How to Restart Dell Laptop: 6 Quick And Reliable Ways

how to restart dell laptop

Sometimes you need to restart your laptop in order to keep everything running smoothly. However, you might not know how or if your laptop is frozen. So, in this article I will show you how to restart Dell laptop using various methods.

However, the procedure may not be apparent to every user, especially those who are technologically challenged or facing unusual circumstances such as a system freeze.

A laptop may freeze or show a blue screen due to a plethora of reasons including hardware issues, software conflicts, or overloading of system resources. This guide aims to assist you with easy-to-follow instructions on how to restart your Dell laptop and discuss some common reasons why it might be frozen in the first place.

Dealing with Residual Electricity (Flea Power) in Dell Laptops

It’s crucial to understand that the capacitors on Dell laptops’ system board can store residual or static electricity, often referred to as flea power. This can happen even when the laptop is fully shut down, disconnected from the AC adapter, and devoid of its battery.

The presence of this residual electricity can interfere with the normal operation of your laptop, leading to issues such as freezing or failure to start up or restart. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance to regularly discharge this flea power to maintain the optimal performance of your Dell laptop. In the following sections, we will cover how to safely discharge the flea power from your Dell laptop.

Method 1: How To Restart Dell Laptop Using the Start Menu

The most common way to restart any laptop, including your Dell, is through the Start Menu.

  1. Click on the Start button (Windows icon) located in the lower left-hand corner of your laptop screen or press the windows key
  2. Click the Power button in the Start Menu.
  3. From the options presented, select Restart.

This is the main way to restart your laptop and if this does not work or your laptop is frozen, there are other methods you can try like using advanced boot options for safe mode.

Method 2: Using the Alt + F4 Shortcut

If your Start Menu isn’t responding or you prefer keyboard shortcuts, you can use the Alt + F4 method.

  1. Close all active applications to preserve essential files.
  2. Press the Alt + F4 keys simultaneously.
  3. A shutdown dialog box will appear. Select Restart from the dropdown menu and click OK.

Method 3: Using the Ctrl + Alt + Del Screen

If your Dell laptop becomes unresponsive, another method to restart is using the Ctrl + Alt + Del screen.

There is a secondary method where you can access the power button if your laptop will not allow you to press the start menu.

  1. Press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys simultaneously.
  2. Click on the Power icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Click Restart from the menu that appears.

Remember, before restarting your Dell laptop in any way, it’s vital to save all your open files and close any running applications to avoid losing data.

This is a great option if your laptop is unresponsive or slow. After you press Ctrl + alt + Delete, it might take some time for the new screen to show up.

Method 4: Force Restart

This is one of my favorite methods for restarting a Dell laptop that won’t allow me to restart. Be careful doing a force shutdown because you can lose data and damage hardware, but if there is no other option you can do this:

  • Save any data if you can
  • Unplug any cables such as USBs, power adapters, or power cord.
  • Remove any external devices such as peripherals
  • Then hold down the power button until your laptop turns off to discharge the remaining power
  • Wait 10 seconds and press the power button again.

There is some risk to this method like damaging your components, but sometimes this is the only option you have. If you really don’t want to do this method then you can try the other methods.

Method 5: Reset Button

Another method you can use is the reset button method. This method varies depending on your operating system. If you are on Windows Vista or Windows 7 you can press F8 to open the boot manager repair or system restore screens.

If you are on Windows XP you can use Ctrl + F11 to get into your laptop as an emergency.

Method 6: Hard Reset

Doing a hard reset will remove all power from your laptop at once and could damage your hard drive. This is the last method you should try. To do this simply:

  • Remove the power cord from your laptop
  • Remove the laptop battery
  • Remove any other external devices.
  • Hold down the power button for 30 seconds

Note that this is not a factory reset. After doing this your laptop will shut down and remove all power at once. This can damage the inside components of your laptop but it can be necessary if no other option works.

Make sure you do the last step of holding down the power button icon before plugging everything back in to minimize the risk of any component damage. This will discharge your components and prevent any power spikes which can damage circuitry.

How To Fix A Reboot Loop

If your laptop keeps rebooting and then shutting off at the Dell logo without giving you a chance to use it normally then you could be in a reboot loop. Reboot loops can be super annoying, however, there are ways you can fix this.

As your laptop is rebooting, there is a chance that you can enter recovery mode. To do this you want to hold down the shift key and press restart from the options. You can also go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Startup > Restart Now.

Recovery Mode

Whilst in recovery mode you should have stopped the reboot loop and now you can fix the issue. I recommend disabling automatic updates while you are in the recovery mode. You can find this in Start > Settings > Update & Security. You can also access advanced boot options to launch in safe mode.

Alternatively, you can also update your laptop to see if that fixes the issue or run a malware scan. You can also uninstall any recent programs that you installed in case one is causing the reboot loop.


In conclusion, restarting a Dell laptop can be achieved via several methods, each with its own advantages. For minor issues, a simple restart or force restarting is usually sufficient. However, more persistent problems might require a hard reset or you can contact Dell support

It’s crucial to remember that hard resets carry a risk of damaging internal components, so this method should be used as a last resort.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I force restart my Dell laptop?

You can restart your Dell laptop by holding down the power button until the laptop shuts down, then press the power button once to force a restart.

How do you restart a Dell computer with the keyboard?

If you want to restart a Dell computer with a keyboard you can press Ctrl + Alt + Delete then use the tab to switch between the options until you land on the power button, then press enter and use the arrow keys to choose to restart then press enter again.

How do you restart a frozen Dell laptop?

You can hold down the power button for 30 seconds to restart a frozen Dell laptop. Once it is shut down you can press the power button once again to start it up.

What is the best way to restart my Dell laptop?

The best way to restart your Dell laptop is by clicking on the Start menu, then the Power button, and finally selecting Restart. This is known as a soft restart and it safely shuts down and restarts your computer.

How to restart a Dell laptop without using the mouse?

To restart a Dell laptop without using a mouse, press “Ctrl + Alt + Del”. Then use the Tab key to navigate to the Power button, hit Enter, use the arrow keys to select Restart, then press Enter again.

How to restart a Dell laptop stuck on the logo screen?

If your Dell laptop is stuck on the logo screen, you can perform a hard reset by holding down the power button for about 15 seconds until the laptop shuts down, then press the power button again to turn it on.

With over 12 years of experience with laptops, Grayson Uppington has delved deep into the tech world, always learning and sharing. His top pick is the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, blending performance with style. Formerly a pro gamer in CS:GO, those tournaments sharpened his skills and heightened his appreciation for laptop potential.