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You can restart a laptop with just a keyboard. Here are the two ways

how to clean up your inbox and keep the clutter away person typing on a laptop keyboard
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Restarting your laptop with just a keyboard can be super handy if the touchpad goes haywire or your mouse is playing up. With just a few keys, you can reboot your laptop quickly and easily, getting it back working again properly in no time. If it still doesn't work after that, better check our our common Windows 11 problems guide.

Here's how to restart your laptop with the keyboard.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Laptop with working keyboard

Shutdown menu in Windows 11.
Digital Trends

Alt + F4

You might know Alt + F4 as a quick way to close down a game or app, or you might have been caught off guard by someone jokingly suggesting it as a solution to a problem. But Alt + F4 can also be used to restart a laptop.

Step 1: Press Alt + F4 to close down any apps that are running. Press it again and again until they're all closed, then press it one more time to bring up the Shut Down Windows menu.

Step 2: Use the arrow keys to select Restart from the drop down list.

Step 3: Press the Tab key to change your selection until it's on the OK button, then press Enter to reboot your laptop.

Ctrl + Alt + Del

The old Ctrl + Alt + Del command is an iconic one in computing history. It used to hard reboot a system, but now it just brings up an important menu. From there, though, you can reboot your laptop with a few more keypresses.

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Alt + Del. It should bring up the Graphical Identification and Authentication, or "GINA" screen (that is its real name) which has a number of useful options.

Step 2: Press the Tab key until the indicator moves from the central options to the bottom-right ones, and eventually to the power button indicator. It's the circle with a vertical line through the top of it.

Power icon
Digital Trends

Step 3: Press the Enter key, then use the arrow keys to select Restart.

Step 4: Press Enter to reboot the laptop.

If you ever want to go a few steps beyond just rebooting your laptop and want to factory reset it, maybe for resale or just to improve performance, here's how to reset a Widows laptop.

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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