It used to be a huge no-no, but now it’s okay. You can even customize your power button, which lets you choose what happens when you hit it on a PC. (Speaking of which, here are seven ways to optimize your Windows computer.)
It may sound strange that you can press the power button for a stress-free shutdown. But if you’ve had a computer built in the last 10 years, it’s perfectly fine to shut down your PC that way. It doesn’t cause any problems; It simply turns off your computer.
If you were taught to never shut down your PC by holding down the power button, that’s because older computers couldn’t handle a sudden shutdown. Pressing the button will turn off all power flowing to the computer’s hardware. In other words, older computers might not shut down properly, which meant you had to deal with corrupted files or lost work.
Many people don’t think it’s safe to shut down or restart their computer this way.
Long story short: In the old days, hitting the power button without properly slowing down your computer first could have caused damage. That’s why many PC users were taught to navigate to the shutdown option first, which gave the operating system a fair heads-up. Older computers need time to complete all running tasks before they can prepare for a proper shutdown.
New computers are a completely different beast. They don’t require you to alert the OS that it is not safe to turn it off. They can just turn off the power at the drop of a hat.
New computers have used the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) standard for more than a decade. We get it – it’s a mouthful. Basically, it’s a fancy industry term that describes the way power is consumed by a computer. It sets standards for hardware devices.
Thanks to the new ACPI standard, pressing the power button on a new computer alerts the OS that it needs to start shutting down its processes. This means you don’t have to take the extra step of finding your Windows button, clicking Power, and then selecting Shut Down. Modern computers are smart enough to safely shut down the power button with a simple press. clear, huh?
There is also a super neat customization trick that you should try.
Do you know what can change when you press the power button?
When you press the physical power button, you probably expect it to turn off. But you can change the purpose of the button so it goes to sleep, hibernates, or even turns the display off.
It’s a super easy trick that gives you more flexibility with your equipment. (For example, you can save a gadget’s amount of battery life by making it hibernate instead of sleep.) Follow these steps to get the job done:
This will open a new panel called Power Options. On the left side of the panel, you’ll see what the power button does. Click on it and you will get a new panel called System Settings.
Look for the section that says When I press the power button: and then tap the down arrow next to Sleep. You will see a list of five options: