After you press the computer's power button to power up the machine and start the Windows 7 operating system, the Windows Start menu contains all the other controls you need in order to switch between users, reboot the system, and, at the end of the day, power down and shut off the machine.
To the immediate right of the Search Programs and Files text box at the bottom of the Start menu, you find the Windows Power button (labeled Shut Down by default). Clicking the Windows' Power button on the Start menu is the equivalent of pressing the physical power button on your computer. Windows 7 closes all applications and open windows, while at the same time prompting you to save all unsaved changes, before shutting off your computer.
#You can change the function of the Windows 7 Power button from its default of Shut Down to some other function. Right-click the Windows taskbar and then choose Properties from the shortcut menu that appears to open the Taskbar and Menu Properties dialog box. Click the Start Menu tab in this dialog box and then select the desired option from the Power Button Action drop-down list: Switch User, Log Off, Lock, Restart, Sleep, or Hibernate. Note that after selecting a new function for the Power button, Windows displays the new function's name on the button and adds the Shut Down option to the pop-up menu that appears when you click the triangular button to the immediate right of the Power button.
When you click the pop-up button to the immediate right of the Power button, Windows displays a menu with the following items:
✓ Switch User: Switches to another user account on the computer without closing your open programs and Windows processes.
✓ Log Off: Switches to another user account on the computer after closing all of your open programs and Windows processes.
✓ Lock: Locks up the computer while you're away from it (same as clicking the Lock button).
✓ Restart: Reboots the computer. (This option is often required as part of installing new software programs or Windows updates.)
✓ Sleep: Puts the computer into a low-power mode that retains all running programs and open windows in computer memory for a super-quick restart.
✓ Hibernate (found only on laptop computers): Puts the computer into a low-power mode after saving all running programs and open windows on the machine's hard drive for a quick restart.
Windows 7 shows its old DOS roots by still honoring the good old three-finger salute — Ctrl+Alt+Del. When you press these keys in unison, the screen blacks out for a moment before presenting you with a blue-green screen containing the following text options: Lock This Computer, Switch User, Log Off, Change a Password, and Start Task Manager.
In addition to these text options, this screen contains the following buttons:
✓ Cancel: Returns you to the Windows 7 desktop along with all of your open program windows.
✓ Ease of Access (the blue button in the lower-left corner of the screen):
Opens the Ease of Access dialog box where you can select among various accessibility settings for making the computer easier to use for those with visual and other physical impairments.
✓ Power (the red button): Shuts down the computer. This button is equipped with its own pop-up button in the lower-right corner of the screen. Note that the items on the menu attached to this pop-up button include Restart, Sleep, Hibernate (on a laptop), and Shut Down.
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