Windows 7 bug that prevents users from shutting down has an unofficial workaround

Windows 7 reached the end of support on January 14, 2020. However, a bug introduced with its last Patch Tuesday update brought with it a background wallpaper issue, where the background image would go blank. The company promised a fix for this issue, which then came on 31 January. Unfortunately, a more serious bug then began being reported (spotted by ZDNet) where users were unable to shut down their PC.

The issue prevents users from shutting down the PC and provides an error message that reads: “You don't have permission to shut down this computer”. While the Redmond giant hasn’t acknowledged the said issue yet, there seem to be a few workarounds – one of which is supposedly a permanent fix that involves tweaking the group policy.

Below is the workaround to fix the issue which comes from Reddit user dinil007 (via WindowsCentral) through editing the Group Policy. It must be noted, however, that this option will only be available to users running Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise:

  1. Open RUN WINDOW and type Gpedit.msc

Computer settings\Windows settings\Security settings\Local policies\Security options

  1. Double click on User Account Control:RUN all Administrator in Admin approval(Option should be enable).
  2. open cmd, type "gpupdate /force"

*In order to implement change, system restart is mandatory.

*To restart the system Press “windows+r” together and type “shutdown -r”

Another permanent workaround would be to make changes to the Registry Editor listed by TheWindowsClub. However, we highly recommend that you do not try to make edits to the registry if if you are not familiar with the Registry Editor.

Users of Windows 7 Home can try shutting the PC down by hitting the ‘CTRL+ALT+DEL’ keys and using the power options at the bottom right. Another workaround would be to hit the ‘Windows+L’ key and log off from the current account and then using the power options to shut down or restart.

Users that are facing this issue have also sounded off in the Microsoft support forums. Since this is a significant issue, it will be interesting to see if the firm rolls out a fix as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday. While the OS is no longer supported for most users (apart from the ones that pay for the Extended Security Updates (ESUs)), one would expect the company to fix such a problem, something that is more severe than the wallpaper bug.

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