HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Safely Restart Your Computer in Windows 11 or Windows 10

How to Safely Restart Your Computer in Windows 11 or Windows 10

We show you how to reboot your computer using the Start and Ctrl + Alt + Del menus, as well as with a command.


The sleep function of modern computers is great. It barely consumes any battery and allows you get back into the action faster. However, it's often necessary to restart your computer to apply updates and maintain its health. Today we're going to show you how to safely restart your computer using several different methods.

We say “safely” because, believe it or not, there are wrong ways to restart your PC. If you've been holding down the power button to turn off your PC, for example, you risk data loss. Naturally, it's an even worse idea to plug and unplug it at the wall or flick the switch on your power supply.

If you've been doing any of these, make sure you follow the guide below for some better options. If you haven't you may still find this tutorial useful, as it will teach you to restart Windows from CMD and more. It goes without saying, but make sure you have saved everything you need before you continue.

How to Restart Your Computer from the Start Menu

The most popular way to restart a Windows computer is from the power button on the Start menu. This is quick, easy, and safe:

  1. Press Start, then the power button, followed by “Restart”

    After a second or two, your PC will reboot.

    Windows 11 - Start Menu - Power Icon - Restart

How to Reboot and Computer with the Power User Menu

Alternatively, you can access the power menu with a quick right-click on the Start icon:

  1. Right-click the Start icon and select “Shut down or sign out > Restart”

    Windows 11 - Power User Menu - Shut Down or Sign Out - Restart

How to Restart Your Computer with the Ctrl+Alt+Del  Menu

If you can't easily access the Start menu because it has crashed or you're in a fullscreen application, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + Del menu instead:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard

    Windows 11 - Ctrl+Alt+Del

  2. Click the power button in the bottom right and click “Restart”

    Windows 11 - Ctrl+Alt+Supr - Power Icon - Restart

How to Use a Command to Restart a Computer

If none of the above options are working or you're using a server install without a GUI, you can restart Windows with CMD (Command Prompt). In , we'll be accessing CMD through the Windows Terminal. 

  1. Right-click your Start menu and press “Windows Terminal”

    On , you can just open CMD directly instead.

    Windows 11 - Open Windows Terminal

  2. Press the dropdown next to the new tab button and choose “Command Prompt”

    Windows 11 - Windows Terminal - Open Cmd

  3. Type “shutdown /r” and press Enter

    Your PC will immediately restart.

    Windows 11 - Windows Terminal - Cmd - Enter Cmd

How to Reboot a Computer from the Run Dialog

Interestingly, you don't have to open Command Prompt to run a restart command on Windows. You can instead type the command to restart your computer directly in the Run dialog, like so:

  1. Press “Windows + R”, type “shutdown /r” in the box, and press “OK”


    Windows 11 - Run - Type Cmd - Accept

Extra: How to Create a Windows 11 Restart Shortcut

One final way to restart your PC is through a Windows 11 shutdown shortcut. You can then single-click an icon on your taskbar or double-click a desktop shortcut to restart your PC. For that, though, you'll have to follow our dedicated Windows 11 shutdown shortcut tutorial.

Extra: How to Auto Shutdown/Restart Windows

Finally, if manually restarting your PC is still too much for you, you can set your PC to restart automatically at a certain time. Just follow our Windows 10 shutdown tutorial and add /r in the arguments box instead of /s.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.