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How do I avoid Windows 8.1 shutdown when closing a laptop?

It's all too easy to close a laptop or notebook when stepping away, but there are steps to take if you don't want an automatic Windows 8.1 shutdown.

Whether you are leaving work for the day or just taking a short break, it is a good habit to close your laptop lid. If you are done for the day, you will probably appreciate the power savings that comes with a Windows 8.1 shutdown.

When you are just stepping away to grab a coffee, a full shutdown is more trouble than it is worth. Windows lets you control exactly what happens when you close the lid of your laptop so that your laptop doesn't have to always begin shutting down.

Like most reconfigurations for Windows 8.1, you start with Control Panel. Go to the System Maintenance option and then Power Options. Before you change anything, you first have to decide if you want the new settings to apply to all power plans or a specific one.

If you want your change to apply to all plans, go to the Select a Power Plan page and click on "Choose what closing the lid does." Next, on the "Define power buttons and turn on password protection" page, select from the "When I close the lid" options.

Sleep offers a good balance between saving power and reasonably fast restores. The Sleep option saves data about your machine state to RAM. If your battery runs out or you lose power for any other reason, you will lose your state information. The Hibernate option saves machine state information to a file on your drive so even if you lose power, your state information is saved on persistent storage.

Some users have run into problem with a slow Windows 8.1 shutdown caused by certain drivers. If you run into a problem, see Microsoft Support, whose posts might help.

Next Steps

Check power management when a Windows machine won't shut down

Security features in Windows 8.1 focus on mobile security

Enable Windows 8.1 settings for file deletion and admin troubleshooting

Windows 8 Group Policy settings can alter configuration, user interface

Microsoft adds mobile device management features in Windows 8.1

Dig Deeper on Windows 8 and 8.1

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What hardware problems have you encountered or fixed with Windows 8.1?
One of the big problems was the lack of compatibility with older hardware. Consumers often forget this, but many businesses are quite content to hang onto old hardware for as long as possible, and suddenly finding out that your computer can't support a needed patch is never pleasant.

Fortunately, that only affected our oldest machines, and we were able to get by. If we hadn't planned ahead, though, it could have seriously affected our operations.