If you are a Windows XP, Vista or 7 user it might seem odd dedicating a tip to shutting down, restarting and putting the computer to sleep, but Windows 8 is just so different it's worth discussing. There are multiple ways to shut down or restart and there are methods you probably didn't know existed. You have to learn new ways of using the computer in Windows 8. Let's look at these new power functions.
The slowest way to shut down the computer is to click your name at the top of the Start screen. Click Sign Out to return to the Lock screen that appears when you start the computer. Click and drag it up the screen to move it out of the way and then click the Power button at the bottom. There are three options: Sleep, Shut Down and Restart.
That's too slow, so here is a faster method. Move the mouse to the top right corner of the screen, no matter what application you are running, if any. After a second or two the charms bar slides in from the right. Move the mouse down to the bottom and click Settings, then Power. There are three options: Sleep, Shut Down and Restart.
The best method if you are at the desktop is to click the taskbar and press Alt+F4.
This feature has been in Windows for some time, but you have probably never used it before. That is because it was so easy to click Start, Shut Down. Now, without the Start menu, clicking the taskbar and pressing Alt+F4 is a useful way to switch users, sign out, enter sleep (low power) mode, restart the computer or shut it down completely. Try it in all versions of Windows.
One final way to shut down or restart is to press Ctrl+Alt+Del. Many years ago this used to reset the computer, but these days it doesn't do anything so dramatic and it displays a menu screen. In the bottom right corner is a power button and clicking it gives you the option to shut down or restart.