Microsoft introduced a feature called “Fast Startup” with Windows 8 and is still present in Windows 10 and 11.
With fast startup enabled by default on most computers, when you choose to “Shut down” your computer it doesn’t actually shut it down. Rather it keeps the Windows kernel in a state of hibernation in order to quickly boot your computer the next time you turn it on.
If you have an issue with your computer, such as the WiFi or sound not working, those errors may be related to and stored within the Windows kernel. A shut down will not clear them, but rather allow them to persist when you turn it back on! Counterintuitively, a “Restart” instructs the computer to clear the Windows kernel cache and reboot your computer.
So shutting down your computer doesn’t actually shut it down but a reboot does. Makes no sense to me and so what if the computer takes a few more seconds to load?
In this article I will show you how to disable the Windows “Fast Startup“ option on your computer so that a shut down actually works as one would imagine.
Click on the Windows “Start” icon down at the bottom left (or center left if on Windows 11) and click on the Power icon. While holding down the “Shift” key on your keyboard, click “Shut down“. If you don’t want to have to keep remembering to hold down the Shift key when shutting your computer down then you can simply disable the Fast Startup option using the instructions below.
Click on the Windows “Start” icon down at the bottom left (or center left if on Windows 11) and type “Control“. There is no input field, once you start typing it will begin the search automatically. Once you see the “Control Panel” app appear, click on it.
From there, select “Hardware and Sound” > under Power Options select “Change what the power buttons do” > click on the hyperlinked text near the top labeled: “Change settings that are currently unavailable” and finally toggle the “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” option and click the “Save changes” button at the bottom right of the System Settings window.
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