Shut Down or Sleep: How Should You Leave Your Windows Computer?
What should you do when you’re finished using your computer for the moment?
Millions of people shut their PCs off, but they shouldn’t; it’s a colossal waste of time. When you shut down, you have to wait for all your programs to close — and then the next morning, you have to reopen everything, reposition your windows, and get everything back the way you had it.
You shouldn’t just leave your computer on all the time, either. That’s a massive waste of electricity, a security risk, and a black mark for the environment.
The hardware power button on a Windows laptop
What you should do is put your machine to sleep. Usually, you do that by pressing the physical power button, and that’s that. If it’s a laptop, just close the lid.
The Sleep/Shut Down/Restart Commands
If you really want to do the sleeping or shutting down thing using the onscreen commands, you’ll have to learn their new locations.
For years, Microsoft was ridiculed for a peculiarity of the Windows design: To shut down your PC, you had to click a button called Start.
Not anymore. The Shut down command is now available in two places: in the Charms bar (available only in “TileWorld” — Windows 8.1’s tile-filled start screen), and in the secret Windowsbuttonmenu (TileWorld and desktop).
TileWorld. The Shut down command is in the Charms bar. You can see the official procedure in the image below.
Tip: If you have a keyboard, you can save yourself some steps. Press Windows button+I to open the Settings panel of the Charms bar; then click Power and then Shut down.
The software power button in Windows 8
TileWorld and desktop. If you right-click the Windows button, you get a secret menu of useful commands — and in Windows 8.1, one of them is Shut down or sign out. (In TileWorld, the Windows button appears when you swipe in from the left edge, or when you point to the lower-left corner with the mouse.)
As shown above, shutting down is only one of the options for finishing your work session. Here are your others.
The Windows button