How to Reboot a PC in Vista

by Jason Artman

When a computer "reboots," everything in memory is unloaded, the operating system shuts down, and all running software reloads. Rebooting a computer is a common troubleshooting step to take when things on the computer do not function as they should. Additionally, computers often need to be rebooted after new software is installed, in order to complete the installation process. There are several ways to reboot a PC running Windows Vista, but the simplest is generally to use the Start button--the small, circular Windows logo in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Rebooting Windows Vista with the Start Button

Step 1

Click the "Start" button in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Step 2

Click the right-facing arrow to the right of the padlock icon in the lower-right corner of the "Start" menu.

Click "Restart."

Rebooting Windows Vista with a Keyboard Shortcut

Step 1

Press the "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete" keys simultaneously.

Step 2

Click the up-facing arrow next to the red power icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Click "Restart."

Rebooting Windows Vista with the Command Prompt

Step 1

Click the "Start" button, then type "Command" in the "Search" box at the bottom of the "Start" menu.

Step 2

Click "Command Prompt" from the list of search results.

Type "shutdown /r" without quotation marks at the command prompt and press "Enter." You can also reach the command prompt by pressing the "Windows" key (the key with the Windows logo) and the "R" key simultaneously, then entering "cmd" in the window that appears.


  • Hold the "Shift" key while clicking "Restart" to restart Windows without rebooting your computer.


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About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.

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