Turn Off Computer In Windows 8

| March 5, 2012

It should be easy to turn off your computer in Windows 8, right? It is, if you know what you’re doing. But for those new to the public beta of Windows 8, navigating the new graphical user interface can be alien to lifelong Windows users. Once you learn about the secret trapdoor, however, you can navigate like a pro. We suspect Windows 8 will include some type of tutorial for new users when the RTM version reaches the shelves, or at least provide a more logical area to access the shutdown menu.

The Secret Windows 8 Trapdoor

We refer to the lower right hand corner of the screen as the trapdoor, because it is a secret little place you can access by hovering your mouse over. Even if you know it is there, it is still often difficult to find. To shut down Windows 8 using the secret trapdoor, hover over the extreme bottom right corner of the screen until you see the following menu pop up. This area will be represented by a tiny Zoom icon in the Metro interface.

turn off computer in Windows 8

First, click the Settings icon that will appear in the sidebar that appears. You can now see how obvious it is to shut down Windows 8 and access other Windows 8 settings. Another way to access the shutdown screen in Windows 8 is to click Alt + F4 while on the Metro desktop. Hopefully, Microsoft intends to make this more accessible in the official release. Why not dedicate one of the huge colorful desktop buttons to this task?

Escape Windows Explorer in Windows 8

Just as perplexing as shutting down your computer in Windows 8 is the Windows Explorer screen. There is no logical way to escape the screen if you do not already know about the secret trapdoor we discussed above.

escape Windows explorer in Windows 8

To get out of Windows Explorer mode, place you mouse in the extreme lower right corner of the screen until you see the magical sidebar appear. In Windows Explorer, there is no Zoom icon in the corner. But if you know the location of this secret little wonderland, you can hover the mouse over that spot to reveal the sidebar. Listed in the sidebar region will be a desktop icon. Click that to go back to the Metro interface with the huge colorful buttons.

In conclusion, navigating Windows 8 will undoubtedly be frustrating for many who have not used any other type of Operating System except Windows. Windows 8 is such a deviation from the normal GUI we’re all use to, that performing even the most basic task will be difficult at first. Shutting down Windows 8 is one of the first issues we’ve encountered. In the end, however, many users will come to love it and navigation will no longer be an issue.

If you have comments about Windows 8, please let us know.

Category: Windows

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (10)

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  1. Bob says:

    Hello Dave,
    My thoughts exactly.
    To make a daily task so difficult,leaves me discouraged from the get go.

  2. Staalwart says:

    Greetings! One little observation: the hotspot for the Metro Interface is in the lower LEFT not RIGHT, corner of the screen…

    The lower right screen corner is a hotspot shortcut for Settings, including the oh-so-useful power button, the Control Panel link (“More PC Settings”), the brief but concise dashboard, with Network, Volume, Weather, etc. and -personalized- settings above it, depending on the current open application. This is important because the settings presented here are customized; if the user is directly in the desktop, the main settings will appear; but if the user has, for example, Internet Explorer, you will have the IE settings shown instead.

    The lower LEFT screen corner, on the other hand, is the Metro shortcut. Here, you will see a thumbnail of your Metro desktop; if you click it you will go there. Also, you can slide the mouse up while displaying the Metro thumbnail and the sidebar will appear, showing thumbnails of all your currently active apps (a lá Task Switcher). Clicking on any of them will bring you to that particular app. You can also, of course, click on the “X” in the upper corner of any of such thumbnails to cause the respective program to close.

    One last detail: If you’re on Desktop, simply hitting the Windows key will bring you to Metro. Simple.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Thanks for the clarification. How do you like it so far?

      • Staalwart says:

        I think it’s a new paradigm, one that was already necessary for Microsoft in order to remain competitive in our current PC world, in which the hardware is more and more intuitive and user-friendly than ever. The revamping of Windows 8 without taking off entirely the Win7 layer (which we can see with no problem at all while in Desktop mode) allows Windows to be used in touch- and non-touch environments alike, and it’s very catchy for first-time users which could embrace more easily a “tile world” (the Metro interface) than a “classic world” (the Desktop, in early Windows instances). Of course, a change of paradigm so huge has its negative aspects, such the ones that you pointed out here (“what? no more Start button? Where am I supposed to turn this off now?” :-D ) for PC veterans, but this adaptation is by no means strange for us anyway, since this isn’t the first time the Redmond guys “pulls the carpet” from beneath our feet and “spoon-feeds” us an entirely new way of interacting with Windows. I mean, I still remember how painful was for me to be forced to kiss good-ol’ Program Manager in my reliable Windows 3.11 to literally have to learn from scratch how to navigate using a single “Start” button in the Windows 95 new interface. Now THAT was a huge change all right! Very similar to the evolution to Metro interface from the Explorer one. So, I repeat, this evolution in paradigm was a quite necessary one for Microsoft, and I would add a long due one. But better late than never!

        By the way, I’m glad to help in writing tutorials and manuals for Windows 8 beta testers; i’ve been testing it since the Developer Preview. If anybody is interested, just ask. :-)

  3. Sasha Bolt says:

    Sorry, but on my new Windows 8/IE 10 laptop, NO corner, tap, swipe or click brings up the shutdown icon. The typing isn’t even appearing in the order typed either (when searching for the answer). After searching for a couple hours for how to turn the thing off, I just pressed the power button. I’m in awe of all of your know-how, since even a Master’s degree can’t help me. As for Window 8, nothing at all can help it — it is simply a mishmash of useless bells and whistles, most of which do not even work. Let me know if there really is a shutdown button — and why typed text suddenly inserts itself into the middle of another part of the text. What a mess.//

    • Carolyn says:

      Click Ctl+Alt+Del keys simultaneously. A small icon will appear near bottom right of screen, like an almost closed circle with a short line through it at the top. Click that Choices should appear that say sleep (or hibernate, depending on computer, shut down and restart. choose which option you want. Hope this helps. Windows 8 is difficult to use. Glad I still have Win 7.

  4. tonys says:

    What a horrendous mess. I couldn’t get a new computer with windows 7 and I it takes hours to fins what was on my desktop before. I HATE it

  5. Ian Edwards says:

    At least I now know how to turn the thing off without crash-stopping it, but I’ve just had 24 hours of not being able to even get in with my password. After an upload (DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER!) lasting 10 minutes, it shut me out, and nothing I tried got me back in. I just took it back to the supplier, who tried my password 3 times, the last time being successful! I can’t remember how many times I tried it!

  6. Harvey says:

    It is now impossible to find the correct area to shut down the computer. There are NO simple words or symbols (or anything)for the mouse to click-on or off. It’s a terrible waste of time and effort to get this (new) machine to work properly. It’s an absolutely terrible situation.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Harvey, try Start8 from Stardock. They give you a free 30-day trial and it only costs 5 bucks. It puts the Start button back and allows you to boot directly to the desktop. A must have for those of us that are frustrated with Windows 8.