How to cold restart your device

A cold restart forces your device to start up from scratch. You will lose any unsaved work, however it may be your only way to recover from some errors.

Warning: do not use cold restart during system updates

Do not use a cold restart if your device has frozen whilst installing system updates. This could stop your device from working at all, could lose everything that was saved on your device, or even damage your device beyond repair. Instead, leave it plugged into a power supply and contact whoever supports your device or the outlet you purchased it from.

 
Windows

Method

  1. Hold the power button on your PC for at least 7 seconds, until it turns off. If it hasn't turned off after 30 seconds then proceed to step 2 anyway

  2. Turn off your PC or the power adapter at the wall socket. On a laptop, also unplug the power adapter from the laptop, and remove the battery (if this is easily done by releasing latches on the underside of the laptop)
  3. Hold the power button in for 20 seconds
  4. Replace the battery and reconnect the power adapter (laptop). Switch on at the wall, wait 10 seconds, then press the power button briefly to start your PC
macOS

Method

Follow the OSX Daily guide to force reboot a frozen Mac.

iOS

Method

Follow Apple's force restart iPhone guide.

Android

Method

  1. Hold the power button in for up to 30 seconds
  2. If your device did not power down then consult your phone manufacturer's website

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