Dell laptops are a great option for those that need a reliable machine. However, sometimes they can get bogged down or even freeze up. Here are 4 ways to restart your Dell laptop and have it running smoothly again in no time.

Method 1: Use the Windows Method

Restarting your computer is one of the best ways to fix problems that arise occasionally. You can restart in two different manners: either through a Windows menu option (Start > Shut Down > Restart) or by holding down CTRL + ALT + DELETE and choosing Shut Down when it appears on the screen.

Method 2: Use the Reset Button

A Dell laptop’s reset button is different for every operating system:

  • For Windows XP, press Ctrl+F11 to get back onto your computer in case of an emergency or if the screen goes dark while you’re using it.
  • For Windows Vista and Windows 7, use F8 as their reset option with secondary options like Boot Manager Repair (Windows Vista) and System Restore (Windows 7).

Method 3: Force Restart

To start, unplug all cables from the Dell laptop. This includes anything plugged into its USB ports or power adapters for charging, including cell phones—you don’t want them draining any extra juice.

Next, remove any external drives so they won’t be drawing off your laptop battery when it has not been used recently. Lastly, press down on the power button for 15 seconds which should discharge the remaining power.

Method 4: Use the Power Button

You can restart your computer by pressing and holding the power button until it turns off. Just wait a few seconds before turning it on again. This should resolve most issues with crashing computers inoperable at startup (i.e. if they won’t boot).

How to Factory Reset a Dell Laptop

It may be time for a reset if you see errors or problems on your Dell laptop. Resetting the computer can help with some common issues that arise from aging hardware and software.

However, there are risks associated with this process because all data will be lost if done incorrectly—so make sure to back up any important files beforehand.

Step 1: Backing Up Your Data

It’s always a good idea to have an emergency plan for your files if anything happens before you do a factory reset on your Dell laptop and back up all essential files and data on an external hard drive.

Step 2: Disconnect All the External Devices

You need to turn your computer off. You must disconnect everything you don’t need to turn on the computer, like the scanner, printer, modem, external speakers, or network cables. You also want to disconnect any smartphone, tablet, or USB flash drive that you might have plugged into your computer.

Step 3: Access the Advanced Boot Options Menu

Turn on your Dell laptop. When the computer boots up, press F8 to enter Advanced Boot Options. Make sure you do this as soon as possible after seeing the blue Windows logo on the screen, or else it won’t work.

If, for some reason, your attempt at entering into options didn’t go according to plan, then restart and try again.

Step 4: Choose to do the Image Restore

Use your computer’s arrow keys in the Advanced Boot Options menu and select Repair Your Computer. Press Enter to continue.

The next screen will ask you which language you want. Choose your preferred language and then click Next. You’ll need your administrative account on this machine to proceed.

Finally, select Dell Factory Image Restore and click Next. Select Yes, reformat the hard drive, and restore system software to factory condition to start the restore process.

Once the restore is complete, click Finish and restart your computer.


If you find yourself in a situation where your Dell laptop is freezing or not functioning well, don’t worry. You can restart the machine and get it running smoothly again in no time with these tips.

Which method did you try? Let us know what worked best for you by commenting below.

Tim Miller

Tim has always been obsessed with computers his whole life. After working for 25 years in the computer and electronics field, he now enjoys writing about computers to help others. Most of his time is spent in front of his computer or other technology to continue to learn more. He likes to try new things and keep up with the latest industry trends so he can share them with others.

2 thoughts on “4 Ways to Restart a Dell Laptop”

  1. I have Dell Laptop (I5567-0927) that is has a low battery problem because it’s not charging. The led on the computer is NOT lit and the computer message is an in compatible charger is being used. This is the same charger (45W) that was supplied with the new computer 5 years ago. Also swapped with another Dell charger that is known to be compatible and there was no change. Not sure this is a battery problem or something else. Do you have any ideas on this problem?


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