How To Turn Your Computer ON/OFF

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Why Is It Important?

To keep your computer system and files safe it is important to know how to properly turn your computer on and off. If you simply turn off your computer by pressing the power button on the computer case (this is called a hard shutdown) you may ruin your hard drive and corrupt your system’s files. When files are corrupted they become unusable and may cause your computer to give you many errors (and headaches) or it may cause your computer to stop working entirely.

Turning Your Computer ON

First, check to see if your computer system and monitor are already on by running through the following list: (For the purpose of this exercise, think of your computer system as having two parts, if it is a desktop computer, one part is the monitor and the other is the computer case.)

Steps To Turning Your MONITOR On

1. Look at the monitor’s Power Symbol Power On indicator light. Is it on, off, yellow, or green? Monitor power button
2. If the light is yellow (in idle mode), move your mouse around or tap a key on your keyboard once. The indicator light will turn green and the screen will “wake up” or activate.
3. If the light is off, turn the monitor on by pressing the power button once. If the monitor is not turning on, try pressing the power button once more and deeper in, otherwise, check and make sure the power cord is connected, from the monitor to the power outlet.

Steps To Turning Your COMPUTER SYSTEM On

4. Listen. Do you hear any noise coming from your computer case? If you hear a fan-like noise, your computer is on and the monitor should display text or images.
5. Look. Is the computer case’s Power Symbol Power On indicator light on or off? Press the power button to turn it on if the light is off.  PC power button
6. If your computer does not turn on, make sure that it is connected to a power source and that the power cable is securely attached to the back of the case.
HOORAY! You have turned ON your computer. Now to log-in to the system…

The Log-in Screen

Depending on how your computer is set-up and which operating system is installed on your computer, your screen may look different from the following examples. Also, you may or may not encounter a login window but it is highly recommended that your computer account be password protected for better security.

  • Windows XP:
Windows XP default login

Version 1 (above): In this version of the login screen you (1) click on your user account, there may be more than one, (2) left-click once inside the password field (if the text cursor, a small and thin black line that “blinks” on and off, is not there already), (3) type in your password, (4) then either press the Enter key on your keyboard OR click the arrow next to the password field and (5) wait for the Desktop to load.

Ctrl-Alt-Del window

Version 2 (above): This version of the login screen requires a two-step process. (1) On your keyboard look for and press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. (2) If different window appears with an OK button, click the OK button.

Log-in window

Now you can (1) type in your user name and (2) password. (3) Press the Enter key OR click the OK button, then (4) wait for your Desktop to load.

  • Windows Vista login screen (depending on the settings you may have to press Ctrl, Alt, Delete to access this login screen):

Vista Login screen

On Windows Vista (above) you (1) select your user account and then (2) type in your password, (3) press the Enter key once OR click the arrow next to the password field and (4) wait for the Desktop to load.

  • Windows 7 login screen (again, depending on the settings you may have to press Ctrl, Alt, Delete to access this login screen):

Windows 7 Login screen

The Windows 7 login screen (above) is very similar to the Vista version. (1) Type your user name and (2) password, (3) press the Enter key once OR click the arrow next to the password field and (4) wait for the Desktop to load.

Turning Your Computer OFF (Shutting Down)

Once you are ready to turn your computer off, follow these steps:

Steps To Turning Your COMPUTER SYSTEM Off (Shutting Down) For Windows XP

1. Click the Start button and locate the Shut Down button on the Start menu:  XP Shut Down Button  XP Start Menu - Shut Down Button
2. When you click the Shut Down button on the Start menu a small window will appear while the background of the screen will turn gray. This window has three options: Stand By, Turn Off, and Restart. Click the Turn Off button on this window and wait for the computer to turn itself off. You will know your computer is off when your monitor goes blank and the fan on your computer quiets down.  Turn off computer window

Steps To Turning Your COMPUTER SYSTEM Off (Shutting Down) For Windows Vista

1. Click the Start button to open up the Start menu.  Vista Start Menu
2.  On the lower right corner of the Start menu, locate and click the small button with an arrow (1) to open up another menu with these options: Switch User, Log Off, Lock, Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down.         3. Click the (2) Shut Down option and wait for the computer to turn itself off. You will know your computer is off when your monitor goes blank and the fan on your computer quiets down.  Vista Shut Down steps

Steps To Turning Your COMPUTER SYSTEM Off (Shutting Down) For Windows 7

1. (These steps are similar to Vista’s) Click the Start button to open up the Start menu.  Windows 7 Start menu
2. On the lower right corner of the Start menu, locate and click the Shut down button and wait for the computer to turn itself off. You will know your computer is off when your monitor goes blank and the fan on your computer quiets down.  Windows7 Shut Down button
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