Start Up

Most desktop computers have one main power button on the tower/CPU. However, there are usually more switches for the monitor, speakers etc. Laptops just have one power button.

Most power buttons indicate visually that they are On with a small light (usually green or blue).

It is good practice to wait for the computer to start up fully before using the keyboard or the mouse. Otherwise, this may interrupt the start up process. There is an audible signal to indicate that the computer has completed boot up.

On some computers, you may have to enter a username and password before the computer will boot up fully. This is called logging on. Just type in the Username, press Tab, type in the Password and press Enter.

Shut Down

When you have finished using the computer, it is recommended that you follow a Shut Down procedure. If you switch off the computer without going through the Shut Down procedure, there will be problems the next time you switch it on. You may also lose any work that was not saved prior to switching off.

To shut down, press Windows key + X, then press U twice.

The computer then takes a few moments to close down. Once it has finished, it will switch off automatically. If it is a desktop computer, the monitor and speakers must be switched off separately.


Sometimes it may be necessary to request the computer to reset itself in order to complete an installation or an update.

To restart the computer, press Windows key + X, then press U, then press R.

Shut Down or Restart Alternative

You can also use the command Alt + F4 to shut down or restart the computer:

  1. Ensure that all programs are closed.
  2. Press Alt + F4.
  3. Use the Arrow keys to choose from the list of options (Shut down, Restart etc)
  4. Press Enter.