How to ‘Emergency Restart’ PC on Windows 11

Windows 11 has an Emergency Restart option, and in this guide, you'll learn how to use it.

Windows 11 Emergency Restart
Windows 11 Emergency Restart
  • To “Emergency Restart” on Windows 11, use the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” shortcut, press and hold the “Ctrl” key, click the “Power” button, and click the “OK” button.

On Windows 11, “Emergency Restart” is a feature that allows you to force restart when the computer isn’t responding, but you can still navigate the interface, and in this guide, you will learn how to use it.

Usually, when your computer freezes and stops responding, you wait a few moments in case the system becomes responsive again or access Task Manager to terminate the unresponsive application. If that doesn’t work, you would typically press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the system shuts down completely, and then hard restart the computer. However, there’s an alternative solution using the Emergency Restart.

The Emergency Restart has been around for many versions of the operating system, and on Windows 11, it’s a feature that, instead of doing a grace shutdown by sending a signal to services and applications to save their content gracefully and close, it skips the graceful process and restarts the system immediately.

It’s always recommended to use the traditional shutdown and restart options, but if your device is not responding and you can still access the settings, you can use the Emergency Restart as the last resort instead of using the power button.

This guide will teach you the steps to force a restart when Windows 11 is not responding.

Emergency Restart on Windows 11

To use emergency restart on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Use the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” keyboard shortcut.

  2. Press and hold the “Ctrl” key and click the “Power” button from the bottom-right corner.

    Ctrl key + Power button

  3. Click the OK button for the “Emergency Restart” setting.

    Emergency Restart

Once you complete the steps, the system won’t do a grace shutdown and restart by turning off all the apps and services. Instead, it’ll ignore all the running processes and forcibly reboot the computer immediately without saving any of your work.

This process is the same as pressing and holding the power button to shut down a computer when it’s not responding. Also, the feature has been around for a long time, and these steps should work on Windows 11 as well as on Windows 10, 8.1, and 7.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].