! I’ll work on including it once I test it myself. Have a nice day!

    • Hello Pawan, you just need to press and hold it until it shuts down totally, not just press it. Tell me if it works.

  4. I am stuck at 64% of windows update (for well over 3 hours). I am able to get my system to power off by holding power button, but when I turn it back on it goes right back to the blue update screen, still at 64%. Please make it STOP!!! 🙂

    • Hello Kim, maybe you should try to boot it in safe mode (using the F2 button or F8 one depending on your computer model, you may check that online) and once it’s successfully booted in safe mode, you may then reboot it and see if the problem is kinda gone. You can always clear the windows updates during safe mode, it’s all explained in this guide:
      https://win10faq.com/windows-10-update-stuck/
      Good luck with it. Will be waiting for your reply!

  5. Method III fixed my issue! Thanks a bunch for this 🙂
    Not sure why it started happening all of a sudden though. Guess I’ll have to do without the fast start up feature for now.

    • Hello Charles, you’re always welcome! Yeah it’s kinda faulty. Maybe after the next major update you do, try to revert the setting back and maybe fast startup won’t cause it.

  6. Hi Mina

    Hope youre well.

    Recently ive started having issues with shutdown. When i shut down via start menu, the computer logs off as normal, the screen will turn off and everything looks norm, except the motherboard/fans/pc lights just wont turn off. Its like it just hangs before acutally powering down.

    Ive tried a few things, and i thought i fixed it after disabling the windows image acquisition service, but it still happens from time to time.. any ideas? Im worried that its a sign that some of the hardware is failing.

    I have windows 10..

    Any help appreciated!

    • Hello Tim, it’s not impossible that’s a hardware failure but let’s make sure.. Did you turn of fast startup? Also if you shut it down using CMD (the command is in the guide), does it lead to the same result? i’ll be waiting for your reply…. Good luck!

  7. Lakshan EZRS on

    Out of above eight methods, either 3 or 8 worked for me. Thanks a lot. This guide is really helpful.

  8. Schoner Stefan on

    Hello ,

    I have the same issue , my laptop won’t shutdown the problem I have its that my cooler keep running after I shutdown , I’ve tried to found some solution to my problem but no succes unfortunately , some advice?
    Thank you.

    • Hello Schoner, try shutting down using the CMD the (shutdown -s -f) like in the guide. If it turns off the computer, then you’ll need to retry all the fixes in the guide.
      If it doesn’t, then maybe you’re having some hardware issue. I’ll be waiting for your reply in order to help you further.

    • Hello Rohit, check your startup programs in the Task manager and try to disable all apps that are not Microsoft products, maybe there is a hidden startup app that causes your problem. Also, try the CMD command ( shutdown -s -f ) in case you get stuck like this… See if it helps. I’ll be there for you.

  9. hello. I put my hard drive with a special communication box instead of a cd drive and put a ssd drive instead of the hard disk drive. Since then, Windows cannot turn off the computer. The shutdown process is done and the monitor screen turns off, but the computer still remains lit. I need to hold the power button to turn off the computer. I even upgraded the BIOS for the motherboard, but the problem did not resolve. Please provide a solution. My laptop is the HP EliteBook 8469p model, and my operating system is Windows 10 Enterprise

    • Hello Reza, your problem may have many reasons, I’ll mention as much as I can with the solution:
      1- Your Fast startup may be turned on, turn it off from your control panel > power options.
      2- You may need to update your Windows and drivers, check for windows updates and update the most important drivers like audio and display ones.
      3- If you still have the system partition on the old HDD, make sure you save your personal data elsewhere and format the partition (formerly the C: drive).
      4- Check your startup programs and make sure you have the least of them enabled (only the Microsoft apps and your security programs).
      5- If none of these works, try to unplug your HDD and see if the problem is solved, if it is, then I recommend that you use an encloser via USB and eject the, now, external hard drive before shutting down.
      Please let me know how it went and I’ll be there to help you further. Good luck.

    • Hello Jagan, there might be a problem with your motherboard, if you still have a warranty on it, maybe checking it will be the most common answer to your problem. It also might be a malware but if you have a third party security program and running regular scans then it’s okay.
      Also, make sure the fans of the processor and the power supply are running perfectly, if any of them is broken then your computer is shutting down to avoid harmful heat.

  10. Hello,

    I currently have a problem with shutting down my computer. I’ve tried various methods of the above (currently trying method 4.) It is worth noting that in my power options under system settings, the only option I have to change is what happens when I press the power button; there are no other options shown for sleep or fast start up. Every time I go to shut down my computer by clicking Start – Power – Shut Down it proceeds to shut down but then gets stuck on the shutting down process. Also going into Start – Power, the only options I have here is either Shut Down or Restart I have no option to put my computer into sleep mode. I’ve tried numerous things to fix my PC and I don’t know what else to try. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hello Adam, you have to click the blue line saying “Change settings that are currently unavailable” in order to be able to uncheck fast startup at the bottom. If you don’t see the shutdown settings at the bottom at all, just type this command in your CMD (run as administrator):
      powercfg -h off
      Then press Enter.
      You can show the sleep option from the control panel as I explained to do with the fast startup but you can also modify it from the registry editor:
      Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FlyoutMenuSettings
      Double-click on ShowSleepOption DWORD and change the value to 1 in order to add it to the options:
      0 = Remove
      1 = Add

  11. Hello Mina,
    I’m able to shutdown without the system plugged in to the power source. But, not when plugged in to the power source. Followed your instructions but, nothing worked for me. Plz help. Thank you.

    • Hello Rakesh, the new Windows Update comes with a Power Troubleshooter, just head to troubleshooter in your settings app and try troubleshooting “power”. If this doesn’t solve the problem, try to connect to a different power source especially if it’s a laptop, try borrowing a similar charger and see where the problem lies. If the problem still persists, come back and I’ll search more to help you further.

  12. Thank you! I’m having this problem and am completing the solutions you mentioned. Hopefully it works! Thank you for helping us with this concerning problem!

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