How to Restart Windows 10 (The Correct Procedure)

Sometimes we need to restart a computer without going through a whole shut down and power-up cycle. So here is a tutorial on how to restart Windows 10.

A restart is often referred to as a warm or soft reboot. And yes, you guessed it, a fully powered off shut down and power up is known as a cold or hard reboot.

You don’t want to simply unplug your computer while it’s running, plug it back in, and turn it on to restart it. This can harm your computer’s operating system files.

How to restart your computer

how to restart windows

To perform a restart, please follow these steps:

1. Open the Start Menu

Left-click the Start Menu icon or press the Windows key on your keyboard.

2. Click on the power icon

Left-click on the power icon.

3. Click on Restart

Left-click on the ‘Restart’ option in the list.

Alternative Method – The Start Button’s contextual menu

Another way to perform a reboot is by using the contextual menu from the Start Menu icon.

restart windows using the start menus contextual menu

1. Open the Start Menu’s contextual menu

Right-click on the Start Menu icon to open the contextual menu.

2. Hover over Shut down or sign out

Hover your mouse pointer over ‘Shut down or sign out’ to open the sub-menu for it.

3. Left-click on Restart

Left-click on the ‘Restart’ option in the sub-menu.

Although this method contains only two clicks as opposed to the three in the above method, it’s sometimes a little trickier for some people to hover directly in line with the ‘Shut down or sign out’ item to open the sub-menu.

So it will be down to your personal preference as to which method becomes your preferred choice.

How to restart a frozen system

Sometimes a computer can freeze up and make it rather difficult for you to restart it. There are two ways you can deal with this situation to restart it:

  1. Press the reset button on your computer (located somewhere near the power button).
  2. Press and hold down the power button if you don’t have a reset switch or use a laptop or tablet.


That’s how you can restart your computer without having to fully power it off. All you have to do is wait for it to close down Windows and reboot. Once Windows has fully loaded again, you can continue to use your computer as normal.

Restarting your computer this way usually cuts out some diagnostics carried out through your BIOS or UEFI. This means that it will most likely reboot slightly quicker compared to a full power down and power up.