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How to Emergency Restart in Windows 10 & 11

Did you know Windows has a secret way of restarting your computer? It’s called the Emergency Restart. This feature is incredibly useful when a normal restart isn’t working, your system is unresponsive, or you need to troubleshoot serious issues. In this tutorial, I’ll explain the differences between a normal restart and an emergency restart, when to use it, and how to perform an emergency restart in Windows 10 & 11. Let’s get started!

Normal Restart VS Emergency Restart

Understanding the differences between a normal restart and an emergency restart is important. That way, you will know when to use Emergency Restart and understand its consequences.

Normal Restart

When you perform a normal restart by clicking the restart option in the Start menu, using the Alt + F4 dialog, or on the login screen, Windows attempts to close the applications gracefully, allow them to save data, and exit properly before restarting. It even allows applications to interrupt the restart process under certain circumstances such as unsaved data.

Emergency Restart

Under emergency restart, Windows skips the normal shutdown procedures, forcefully closes all applications, and immediately restarts your computer. This can lead to data loss if there is any unsaved work. However, under certain circumstances where the system is unresponsive or the normal restart isn’t working, you can perform the emergency restart. It’s a much better alternative compared to restarting Windows via the hardware reset button.

Steps to Perform Emergency Restart on Windows 10 & 11

  1. Press “Ctrl + Alt + Del” to open the Security Options screen.
  2. Hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard.
  3. Click the “Power” icon on the bottom left corner.
  4. Click “OK” when prompted for emergency restart.
Emergency Restart
Click ‘OK’ to perform an emergency restart

As soon as you confirm your action, Windows restarts immediately.

When to Perform Emergency Restart

You should perform an emergency restart only when there is no other choice. For example, the system is unresponsive or the normal restart option isn’t working. Or perhaps for troubleshooting purposes. Always save your work, if you can, before performing an emergency restart.

Wrapping Up

Emergency Restart is quite a helpful feature that every Windows user should know. While it is extremely useful, only perform it as a last resort, and do keep in mind that it might cause data loss in case of any unsaved data.

If you have any questions or need help, comment below. I will answer.

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