Difference in Windows 8.1 Shutdown behavior: WinX Menu vs. Charms Bar Shut down option

By now, most Windows 8 users are aware that Microsoft has introduced a new way in  to start your computer, called as Fast Startup – also known as Hybrid Boot. In this mode, the kernel session is not closed, but it is hibernated. This “kernel only” data file is smaller compared to the normal Hibernate file. Windows 8 uses this file during boot to get a substantial time-advantage during startup.

The Fast startup settings come into play only when you are shutting down the computer and not when you are restarting it. As a result, the system does not get reinitialized completely when you shutdown Windows 8 – and then start it, but only when only when you restart the Windows 8 computer. But sure there are instances where Windows 8, will reinitialize itself automatically, whenever needed or when a system or hardware change is effected.

Using the Charms Bar shutdown button made Windows 8 go in the Hybrid shutdown mode. We saw what we needed to do, if we wanted to force Windows 8 to shutdown fully.

Windows 8.1 Shutdown behavior

But Gov Maharaj over at The Defrag Show now explains that, in Windows 8.1, there is a difference in the way Windows 8.1 shuts down when using the Shutdown option in the WinX Menu & the way it shuts down when using the Shutdown option in Charms Bar, when you have Hybrid Boot or Fast Startup enabled. The Restart behavior is of course not affected or changed.

When you use the Shutdown option in the Charms Bar, Windows 8.1 will perform a Hybrid shut down, letting your perform a Fast Startup when it boots.


When you use the Shutdown option in the WinX Menu, Windows 8.1 will perform a full shut down.

So now as a Windows 8.1 user you will have to remember, that when you use the WinX Menu to shutdown your computer, Windows 8.1 will perform a full shutdown and your computer may take just a little more time to start.

But when you use the Charms Bar to shut down your computer, Windows 8.1 will perform a Hybrid Shutdown and consequently, your PC may start just a little bit faster.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, 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.


  1. if the power button is set to shutdown( i never use it, i’m always with restart-hibernate[power button], and sleep)

    i’m just curious, what does the power button do? and what about the shutdown from ?Alt+F4?

  2. Alt+F4 is Hybrid Shutdown, I am guessing…

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