Software & AppsOperating System

How To Force Restart a PC

How To Force Restart A Pc

If your PC is frozen or lagging, one of the ways to fix it is to restart it. Unfortunately, getting your PC to respond to your mouse clicks can be tricky when this happens. Instead of pulling the PC from a power source or removing the battery, force restarting your PC is a better option. But how do you force restart a PC? 

Quick Answer

There are several ways to force restart a PC. You can use the power button, keyboard commands, or the Start menu. So, whatever the situation is, you have an option you can use to restart your PC.  

Whether you are using a Windows or a Mac PC, you can restart your PC using any one of these methods. So, if one method does not work, you can always try another. Keep reading this article to learn more about how to force restart a PC.  

Different Methods To Force Restart Your PC 

It is recommended to restart your PC periodically as it helps your processor function optimally. When you don’t restart your PC, your computer memory and processor will store so much information that it may affect your PC, causing it to lag and freeze. You can fix your PC by force restarting it if your PC misbehaves. 

Method #1: Using the Power Button

If you are experiencing issues with your PC, you can force restart it by using the power button. Note that this method works on both Windows and Mac PCs. We recommend using this method when your PC’s mouse and keyboard have become totally unresponsive. 

Here’s how to use the power button to force restart a PC.

  1. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds or more until you hear the fan stops spinning. 
  2. Allow the PC to sit for about 30 seconds to a minute to lose electrical charge.  
  3. You can turn on your PC by pressing the power button and allowing it to boot normally. 

Method #2: Using the On-Screen Start Option

Another way to force restart your PC is with the on-screen start option. You can use this option when your PC’s mouse is still responsive but lags. Using the on-screen start option is a safe way to restart your PC. 

Here’s how to use the on-screen start option to force restart a PC.

  1. Use your mouse or trackpad to move your PC’s cursor over the Windows icon at the bottom left corner of your screen. 
  2. Right-click on the Windows icon.
  3. Move the cursor over the “Shut down or Sign out” option and move the right and click on the “Restart” option. 

Method #3: Using the Ctrl + Alt + Del Shortcut 

If the keyboard on your PC is still responsive, this shortcut is another way to force restart your PC. The good thing about using this shortcut is that it also gives you several other options you can use other than to restart your PC. You can use this shortcut to sign out, switch users, and lock your PC, amongst others. 

Here’s how to use the Ctrl + Alt + Del option to force restart a PC.

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys on your PC simultaneously; this will open a window.
  2. At the bottom right corner of your screen, select the power button
  3. Select “Restart” from the power option to restart your PC. 

Method #4: Using the Alt + F4 Shortcut 

The Alt + F4 is another shortcut you can use to restart your PC. This shortcut is a legacy feature on Windows PC that gives you a sure way to shut down or restart your PC only with your keyboard. You can use this shortcut to force close applications you are running on your PCs. You can also use this option to sleep and shut down a PC. 

Here’s how to use the Alt + F4 shortcut to force restart a PC.

  1. Press and hold the Alt + F4 keys on your PC.  
  2. In the window that pops up, click on the “Shut down” option, and from the drop-down list, select “Restart”
  3. Click on the “OK” button at the bottom of the window to restart your PC. 

When you force restart your PC, not saved files will be lost, and you may not be able to recover them. So, if possible, try to save every file you are working on before force restarting your PC. 


Force restarting a PC is pretty easy. As long as you know the different methods, you can reset any type of PC. But hopefully, if you restart your PC frequently and even shut it down, you might not have to force restart it. So, when you want to force restart your PC, take note of the right shortcut or method that best suits the situation. 

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