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Windows 10 Freezes on Shutdown or Restart

Read Time: 2 mins

Windows10Windows 10 users have been reporting this very annoying issue since 2015 or earlier: Just Google “Windows 10 hangs on shutdown” or “Windows 10 freezes on shutdown or restart“. Page after page of complaints and suggestions, including many by Microsoft.


Several of these have promising titles such as

  • Fixed: Windows 10 Hangs or Stuck on Shut Down
  • [SOLVED] Windows 10 Stuck On Restarting
  • Windows 10 Won’t Shut Down? Here’s How to Fix It!

There are numerous suggested fixes including

  • update all your drivers
  • update the Intel Management Engine Interface
  • turn off fast startup in Power Settings
  • stop Chrome running in the background even if Chrome is not your default browser
  • check for disk errors using chkdsk or corrupted files using built-in Windows utilities sfc /scannow and DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • disconnect all the external devices (printers, scanner, USB devices, etc.) except mouse and keyboard and restart by holding down the power button
  • run the Windows 10 Power Troubleshooter
  • run the Windows 10 Update Troubleshooter
  • reset or reinstall Windows
  • and numerous others including probably the dumbest of all: “start Task Manager with Ctrl-Alt-Del to find out which service is not shutting down” – Hello? How do you do this if your system is frozen?

Well, I tried almost all of these, other than a complete Windows reset or a clean install of Windows, and none of them worked.

I finally found a suggestion I hadn’t seen before (my apologies but I can’t recall the source for this): Reset your BIOS settings to the Default Settings.

Okay. What do I have to lose? (Famous last words, I know.)

This just involves pressing F2 or F8 or F10 or Del when booting up your computer (it varies with the manufacturer) to get into your Settings screen, and then looking for an option that says “default settings” or “optimal settings”. Click on that, click on Yes, and click on Save and Exit.

I can’t guarantee that this will work for you but I can say that after hours and hours of trying to fix my system this was the only thing that worked for me. As always, your mileage may vary.

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