Windows 10/8/7 will not Shutdown or Restart

When you click on the Windows 10 Shutdown or Restart button, and you find that your Windows 10 will not shut down or restart, then this post will help you troubleshoot and fix the problem. It may go as far as the teal colored screen, where it displays Shutting Down … or Restarting… and then remain there. In other words, your Windows 10/8/7 may during shut down, freeze or the activity circle on the screen may continue to move – and the only way to shut it down is to press the Power button to power down the system.

Windows will not Shutdown or Restart

Windows does not shut down or restart

Here are a few valid reasons that may be prolonging or preventing a Windows shutdown or restart.

1. If yours is a new Windows install, maybe “OOBE” is taking its time. This is especially true in the earlier versions of Windows. In the initial days, when you try to restart or shut down a Windows-based computer, the system may take a long time to restart or to shut down.

Alternatively or additionally, you may receive a message that resembles the following: Windows is configuring updates. This usually occurs 1-2 days after you first start Windows – or sometimes after a Windows Update. The problem occurs because the system has to perform maintenance functions, to delete unnecessary files. Typically, this process will occur one or two days after the Out Of Box Experience (OOBE) Wizard runs. When this problem occurs, it may take as long as 10-20 minutes to shut the system down. The process occurs only one time. So just wait for the process to finish once.

2. If you’ve updated your Windows, maybe the Updates are taking a little longer than expected time to configure or install. Best to let the system take its own sweet time, as it only a temporary situation.

3. Have you set Windows to delete Page (Swap) file at every shutdown? If so then this process will take some time. You may use this Microsoft Fix It to enable or disable deletion of the Page File. In this case, you will have to make Windows stop deleting the Page File at every shutdown. While on the subject, this post on how to Disable, delete, recreate paging file in Windows may also interest you.

Windows will not shut down

But if you think that the problem is something else and is a recurring one, then here are the possible reasons:

  1. One of your processes or services is not shutting down.
  2. You have a faulty or incompatible device driver installed.
  3. You have a faulty or incompatible program running.

Here are a few suggestions which you may consider, not necessarily in the order mentioned, that will help you troubleshoot the problem. Please go through the entire list first and then see what may apply to you.

1. Undo any recent changes which you may have made to your system. You may have to uninstall a recently installed program or an update or a device driver.

2. Try a Last Known Good Configuration or a System Restore.

3. Use the Task Manager to try manually and identify the probable cause or causes for this. Manually stop and quit the suspect program, and then shut down to see if the issue is being resolved. You may have to repeat the procedure with several running processes.

4. Enter Safe Mode. From the Menu, move the cursor down to Enable Boot Logging and hit Enter.

On reboot, search for the ntbtlog.txt file in C:\Windows folder. Look for any signs of problems loading device drivers. If you find problems, go into Device Manager and disable the device or uninstall the program. Reboot. If the problem does not occur then you know, it was that device or program causing problems.

6. Perform a Clean Boot to troubleshoot the problem. This may help you identify offending third-party processes that is stopping your Windows from shutting down or restarting normally.

5. Upgrade the Computer’s CMOS/BIOS. Faulty CMOS and BIOS settings can cause startup and shutdown problems.

6. If you have a computer that is running Windows 7. When the system is under heavy load, you may encounter a problem where Windows 7 stops or the keyboard responding when you shut down the computer or put the computer to Sleep. This problem frequently occurs on computers that have multiple processors or that have a processor with multiple cores. In this case, apply the hotfix from KB977307.

7. Enable Verbose Status Messages. This will help you identify, at which point Windows stops the shutting down process.

8. Enable the Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10/8/7 so as to be able to analyze your system shutdown process.

9. Run Performance Troubleshooter and see if it helps you. Type the following in Run box and hit Enter to open it.

%systemroot%\system32\msdt.exe -id PerformanceDiagnostic

10. View the Event Logs using the built-in Event Viewer or our freeware Windows Event Viewer Plus to do so easily. Maybe you will find something in the Event Logs.

11. If you are running Windows 10/8, disable Hybrid Shutdown and see if it helps.

12. Use the Emergency Shutdown or Restart option in Windows.

13. Reset BootExecute registry value and see it this will solve your shutdown problems.

14. Windows 10 users may want to check if their Management Engine Driver for Intel is updated to the latest versions.

UPDATE: Please read the comment by gogopogo below.

Hope something helps!

Post ported from WinVistaClub, updated and posted here.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.