PC Components

What Does Alt + F4 Do on a Computer?

Alt + F4 Keyboard Shortcut

The purpose of the PC shortcuts button is to quickly make us perform a particular operation on a PC without having to navigate two or more window panes. One shortcut that can make you perform functions faster is the Alt + F4 shortcut.

Quick Answer

The Alt + F4 shortcut lets you quickly close a document without navigating to the close button on your PC screen. You can use the Alt + F4 shortcut to close tabs in the Chrome browser. You can also use it to close currently opened windows for documents applications, for example, Microsoft Word.

Below you will learn what the Alt + F4 does and how you can use it to close your windows on your PC browsers or other open windows.

What Does Alt + F4 Do on a Computer?

An Alt +F4 closes the current window. For instance, if you press Alt + F4 while an application is running, it closes.

You can press the two keys at once. In another way, you can hold the Alt key and then press the F4 key one after the other.

This Alt + F4 shortcut works on all Windows, including Windows 10. It can close your Windows computer browser and all open tabs.

If you have no programs currently running and press the Alt + F4, it opens the Shutdown window.


Most times, pressing Alt + F4 closes the window without notice to keep the current session. Hence, you should save any current session before pressing Alt + F4.

Why Is My Alt + F4 Not Working?

If your Alt + F4 doesn’t work, it could be for some reason, such as a multifunction keyboard where the keys have different functions. For example, the function keys have parts for brightness or volume.

Other reasons your Alt F4 isn’t working are the following.

  • You aren’t using a Windows PC.
  • Your keyboard keys are faulty.
  • The keyboard shortcut is disabled on your PC.
  • Something is preventing the window from closing, probably a bug or a corrupt program.

How To Fix Alt + F4 That’s Not Working

Below are three ways to close windows using the shortcut keys apart from Alt + F4.

Fix #1: Use Alt + Fn + F4

If you have a multifunction keyboard like a laptop, you must press the function key (Fn) to enable the Alt + F4.

Hence, to use Alt + F4 on a laptop computer, press Alt + Fn + F4. It will close the window as it does on a regular computer.

Fix #2: Use the Windows Task Manager 

If you are using a regular laptop and the Alt + F4 still fails to work, you should close the window using the Windows Task Manager.

To use the Windows Task Manager to close a current window, press “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” and select Task Manager.

Fix #3: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc

Lastly, you can go to “Ctrl + Shift + Esc”. It will take you to the Task Manager.

When you right-click the application you are working on and select “End task”, it will close the program.

What’s the Difference Between Alt + F4 and Ctrl + F4?

Alt + F4 closes the Windows application or program, while Ctrl + F4 only closes the currently open window of the program. If you have only one active window page running, both shortcuts will perform the same function.

In Microsoft Word, Ctrl + F4 closes the current document, while the Alt + F4 shortcut exits MS word after completing all documents.

In some PCs, Alt + F4 closes the current application, while Ctrl + F4 closes the existing windows. Laptop users need to press the Fn key to activate this.

Keep in Mind

If you want to close a single tab or window and not the whole window, use the Ctrl + F4 keyboard shortcut.

What’s the Difference Between Alt + F4 and Ctrl + W?

You can use Ctrl + W to close any tab of your browser. To recover such bills, press Ctrl + Shift + T. Note you can’t recover closed charges in private window browsers.

On some PCs, picking Ctrl + W when you are on your file manager window gets you to your Downloads, Control Panel, or Songs folder.

Quick Note

Alt + F4 can close Notepad, Ms. Office, Registry Editor, and your whole PC. However, it doesn’t work on all software, like CMD, Tally, Ms. DOS, and Counter-Strike.

Why Is My Windows Not Closing on My PC?

If your Windows OS fails to close or becomes unresponsive, there is likely a clash between the programs running and the hardware in your PC.

Lack of system resources such as RAM and ROM space and the presence of bugs can also make your Windows unresponsive.

How To Fix Unresponsive Windows

In situations where your Alt + F4 doesn’t work to close it, you can do the following.

  • Try to restart your computer.
  • Uninstall any programs you suspect are currently making your PC unresponsive.
  • Perform virus scans on your PC.


Windows shortcuts provide a valuable way to send instructions to the computer, particularly when it becomes unresponsive when using the mouse. The shortcut Alt + F4 is for closing any currently active windows on your PC. Follow the instructions in this article to see how you can activate this shortcut and what to do if the shortcut isn’t working.

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