How to Reboot a Computer Using Keyboard Shortcut?

What is a Computer Reboot?


A computer reboot, or restart, is the process of turning off and turning back on the computer to refresh its system and solve certain issues. It is similar to when you shut down your computer, but instead of completely powering it off, you initiate a restart, which involves powering it back on. Rebooting cleans up temporary files, clears the memory, and launches a fresh instance of the operating system, all of which can help resolve various software or hardware problems that may arise.

Why Rebooting Your Computer Can Be Beneficial?

benefits of rebooting computer

Rebooting your computer can provide several benefits. Firstly, it can resolve software issues. Sometimes, when you run certain programs or applications, they may not function properly due to memory leaks or conflicts with other programs. By rebooting your computer, you give it a chance to clear the memory and start afresh, eliminating any temporary glitches or conflicts.

Secondly, a reboot can help fix hardware problems. If you experience hardware-related glitches, such as a non-responsive mouse or keyboard, or if your computer freezes frequently, a restart can often resolve these issues. Restarting the computer gives it a chance to reset and reestablish connections, potentially resolving any hardware conflicts or malfunctions.

Additionally, rebooting can improve overall system performance. As you use your computer, various background processes and programs accumulate, eating away at system resources. This can lead to slower performance, increased lag, and decreased productivity. By restarting your computer, you give it a chance to close any unnecessary processes, freeing up system resources and boosting overall performance.

Lastly, a reboot can help apply system updates and changes. After a reboot, the computer can apply any pending updates or software changes. This ensures that your computer is up to date with the latest security patches, bug fixes, and system enhancements, which can improve stability and protect against potential threats.

Methods to Reboot a Computer with the Keyboard

reboot computer with keyboard

Although the standard method of rebooting a computer involves using the mouse to navigate through menus and click on options, you can also reboot your computer using only the keyboard. This can be helpful if your mouse is unresponsive or disabled, or if you simply prefer using keyboard shortcuts for efficiency.

Here are a few methods to reboot a computer using the keyboard:

Method 1: The Ctrl + Alt + Delete Shortcut

Ctrl + Alt + Delete

One of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts for restarting a computer is Ctrl + Alt + Delete. This key combination brings up the Task Manager window, but also provides access to other options, including the ability to restart the computer.

To reboot your computer using Ctrl + Alt + Delete:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys simultaneously.
  2. A blue screen will appear with several options.
  3. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate to the option labeled “Restart” or “Restart Computer.”
  4. Press the Enter key to select the restart option.

Your computer will then begin the restart process, closing all open programs and applications before powering off and restarting.

Method 2: Using the Windows Key

Windows key

If your computer is running on a Windows operating system, you can use the Windows key on your keyboard to access the Start menu, which includes the restart option.

To reboot your computer using the Windows key:

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard (usually located between the Ctrl and Alt keys).
  2. The Start menu will open.
  3. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate to the power icon or the icon representing your user account.
  4. Press the Enter key to open the options menu.
  5. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the restart option.
  6. Press the Enter key to select the restart option.

Your computer will then initiate the restart process, shutting down and powering back on.

Method 3: The Alt + F4 Shortcut

Alt + F4

Another keyboard shortcut that can be used to initiate a restart is Alt + F4. This key combination is commonly used to close active windows or programs, but it can also be used to access the shutdown options menu.

To reboot your computer using Alt + F4:

  1. Ensure that no windows or programs are currently selected or active.
  2. Click on the desktop or press the Esc key to deselect any open windows.
  3. Press the Alt + F4 keys simultaneously.
  4. A small dialogue box will appear.
  5. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate to the restart option.
  6. Press the Enter key to select the restart option.

Your computer will then go through the restart process, closing all active windows and applications before shutting down and restarting.

These are just a few methods to reboot your computer using only the keyboard. It’s important to note that the specific key combinations and shortcuts may vary based on the operating system and settings of your computer. It’s recommended to consult your computer’s documentation or search for specific instructions based on your system if these methods do not work.



Rebooting your computer is a simple yet powerful solution that can resolve software issues, fix hardware problems, improve performance, and ensure the proper application of updates. While there are standard methods to reboot a computer using a mouse, knowing how to do it using only the keyboard can be beneficial in certain situations. Whether it’s using the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut, accessing the restart option through the Windows key, or utilizing the Alt + F4 shortcut, these methods can help you initiate a reboot and get your computer back up and running smoothly.

The Importance of Rebooting a Computer

Rebooting a Computer

Regularly rebooting your computer helps to clear out temporary files, fix minor glitches, and improve overall system performance. When your computer runs for an extended period of time without a restart, it can accumulate various temporary files and processes that can slow down your system. Restarting the computer allows it to clear out these temporary files, giving your system a fresh start and potentially improving its speed and performance.

In addition to helping clear out temporary files, rebooting your computer can also fix minor glitches and issues that may arise during day-to-day usage. Over time, your computer’s software and hardware components can encounter small errors that may lead to freezing, crashes, or other malfunctions. By rebooting your computer, you give it the opportunity to reset and resolve any issues that may be causing these problems.

Rebooting your computer is also beneficial for software updates and installations. Sometimes, certain updates or software installations require a system restart to fully take effect. By rebooting your computer after installing new updates or software, you ensure that the changes are properly implemented and that all necessary components are functioning correctly.

Furthermore, regular reboots can help detect and prevent potential hardware problems. When you restart your computer, it undergoes a thorough self-check process called the Power-On Self Test (POST). During this test, the computer checks for any hardware issues and verifies that all components are working properly. If any issues are detected, the computer may display error messages or fail to start, indicating a potential hardware problem. By catching these issues early on, you can take the necessary steps to address them before they worsen.

It’s important to note that a computer restart is different from a shutdown and power-on process. When you shut down your computer, it turns off completely, and the subsequent power-on process involves a cold start. On the other hand, rebooting your computer involves restarting it without completely shutting it down. This allows the computer to perform a warm start, preserving certain system settings and configurations. Warm starts are generally faster than cold starts and help to maintain any programs or files that were open before the reboot.

In conclusion, regularly rebooting your computer is essential for maintaining its performance, fixing minor issues, and ensuring smooth software and hardware operation. By clearing out temporary files, resolving glitches, implementing updates, and catching hardware problems early on, you can help prolong the life and efficiency of your computer.

Step-by-Step Guide to Rebooting with the Keyboard

Reboot Computer

Rebooting your computer is sometimes necessary to resolve issues or refresh the system. While many people are accustomed to using the mouse to navigate through menus and initiate a restart, did you know that you can reboot your computer using just the keyboard? In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of rebooting your computer using your keyboard.

Press the Windows Key

Windows key

The first step is to locate the Windows key on your keyboard. This key is usually located on the bottom row, between the Ctrl and Alt keys, and is marked with the Windows logo. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu.

Navigate to the Power Option

Power option

Once the Start menu is open, you will need to navigate to the Power option. To do this, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the selection box up and down the menu until it highlights the Power option.

Access the Power Options Menu

Power options menu

Once the Power option is highlighted, press the Enter key to access the power options menu. This menu contains various power-related options for your computer.

Select Restart

Restart option

In the power options menu, use the arrow keys to navigate to the Restart option. Once the Restart option is selected, press the Enter key to initiate the reboot process.

Wait for the Reboot

Rebooting computer

After selecting Restart, your computer will begin the reboot process. This may take a few moments as the system shuts down and restarts. During this time, it is important to allow the computer to complete the reboot process uninterrupted.


Rebooting your computer with just the keyboard can be a useful skill to have, especially if your mouse is not functioning properly or if you simply prefer using the keyboard for navigation. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can easily reboot your computer using the Windows key and arrow keys on your keyboard. Remember, it is important to wait for the reboot process to complete before using your computer again. So, the next time you need to reboot your computer, give the keyboard method a try!

Alternative Keyboard Shortcuts for Rebooting

Alternative Keyboard Shortcuts for Rebooting

Aside from using the Ctrl + Alt + Delete combination to reboot your computer, there are alternative keyboard shortcuts that you can try. These shortcuts are useful when your computer becomes unresponsive and the standard method fails to work. In this section, we will explore some of these alternative keyboard shortcuts for rebooting.

1. Ctrl + Shift + Esc: This shortcut allows you to directly access the Task Manager without going through the additional step of using the Ctrl + Alt + Delete combination. Once the Task Manager opens, you can navigate to the “File” menu and select “Run new task” to restart your computer.

2. Win + D: The Win + D shortcut minimizes all open windows and takes you to the desktop. From there, you can press Alt + F4 to open the Shutdown options dialog. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the “Restart” option and press Enter to reboot your computer.

3. Win + L: The Win + L shortcut locks your computer screen. While this may not directly reboot your computer, it can be helpful if your computer is frozen or unresponsive. After locking your computer, you can press the power button to turn it off and then turn it back on to initiate a reboot.

4. Ctrl + Alt + Esc: This shortcut is an alternative way to access the Task Manager. When pressed, it immediately opens the Task Manager without requiring the intermediate step of using Ctrl + Shift + Esc. From there, you can follow the same steps as mentioned in shortcut number 1 to restart your computer.

5. Ctrl + Shift + Win + B: This shortcut is most useful when your computer screen goes black but the system is still running. By pressing Ctrl + Shift + Win + B, you send a signal to refresh the video driver and potentially recover the display without having to restart your computer.

6. Alt + SysRq + R, E, I, S, U, B: This shortcut is a sequence of keys that can be used to perform a safe reboot when your computer is not responding. Each letter represents a specific action: R – Switch the keyboard from raw mode to XLATE mode, E – Send a SIGTERM signal to all processes except for init, I – Send a SIGKILL signal to all processes except for init, S – Flush data from disk to reduce the chance of data corruption, U – Remount all file systems as read-only, and B – Immediately reboot the system. It is important to note that this shortcut may not work on all computers, so it is recommended to try the other alternatives first.

These alternative keyboard shortcuts provide additional options for rebooting your computer when the standard Ctrl + Alt + Delete method does not work. It is always advisable to save your work and close any open programs before attempting a reboot. If none of these shortcuts are effective in restarting your computer, it may be necessary to consult a professional technician for further assistance.

When to Use Keyboard Rebooting and When Not to

keyboard reboot

The method of rebooting a computer using the keyboard can be quite handy in many situations. However, it is crucial to understand when it is appropriate to utilize this method and when it is better to avoid it. Below, we will discuss when to use keyboard rebooting and when not to, ensuring that your valuable work is not lost and that any critical issues are addressed properly.

When to Use Keyboard Rebooting

keyboard shortcut

In most cases, keyboard rebooting can be an effective solution to resolve various software-related issues on your computer. Here are some scenarios where using the keyboard to reboot is recommended:

1. System Freeze: If your computer freezes completely and becomes unresponsive, utilizing the keyboard reboot shortcut can help restart your system quickly. It can be a time-saving alternative to manually turning off the computer through the power button.
2. Unresponsive Programs: When an application becomes unresponsive and you are unable to close it through normal means, a keyboard reboot can help close the program forcefully. This can help regain control of your system without resorting to a complete system restart.
3. Keyboard and Mouse Failure: In situations where your keyboard or mouse stops working, a keyboard reboot can help reset the input devices and restore their functionality. This allows you to continue using your computer without the need for external assistance.
4. Non-Critical Software Issues: If you encounter non-critical software issues, such as unresponsive menus or sluggish performance, a keyboard reboot can clear temporary glitches and potentially improve system performance without the need for extensive troubleshooting.

In these scenarios, utilizing the keyboard rebooting method can save you time and hassle, providing a quick solution to common software-related problems.

When Not to Use Keyboard Rebooting

unsaved work

While the keyboard rebooting method is useful for most situations, it is important to avoid using it if you have unsaved work or if the computer is experiencing a critical issue that requires professional assistance. Here are some instances where you should refrain from using the keyboard reboot method:

1. Unsaved Work: If you have important unsaved work, using the keyboard reboot shortcut can result in data loss. Always save your documents or projects before performing a reboot, ensuring that you do not lose any valuable information.
2. Critical System Errors: In case your computer encounters critical system errors, such as blue screen errors or constant crashes, it is advisable to seek professional help instead of relying solely on the keyboard rebooting method. These issues often require deeper troubleshooting and expertise to prevent further damage to your system.
3. Hardware Malfunction: If your computer experiences hardware failures or malfunctions, keyboard rebooting may not resolve the underlying issue. It is recommended to consult a technician or IT support to diagnose and fix hardware-related problems properly.

By avoiding the use of keyboard rebooting in these situations, you can prevent potential data loss and ensure that critical issues are addressed by professionals equipped with the necessary expertise.

In conclusion, the keyboard rebooting method is a valuable tool for resolving various software-related issues. However, it is vital to exercise caution and only use it in appropriate situations. By understanding when to use keyboard rebooting and when not to, you can effectively troubleshoot software problems without compromising your data or exacerbating critical issues.

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