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Alt F4

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Here we focus on one of the most important and common keyboard shortcuts – Alt + F4.

First, however, we will go through the basic understanding of keyboard shortcuts and what they mean.

This article will help you understand Alt F4 better and easier.

Did you know that a person who is familiar with keyboard shortcuts can type more efficiently than someone who knows little about them?

This is sure to give you goosebumps, and now you’ll want to hone your skills by using keyboard shortcuts too.

It’s not that you need to know everything, but knowing the important ones can get you moving quickly in your article or blog, and that’s sure to impress people.

Many people keep struggling with their computer mouse for all actions making it a lengthy and time consuming process as they are not familiar with using keyboard shortcuts.

Few users may not be aware that the work they do can also be done with keyboard shortcuts.

Let’s make it a little more interesting using the example of saving a document in Microsoft Word.

Most people will go the traditional route of placing the mouse pointer on the top left corner of the window and left clicking on the Office button logo.

The menu opens and you select the “Save” button to save your work in a document. It’s easier and faster with the keyboard shortcut.

All you have to do is press the Ctrl key on your keyboard and at the same time press the “S” alphabet on the keyboard and the document will be saved.

Imagine you are working on an important document and the power goes out and the UPS is about to shut itself down, then using Ctrl + S would be more convenient and would also help you not to rework in such cases and not lose unsaved work.

In computer terminology, keyboard shortcuts are simply pressing one or more keys at the same time to accomplish the same task that is normally done with the mouse.

You can easily navigate and execute commands in software using keyboard shortcuts such as the Alt and Command keys available on IBM and Apple computers.

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

In the image of the file menu, you will find the letter F underlined, i.e. H. if you press the keys Alt + F, the file menu will open.

Once you memorize these keys, you’ll find that many programs use the same key combinations for similar actions.

One such key combination that we will discuss here is the Alt + F4 key combination.

What is Alt F4 or What does Alt F4 do?

Windows operating system has defined some keyboard shortcuts to perform a specific action in almost all programs running on it, and Alt + F4 is one such keyboard shortcut.

Alt + F4 is the key combination that, when pressed, closes the currently active window. That is, if you’re playing a game, watching a movie, or working on a document and accidentally hit the Alt & pressed F4 at the same time, the window was closed.

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It’s not surprising if someone questions the meaning of the Alt F4 key or what happens when you press those two keys at the same time.

In Microsoft Windows, pressing the Alt + F4 keys on the desktop screen when no programs are running or no window is open or active opens the power on or off window.

Similarly, you can find many uses of the Alt F4 keys in different software programs.

Where is Alt F4 used?

This button is mainly used to play pranks during an online game or in other online situations.

For example, on an online forum, if someone asked a question about using a keyboard shortcut for an action (saving a document), a prankster would mention that they pressed the Alt+F4 keys, and if the poor guy accepted the suggestion follows, its active window would be closed.

It is also more commonly used as a prank or trick in online games to eliminate the competitors or end their game who don’t know much about the keyboard shortcuts.

This leads to an annoyance as the working window closes unexpectedly and the user has to struggle to find the same page over and over again.

This trolling technique was quite common in the 90’s in multiple IRC (Internet Relay Chat) programs to prank people who are not very aware of keyboard shortcuts and fall prey to the pranks.

Friend: How do I skip ads

Me: Have you tried Alt F4

Friend: Mute and interrupted

How does the Alt F4 key work on Mac?

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

Simply put, you cannot use the same Alt +F4 key on macOS because they are not the same. When many users planned the move to macOS, the number one concern was getting familiar with the keyboard shortcuts since there is no Alt key and so they get confused when they need to close an active window.

For functionality, it’s better to compare the Alt key in Windows Calculator to the Command key in Mac, rather than the Option key.

So if you press the Alt + F4 keys to close an active window on a Windows computer, you must press Command – W to close the active window on a Mac computer.

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

As already mentioned, the key combinations have a similar function in different software.

Just like pressing the Alt and F4 keys on Windows-powered computers or Command – W on Mac-powered computers closes the currently active window when using Zoom for your meeting and video conference and pressing either key , depending on the operating system you have, it will close the zoom window.

What can be the reasons for AltF4 not working?

Most of the users have expressed concerns that the Alt F4 key has stopped working since upgrading to Windows 10 operating system.

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If you try to use the Alt F4 keys at the same time on Windows 10, the action to close the currently active window will not be activated.

But that wasn’t the only reason, as other users also encountered different scenarios and reasons why this combination doesn’t work on Windows.

Check out the following reasons and possible solutions:-

  • Never download any third party tool or app that claims to fix your problems as such problems don’t need a third party app to work properly. Try to focus on other options as they may prove more helpful and solve your problem.
  • Check if the Fn key is active and try pressing Alt + Fn + F4 to see if the active windows close or not. This should work in most cases, otherwise go to the next option.
  • During or after a recent update of your keyboard drivers or operating system, Windows turned off the use of this combination by default and that may not have closed the windows. You need to edit the registry key or create a new one to fix the problem.
  • If you’ve pressed the Shift key multiple times, then that has turned on the Sticky Keys, which must be turned off to revert to the default settings.
  • You can try updating the keyboard drivers on the first try, as these drivers are there to enable the keyboard and other input devices to function properly. These drivers are installed on your computer in order for the input devices to work on your computer. You can update the drivers by selecting the keyboard device in Device Manager and restarting the computer after the update. Check whether the Alt F4 key works or not. If Alt F4 doesn’t work, the driver files may have become corrupted. The next solution would be to reinstall the device drivers.
  • To reinstall the driver, go to device manager, select the device and click uninstall. Once the uninstallation is complete, you can reinstall the drivers and restart the computer. Try to check whether Alt F4 works or not.
  • Windows 10 comes with a variety of pre-installed apps and services, and the built-in troubleshooter can help find problems with these programs. You can open Settings and search for a keyboard to troubleshoot. The on-screen instructions will help you solve the problem.
  • If nothing works, you can blame the problem on the outdated BIOS. Check if a recent upgrade has been performed and if new devices have been installed. Write down the required details on paper as updating the BIOS is a complex process and varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. You must find out the current version of the BIOS and record all the information before initiating the update. Also, you must ensure that the BIOS update is performed on desktop computers with an uninterruptible power supply, and on laptops they must be fully charged.
  • If all these solutions fail to fix Alt F4 function not working error on Windows 10, the only option left is to switch keyboards as it shouldn’t cost more. You can have your laptop checked by an IT professional who will look under the keyboard for any hardware issues.
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These options would help you to solve your problem with Alt F4 function not working.


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

As you learned how to use Alt F4 in Microsoft Windows, you should put it to good use when you want to close the currently active window or a program. It is similar to Command – W operated in Mac system.

You can try any of the methods or solutions for help troubleshooting Alt F4 not working.

Hi! I’m Sahana Pai with great experience in the software industry.I love writing and can go for hours together. Content writing has always been my passion and I love doing it. My hobbies include travelling, blogging and cooking. I have traveled around India and Europe. My family includes my husband and a little princess.

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