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Troubleshooting Incomplete Shutdowns in Windows 10

Summary: Discover steps to resolve Windows 10 shutdown issues with our guide. Learn about the Fast Startup feature, full shutdown methods, and command-line solutions. Ensure your system shuts down completely for optimal performance. ...

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Windows Shutdown

Since Windows 8.1 and through Windows 10, a feature call Fast Startup has been an option on Microsoft's Operating Systems. The feature is used to speed up the Operating System boot process by being a hybrid between a System Shutdown and Hibernation.

Fast Startup in Windows discards all your open programs and files (as it would during a traditional shutdown), but it saves the state of the Windows kernel to the hard drive (as it would during hibernation). More information can be found in the following location: Distinguishing Fast Startup from Wake-from-Hibernation This hyperlink is taking you to a website outside of Dell Technologies.

Full Shut Down and Restart

The following methods should be used if a Shut Down is needed while Troubleshooting Windows software issues.

  • If a Shut Down is needed, Restart should be selected instead. Windows performs a full shutdown while Restarting the computer (Figure 1).
    Windows 10 Restart/Shut Down Options
    Figure 1 - Windows 10 Restart/Shut Down Options
  • The next option is to use the Command Line.
    The following article explains how to open a Command Line in Windows: The Command Prompt: What It Is and How to Use It on a Dell System

    In the Command Line, type: shutdown /s /f /t 0
    Then press Enter (Figure 2).
    Windows Command-Line Prompt with the shutdown /s /f /t 0 Option
    Figure 2 - Command-Line Prompt with the Shutdown /s /f /t 0 Option
  • The next option is to disable the Fast Startup feature.
    Note: This option should be used as a last resort as it may increase boot times for the computer.
    1. Search for and open "Power Options" in the Start Menu.
    2. Click "Choose what the power buttons do" on the left side of the window (Figure 3).
      Windows Power Options
      Figure 3 - Windows Power Options
    3. Under "Shutdown settings," ensure "Turn on fast startup" is unchecked (Figure 4).
      Windows System Settings
      Figure 4 - Windows System Settings

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Article Properties

Affected Product

Alienware, Inspiron, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

18 Apr 2024



Article Type

How To