Restart Windows 8 or server 2012 in a remote desktop session

2012/10/16 | By | 17 Replies More

Restarting  Windows 8 or Server 2012 when in a remote desktop session

When you’re in a remote desktop connection in Windows 8 or Server 2012 the quickest way to restart the PC is to go to the desktop and  press ALT-F4.   Pressing Alt-F4  inside an application will close that application, so make sure you are on the desktop.

The below Shut Down Windows screen will appear. Choose Restart to restart the system.


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Category: Server 2008 R2, Server 2012

Comments (17)

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  1. Abbey Brooks says:

    I think your article is pretty great, i found it from a good friend of mine from Thailand

  2. Colin says:

    Thanks for the article. Pretty lame though that I even had to read an article to figure out how to restart a server! MS has utterly failed in the usability of Windows 8/Server 2012 over remote desktop.. You can’t use the edge of the screen when your session is windowed or mith multiple monitors. I want my start menu back!

  3. TheMatrix says:

    Thanks for the tip. Hopefully SP1 has some kind of GUI option to restart/shutdown a PC/Server over Remote Desktop.

  4. Steve says:

    Colin, use WindowsKey+c to pull up the “Charms” menu, then arrow keys to navigate to power options.

  5. Start8 works fine on Server 2012

  6. says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  7. Richard Pearson says:

    Very useful, many thanks.

  8. Charles says:

    @Colin, here is a nifty utility called Classic Shell, I installed on my first Windows Server 2012 installation. I found classic shell years ago when I first installed Windows 7. I’ve been in the IT field since Windows 95, and it amazes me how many changes go into each release of Windows. Some changes are okay, and others makes one wonder WTH were they thinking at MS.

  9. Roni says:

    hahahahahahahahahah , buttons don t let think , ALT F4 after hours looking for the reboot button … Thanks ..

  10. Behncke says:


    hätte man auch selber drauf kommen können.


  11. Emma says:

    Nice work!

  12. DrCurtis says:

    Very sad that as an IT admin i need to spend time on a web search to find out how to:
    1. get to a command prompt
    2. reboot a server i am rdp into

    on server 2012. Agree with the other posters that the UI for server 2012 is a complete failure. We may need to add a FTE due to server 2012 inefficiencies!

  13. NaderioLP says:

    lol – now I don’t longer have to sit in the box-of-shame :)
    Thank you for opening my blind eyes

  14. Melhor Hospedagem de sites says:

    Nice one, I’ll keep it noted. So easy but not never thought about it

  15. Top10 says:

    Cool, thanks for the nice tip :)

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