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Ctrl+Alt+Del, sometimes seen written out as Control+Alt+Delete, is a keyboard comm& that"s usually used to lớn interrupt a function. However, what it accomplishes is unique based on the context in which it"s used.

The Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard combination is usually talked about within the context of the Windows operating system even though others do use the shortcut for different things.


This keyboard commvà is also sometimes written with minuses instead of pluses, as in Ctrl-Alt-Del or Control-Alt-Delete. It"s also referred khổng lồ as the "three-finger salute."

How Ctrl+Alt+Del Can Be Used

If Ctrl+Alt+Del is executed before Windows is to lớn a point where it can intercept the comm&, BIOS will simply restart the computer. Doing so might also restart the computer while in Windows if Windows is locked up in a certain way. For example, using Ctrl+Alt+Del during the Power nguồn On Self Test reboots the computer.

In Windows 3.x & 9x, if Ctrl+Alt+Del is quickly pressed twice in a row, the system will immediately start a reboot without safely shutting down any open programs or processes. The page cabịt is flushed & any volumes are safely unmounted, but there isn"t an opportunity lớn cleanly shut down running programs or save any work.

Avoid using Ctrl+Alt+Del as a way to lớn restart your computer so that you don"t risk corrupting your open personal files or other important files in Windows. See How Do I Restart My Computer? if you"re not sure how to lớn vày it the right way.

In some versions of Windows (XP, Vista, & 7), Ctrl+Alt+Del can be used to lớn log in khổng lồ a user account; it"s called secure attention protection/sequence. My Digital Life has instructions for enabling that feature since it"s disabled by default (unless the computer is part of a domain).


If you"re logged on to lớn Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista, Ctrl+Alt+Del starts Windows Security, which lets you loông chồng the computer, switch lớn a different user, log off, start Task Manager, or shut down/reboot the computer. In Windows XP & prior, the keyboard shortcut just starts Task Manager.


More Information on Ctrl+Alt+Del

Some Linux-based operating systems let you use the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut for logging out. Ubuntu và Debian are two examples. You can also use it khổng lồ reboot an Ubuntu Server without having to lớn log in first.

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Some remote desktop applications let you send the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut to the other computer through an option in the menu or via an alternative shortcut (like Ctrl+Alt+Insert) because you can"t usually enter the keyboard combination and expect it khổng lồ pass through to the application. Windows will assume you want to lớn use it on your computer instead. The same is true for other applications like that, like VMware Workstation và other virtual desktop software.

The options seen in Windows Security when the Ctrl+Alt+Del combination is pressedcan be modified. For example, you can hide the Task Manager or lock option if for some reason you don"t want that to lớn be shown. Making these changes is done through the Registry Editor; see how at theWindows Club. It can also be done through Group Policy Editor as seen at Bleeping Computer.

In most scenargame ios, you can get away with pressing the Alt key first, as in Alt+Ctrl+Del, và it will have the same effect. However, in some situations, there might be software that uses this other shortcut, in which case something else might happen instead of the traditional Ctrl+Alt+Del response.

David Bradley designed this keyboard shortcut. Seethis Mental Floss piecefor details on why it was programmed in the first place.

macOS doesn"t use the Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard shortcut but instead utilizes Command+Option+Esc khổng lồ invoke the Force Quit Menu. In fact, when Control+Option+Delete is used on a Mac (the Option key is like the Alt key on Windows), the message "This is not DOS." will appear as a sort of Easter egg, or hidden joke embedded in the software. Here"s more info about Ctrl+Alt+Del on Macs.

When Control+Alt+Delete is used in Xfce, it immediately locks the screen & starts the screensaver.

Control+Alt+Delete is also used lớn mean "to end" or "bởi away with." It"s sometimes used to lớn explain escaping an issue, removing someone from the equation, or forgetting about them. "Ctrl+Alt+Del" ("CAD") is also a webcomic by Tyên Buckley.