PC Does Not
Shut Down...

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Computer Won't Power Off After Windows Shuts Down

Your power off problem could be in the BIOS, the amount of programs running, or the power settings for the Operating System...

"I go to the start button, select shut down and verify I want the computer to turn off. Then the screen changes to a light blue color but the computer does not shut down!"

Well gee, that is knida annoying, no?

Before I get into the troubleshooting this problem let me say first: This is NOT hardware related, it is all to do with the Operating System and settings.

So what is the cause? I know that some computers take any where from thirty seconds to a couple of minutes to finally power down when you use the start button to gracefully shut the computer down. Some servers take up to five minutes to stop all the services that are running. Annoying it is.

You may have a service that is hanging when you shut down the computer check the event logs for services that fail to stop on command. (in the services logs).

If you don't have a service hanging on shut down then check other things. Such as:

First you have to look in the BIOS Power settings:

  • Is the "Power on after fail" option set? If so disable it.

  • Is the "Power off by Power switch" set? If not enable it.

Next is the computer in a Domain?

If so contact you Domain Admin and ask if the GPO (Group Policy Option) is set for the "Do not turn off system power after a Windows system shutdown has occurred", if it is enabled or has been modified this could be the reason you computer will not power off when you use the shut down from the start button.

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Some computers may need to be running at all times, servers for instance, or a special computer that needs to be running to do a specific task or service customers. There is a possibility that your Company/Business has a GPO set for not allowing a group of computers to be shut down and maybe your computer was mistakenly put into that group.

If your computer is not in a Domain then you can check the GPO by using gpedit.msc, be careful to not change any other GPO's than this one, it could lead you to being locked out of your computer!

Navigate to this GPO:

  1. Computer Configuration
  2. Administrative Templates
  3. System
  4. Left window "Do not turn off system power after a Windows system shutdown has occurred"
  5. If enabled, double click on the line and set for 'Not configured" or "Disabled"

Close gpedit.msc, close all programs and try a shut down.

Did it shut down? Yes - Done!

Two other things could be going on that will slow down the Operating System when shutting down:

Browser set to clear history (cache) when closing, and Paging file is too large, it should not be more than 1.5 times the physical memory in your computer. (Check this page for information on the Paging File settings)

If it is not a BIOS setting, a GPO, or hung service your last choices are:

  • Reload the Operating System
  • Wait a minute after the light blue (or what ever color the shut down turns to) screen and press and hold the power switch until the computer is shut down.


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