Alt F4 |What does Alt F4 do, Uses, Meaning, What is Alt F4?

Alt F4

Here we would be focusing on one of the important and most common keyboard shortcut – Alt + F4.

But before that, we shall go through the basic understanding of keyboard shortcuts and its significance.

This article will help you understand about Alt F4 in a better and easy way.

Do you know that a person familiar with keyboard shortcuts can write more efficiently than a person having little knowledge about it? 

This is sure to develop Goosebumps in you, and now you will want to enhance your skills too by using keyboard shortcuts.

It is not that you need to know everything but being aware of the important ones, you can swiftly move in your article or blog, and that is sure to impress people.

Many people keep struggling with their computer mouse for all actions and make it a lengthier and time-consuming process since they are not acquainted with using keyboard shortcuts.

Few users might not be aware that the work which they are doing can also be done with keyboard shortcuts.

Let’s make it more interesting by taking an example of saving a document on Microsoft word.

The majority of the people will go by the conventional way of pointing the mouse cursor on the top left corner of the window and left-click the mouse on the Office button logo.

The menu will open and you select the save button to save your work in a document. This can be done more simply and quickly by using the keyboard shortcut.

You just need to press the Ctrl button on your keyboard and simultaneously press the ‘S’ alphabet on the keyboard and the document is saved.

Imagine you are working on an important document and the power goes off and UPS is on the verge of shutting down, using Ctrl + S would be more convenient and also help you from rework and from losing any unsaved works on such instances.

In computer terminology, keyboard shortcuts are simply pressing one or more than one key simultaneously to complete the same task which is typically done using a mouse.

You can easily navigate and execute commands in software with the help of shortcut keys as these are available on IBM and Apple computers by using Alt and Command keys.

In popular software or programs, the underlined letters in the menu represent the shortcut keys for that action.

You can find the letter F underlined in the File menu image i.e. if you press Alt + F keys, the File menu will open.

Once you have memorized these keys, you will find much of the software sharing the same shortcut keys for similar action.

Once such a keyboard shortcut we are going to discuss here is the Alt + F4 shortcut.

What is Alt F4 or What does Alt F4 do?

Windows operating system has defined some of the keyboard shortcuts to perform some action in almost all the programs running on it and Alt + F4 is one such keystroke.

The Alt + F4 is the keyboard shortcut that when pressed will close the currently active Window. It means, if you were playing a game, watching a movie, or working on any document and have accidentally pressed Alt & F4 keys simultaneously, that window would have got closed.

It will not be a surprise when somebody questions the meaning of the Alt F4 key or what will happen on pressing these 2 keys simultaneously.

In Microsoft windows, when you press the Alt + F4 keys on the desktop screen with no programs running or there is no open or active window, it will open the power or shutdown window.

Likewise, you can find many uses of Alt F4 keys on the different software’s. 

Where is Alt F4 used?

This key is predominantly used as a means for playing tricks or prank during an online game or any other online situations.

For instance, in an online forum, if someone has asked a query on using a shortcut key for an action (saving a document), a prankster would mention pressing Alt+F4 keys and when the poor guy follows the suggestion would end up with his active window closed.

It is also more common as a prank or trick in online games to eliminate the competitors or quit their game who are not much aware of the keyboard shortcuts.

This will create an annoyance as the working window gets unexpectedly closed and the user will struggle to find the same page again and again.

This trolling technique was quite common in the ’90s on the Multiple IRC (Internet Relay chat) program to play tricks on people who are not much aware of the keyboard shortcuts and fell victim to the blunders.

Friend: how do I skip ad

Me: Have you tried using Alt F4

Friend: silent and disconnected

How does Alt F4 key work on Mac?

The Alt key on the computer with the Mac operating system is called an Option key.

Simply said, you cannot use the same Alt +F4 key on macOS as it is not the same. When many users have planned to switch to the macOS for better performance, the most important concern was getting acquainted with the shortcut keys as there is no Alt key and so they get jumbled up in case they have to close an active window.

For functionality purposes, it is better to compare the Alt key in the Windows computer with the Command key in Mac instead of the option key.

So if you are pressing the Alt and F4 keys in Windows OS computer to close an active window, you will have to press Command – W on Mac computers to close the active window.

For remote desktops where you are running windows operated system on a Mac computer, the configuration can be set either to use Windows or Mac shortcut keys.

As mentioned earlier, the keystrokes serve a similar function on different software.

Just like pressing the Alt and F4 keys on Windows operated computer or Command – W on Mac operated computers will close the currently active window when you are using Zoom for your meeting and video conference and press either of the 2 keystrokes depending on the operating system which you own, it will close the zoom window.

What may be the reasons for AltF4 not working?

Most of the users have raised concerns that the Alt F4 key is not working since the time they have upgraded to the Windows 10 operating system.

When they try to use Alt F4 keys simultaneously on Windows 10, the action of closing the current active window is not getting activated.

But this was not only the reason as other users encountered different scenarios and reasons for this combination to not work on Windows.

Check out the below reasons and possible solutions:-

  • Never download any third party tool or app that claims to troubleshoot your issues since such issues do not require a third-party app to function properly. Try focusing on other options as it might turn out to be more helpful and could solve your issue.
  • Check if the Fn key is active and try pressing Alt + Fn + F4 to see if the active windows get closed or not. This should work in most cases, otherwise, go to the next option.
  • During or after a recent update to your keyboard drivers or your operating system, the windows have set the use of this combination to default turned off and that might have not closed the windows. You will have to edit the registry key or create new ones to resolve the issue.
  • If you have pressed the Shift key several times then that would have activated the sticky keys which will have to be turned off to go back to default settings.
  • You can try to update the keyboard drivers in the first attempt since these drivers are designed to enable the correct functioning of the keyboard and other input devices. These drivers are installed on your computer to make the input devices work on your computer. You can update the drivers by selecting the keyboard device in the device manager option and rebooting your computer after the update. Check if the Alt F4 is working or not. If the alt F4 doesn’t work than it might have happened that these driver files would have got corrupted. The next solution would be to reinstall the device drivers.
  • To reinstall the driver, go to the device manager and select the device and click uninstall. Once the uninstalling is completed, you can install the drivers once again and reboot the computer. Try checking if the Alt F4 is working or not.
  • Windows 10 comes with a host of pre-installed app and services and the inbuilt troubleshoot program can help find out issues with these programs. You can open settings and look for a troubleshoot keyboard. The onscreen directions will help you resolve the issue.
  • When nothing works, you can blame the issue due to the outdated BIOS. You will have to check for a recent upgrade and newly installed devices. Kindly note down the required details on paper as updating the BIOS is a complex process and is different for each manufacturer. You need to find out the current version of BIOS and note down all the information before the update is initiated. You also need to make sure of updating the BIOS when there is an uninterrupted power supply for desktop computers and for laptops they must be fully charged. 
  • If all these solutions do not Fix your Alt F4 function not working error on Windows 10, the only option left is to change your keyboard as this should not cost you more. You can get your laptop checked with your IT expert who will look in below the keyboard for any hardware related issues.

These options would help your resolve your issue of Alt F4 not working.


Keyboard shortcuts are much more helpful in writing the article more efficiently and to avoid becoming a victim of blunders in an online situation.

As you have learned on how to use Alt F4 in Microsoft Windows, make sure you use it wisely when you want to close the currently active window or any program. It is similar to Command – W in Mac operated system.

You can try one of the methods or solutions to get help with the troubleshooting issues of Alt F4 not working.

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