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Windows 7 users can't shut down their PCs due to a new bug

Microsoft Edge Canary Windows 7
Microsoft Edge Canary Windows 7 (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • A Windows 7 bug currently stops people from shutting down or restarting their PC.
  • Windows 7 is officially out of support, so Microsoft might have to decide to make an exception and issue an update.
  • Microsoft recently made an exception for a wallpaper bug that is now fixed.

Yet another Windows 7 bug is in the headlines. This time it's a bug that prevents people from shutting down their computers. Several Windows 7 users reported that an error message pops up stating, "You don't have permission to shut down this computer" every time they try to shut down their PC. Several reports of the issue emerged online over the weekend, including a Reddit thread with a solution to the issue (via ZDNet).

This new issue seems more significant than the recent wallpaper bug that Microsoft fixed. Since Windows 7 is out of support, Microsoft decided to make an exception and ship an update for that issue. If this shutdown bug is widespread enough, Microsoft might have to make another exception.

A few users on Reddit found a workaround and an unofficial fix, though we haven't tested these solutions ourselves yet. One solution involved creating an additional admin account, logging into that account, logging back into a default admin account, and shutting down the system.

One Reddit post lists what appears to be a more permanent solution, but it requires using gpedit. As with any solution involving more complex steps, you should understand what you're doing before jumping in and making changes.

Being able to shut down and reboot your computer is an essential function, so Microsoft will probably have to find a fix and issue another update.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

16 Comments
  • The bug is called "using Windows 7 in 2020".
  • Exactly smh what do ppl expect from using an unsupported os
  • Nonsense. This software is not a living being. It doesn't have a mind of its own and cannot evolve.
    It should work as intended like all other paid for products. Including a fridge from the 70s
  • An OS that functions exactly the same way as it did before. What do you call an OS that suddenly stops shutting down or showing your background? Unsupported? I call it actively wrecked.
  • I do think people should upgrade. But I also think it should stop people from turning off their computer.
  • Windows 7 is much more stable. Windows 10 has more bugs than 7. It didn't affect me. Its only users with crappy Adobe products installed.
  • Personally for all those that haven't switched yet, they got way too many chances. Tons of pop-ups 2015-2017. And then automatic upgrades for a few years, and now being told that Windows 7 is not supported. too bad for them, they want to fall behind so they should not be able to turn off their computer. On a brighter note, they can always enable Hibernation mode (commonly found on Win XP and Vista)
  • Totally unacceptable reasoning.
  • That's totally BS, why u ask.......cuz I'm using W7 at work and I shut down my PC daily with no issues. Guessing they don't know how to press and hold the power button down for 5 seconds or more or in case of a PC just unplug it.
  • That's not a recommend way to turn off a system.
  • I took your comment seriously until I read your name. You almost had me
  • This comment section is rated XXX for Xtreme Duke Nukem
  • It seems really odd that a bug like this would only now suddenly show up, why hasn't it been seen earlier? It's not like W7 has been getting updates that could cause something like this.
  • The problem is not that either of the issues is more serious than the other. The problem is that both of them are banal both in terms of functionality and testing. These are things that have never happened to Windows 7 before. It instead very much resembles a Windows 10 way of patching Windows 7 suddenly that may the symptom of a much worse crisis that Microsoft is facing when it comes down to software development.
  • Everyone knows what really happened.
  • Just grap the Windows Repair tool from Tweaking.com. Resets all your registry permissions and puts the smack down on this silly little bug. Then you can continue to run an OS that doesn't invade your privacy and cause even more spectacular problems that the one meant to replace it.