Fix a Computer Restarting When Shutting Down

To resolve the frustrating issue of a computer restarting instead of shutting down, this guide provides a systematic approach to identify and rectify the problem, whether it’s due to hardware, software, or system settings in Windows 10. By following these steps, users can effectively address the issue and ensure their computer shuts down properly.

Determine if It’s a Software or Hardware Issue

Start by discerning whether the problem stems from your software or hardware:

  • Use a Live Operating System: Boot your computer from a USB flash drive with a live operating system like Ubuntu. If the computer shuts down correctly using Ubuntu but not with Windows, the issue likely lies within your Windows settings. If the problem persists, it could be BIOS or hardware-related.

Adjusting Windows Settings

Several Windows settings might cause your computer to restart instead of shutting down. Here’s how to adjust them:

Modify Registry Settings for Shutdown

  1. Open Registry Editor: Type regedit in the Start Menu and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
  2. Adjust Powerdown Settings: Double-click on PowerdownAfterShutdown. Set its value to 1 to enable proper shutdown.

Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure

  1. Access System Properties: Right-click ‘This PC’, select ‘Properties’, then ‘Advanced system settings’.
  2. System Failure Settings: Under ‘Startup and Recovery’, click ‘Settings’ and uncheck ‘Automatically restart’ under ‘System failure’.

Turn Off Fast Startup

  1. Control Panel Settings: Go to Control Panel, search for ‘Power Options’, and click on ‘Choose what the power buttons do’.
  2. Modify Settings: Click on ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ and uncheck ‘Turn on fast startup’.

BIOS Adjustments

Improper BIOS settings can also lead to your computer restarting on shutdown:

  1. Reset BIOS Settings: Enter BIOS setup (usually by pressing F2 or Delete during boot). Look for an option to reset to defaults, save and exit.
  2. Update BIOS: Check the motherboard manufacturer’s website for an updated BIOS version and follow their instructions for updating.

Checking Hardware Issues

If software solutions don’t resolve the issue, check for hardware problems:

  1. Power Supply: Consider replacing the power supply if your computer is more than five years old or shows signs of failure.
  2. Motherboard and RAM: Inspect the motherboard for bulging capacitors, a sign of aging. Test RAM modules one at a time to isolate a faulty module.

Advanced Solutions

If all else fails, advanced users can attempt more technical solutions:

  • Group Policy Editor: For professional versions of Windows, use gpedit.msc to disable automatic restarts and Windows Defender settings.
  • Registry Hack: Advanced users can modify the registry directly to disable problematic settings permanently.

By methodically following these steps, you can determine the root cause of your computer restarting on shutdown and apply the appropriate fix to ensure it shuts down correctly.