What does Alt+F4 Do?

Alt + F4 serves as a convenient keyboard shortcut on Windows, allowing you to swiftly close the active application on your computer.

Within this guide, we’ll explore the functionality of Alt + F4, distinguish it from Ctrl + F4 (a similar shortcut with minor differences), and offer solutions in case Alt + F4 fails to function.

What is Alt + F4?

Alt + F4 serves as a keyboard shortcut that efficiently shuts down the application you’re currently working with on your computer.

This shortcut is compatible with Windows 10 and all other Windows editions. To activate it, simultaneously press the Alt and F4 keys. Alternatively, hold down the Alt key and, while maintaining the Alt key pressed, tap the F4 key.

What is the difference between Alt + F4 and Ctrl + F4?

Different from Ctrl + F4, which closes the active tab or window of the program in use, Alt + F4 performs a complete shutdown of the application. For instance, while using a web browser with multiple tabs open, Alt + F4 closes the entire browser, whereas Ctrl + F4 only shuts the specific tab you’re viewing.

What to do when Alt + F4 doesn’t work?

If Alt + F4 doesn’t respond, Task Manager offers an alternative to close an active application. You can access it by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and selecting Task Manager. Another quick way is to use Ctrl + Shift + Esc or right-click on the program you want to close and select ‘End task.’

To utilize this shortcut on laptops, users may need to press the Fn key along with Alt + F4.

It’s not uncommon for this command to be unresponsive on laptops or multifunction keyboards due to additional functions assigned to the function keys, like adjusting screen brightness or controlling volume. To employ the Alt + F4 shortcut on these keyboards, simultaneously press the Fn key along with Alt and F4 (Alt + Fn + F4).


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