Logout/Log off in Windows Server 2012

Let me show you where you can find  log off Option in Windows Server 2012. I know this might sound stupid, but let me tell you this..I struggled for a while to find out where this is 😀

Most of us are already aware of this, where to get power off option right…? (Shown in the below screenshot for whoever is completely new to Win 8 World).

I got this Vertical Window by hovering my mouse at Bottom Right Corner of my screen, Once you get this click on Settings and you see something as shown below..

Well, I can only see Shutdown and Restart Options!! Where is this Log off hiding at??

you’ve to Click on the annoying Start Button( you will get this by hovering your mouse at the bottom left most corner of your screen, shown below)

Now, you will get this Metro Style Screen, where you’ve to click on your User account Icon at the Top Right Corner of your Screen and you get options as shown below.

There you go…Sign out is our new Log Off Button 😀




59 thoughts on “Logout/Log off in Windows Server 2012

  1. Danny October 22, 2012 / 2:23 pm

    Thanks for this, just fired up a Rackspace Cloud Windows Server 2012 VPS to take a look, after 20 minutes of trying to figure out how to log out I turned to Google & found this site

  2. Ramiz Nimani November 7, 2012 / 11:25 pm

    or you can do ALT + F4 for faster way to disconnect/log off or reboot.

    • sreekanth bandarla November 8, 2012 / 7:51 pm

      Yep! All Good Old Short Cut Keys Still Apply 🙂

    • zyo February 13, 2013 / 10:01 pm

      That’s the best answer by far, I HATE those “swipe” menu on the edge of the screen, especially in a remote desktop environment where you have to be at the near pixel to make it pop… Alt + F4 for the win!

    • Arthur August 5, 2014 / 7:25 pm

      I purely love that user experience is reduced to private knowledge of secret keystrokes. Alt F4 – wonderful. A whole streetfull of idiots, monsters and devils couldn’t have thought up anything better., We are all rightly proud to learn and know these secrets. They empower us.

    • Ron Nairn June 16, 2016 / 11:16 am

      Best. thnx

  3. Carol W November 16, 2012 / 6:14 pm

    Hil-arious! Really Microsoft? I didn’t waste my time looking. That is what Google is for. Thank you for being far more dedicated than I. I think ALT F4 will be my friend.

  4. Galip Ermis December 21, 2012 / 2:35 pm

    You can always use “WIN” + R, then shutdown -l

    Regards Galip Ermis

  5. Nancy April 3, 2013 / 9:19 am

    Thanks for the screenshots – really helpful — why is it Google is so much smarter than Windows????

  6. noneya April 8, 2013 / 1:19 pm

    thanks! this was very helpful.

  7. Rasmus April 12, 2013 / 3:45 am

    start powershell and use the command “logoff”

    • Arthur August 5, 2014 / 7:29 pm

      Another secret. Microsoft is wonderful. Secrets abound. Metro takes the essence of ‘successive revelations’ to a whole new plateau by removing all first, second and third order hints. Just like walking in deep forest when blind. Gotta love them.

      • Mike November 18, 2014 / 5:37 pm

        User experience is key when developing any type of computing platform. Completely changing how processes are done at any level does not equate to “Wonderful”

    • David September 11, 2014 / 9:00 am


  8. Ula April 15, 2013 / 7:29 am

    Thanks a lot:) I was suprised that I need to look for this “simple” information:)

  9. vai se fuder May 3, 2013 / 12:02 am

    Thanks! It was annoying me.

  10. Tom Turkington June 14, 2013 / 2:48 pm

    A million times 20 minutes is a lot of wasted manhours. Why do corporations not scream at the top of their lungs to Microsoft that moving the furniture around all the time is counterproductive. Admittedly I only wasted 4 minutes, but 4 minutes times a million users is still a lot of wasted manhours.

    • Dang June 26, 2013 / 3:49 pm

      Tom Turkington :
      A million times 20 minutes is a lot of wasted manhours. Why do corporations not scream at the top of their lungs to Microsoft that moving the furniture around all the time is counterproductive. Admittedly I only wasted 4 minutes, but 4 minutes times a million users is still a lot of wasted manhours.

      Correct. That’s stupid design.
      Luckily now I’m working on MacBook and Linux servers most of the time although I got MCSE+I in 2000

  11. Ashu June 26, 2013 / 9:56 am

    thanks a ton…This really helped

  12. No Way June 27, 2013 / 1:07 am

    Lol… What’s really funny is that it takes a Google Search to figure out how to do something like logoff… And Microsoft wonders why Windows 8/2012 isn’t selling well. Hmm..

    • Arthur August 5, 2014 / 7:31 pm

      Well it is not exactly that it is not selling well. Often enough the sale is forced – MS control of the channel is uncanny. But clearly there are customers who pay the increasing premium to avoid Win 2012

  13. bob July 23, 2013 / 12:48 pm

    Microsoft is completely out of touch with their customer base. People like me need to be able to do the simple tasks quickly and easily. Seriously Microsoft, you had to make a simple task such as logging off a server so obscure that I had to Google it? Are you trying to go out of business?!?!? You did the same thing to DTS, taking an easy-to-use product and replacing with with SSIS, which requires hours to figure out how to dump data from a table to a text file.

  14. Leigh August 1, 2013 / 9:53 pm

    Yep. A smart company would have left the start bar in place, and while hovering over the logoff button have a popup that says. PS- logoff. HotKey Alt-F4, and then guess what, everyone would start learning the shortcuts and powershell commands.

  15. GrahamD August 14, 2013 / 6:41 am

    Great post, thanks for sharing. Microsoft’s counter intuitive interface design is inexcusable in this day in age. But no one is screaming because Microsoft never, ever listen and TBH, once you get over the rearranged furniture The OS does work.

    Not listening is a corporate trait of MS. They only responded on Vista (by keeping XP alive after EOL), because corporates stopped buying new PCs unless they could be ‘downgraded’

  16. sreekanth bandarla August 14, 2013 / 3:52 pm

    Folks, There’s a good news – Windows 8.1 is coming with Start button on October 18th 2013. The “Return of the Start Button” 🙂

  17. rdavis September 17, 2013 / 9:07 am

    Thanks so much. I was feeling like a complete idiot, not being able to signout, and having to disconnect my session instead.

    Complete fail by Microsoft – would it be so hard to have a logoff/shutdown button on the Start screen?

    • sreekanth bandarla September 17, 2013 / 11:49 am

      Ummmm….Start Button is back with windows 8.1 🙂
      Btw, If you want start button on your current Windows 8 laptop/PC consider Installing POKKI start button for now. It’s free and an awesome substitute!

  18. Ray Schindler October 3, 2013 / 8:53 pm

    Thank You very much. It’s not fun when you are in an RDP session and you can’t logout. My only option was to reboot server. Have a great weekend!

  19. Mogli October 17, 2013 / 3:54 pm

    Thanks! this is very helpful!!

  20. Tman November 26, 2013 / 4:46 pm

    Thanks. I imagine this page will get a ton of views. I’ve used it twice…

  21. Richard December 3, 2013 / 11:46 pm

    Really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing. I am in the Office 365 migration process. Client use Windows Server 2012. It was hard to find where to log off.

  22. kevin December 4, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    Having never used Server 2012…this is exactly what I needed. Thank you for posting this!

  23. Mubeen December 11, 2013 / 12:10 pm

    LOL, I’m not the only one who googled for this. Took me a while to figure it out. Though 3 of my machines at home are with Windows 8.1 with Start8 button but it took me few mins to figure it out. Really it was embracing searching out in front of Oracle DBA how to logoff from my first ever Win2012 Server built by Server Team. I just created a shortcut on my desktop (batch file) to logoff. Thanks Sreekanth for your valuable tip.

    • sreekanth bandarla December 11, 2013 / 10:33 pm

      Glad it helped u Mubeen 🙂

  24. Sherri Kent December 16, 2013 / 5:25 pm

    AWESOME! Thank you so much.

  25. Neil Carmichael December 27, 2013 / 7:41 am

    Thankyou, I’ve been support windows for 20yrs and this was a mystery to me!

  26. romac January 21, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    Still gathering hits LOL.

  27. Columubs January 25, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    Thank’s a lot.

    on a remote session it’s uncomfortable with keyboard shortcuts,
    and typing “shoutdown /l” takes time too 🙂
    Could make a batch on desktop and sucking APP Screen,
    with starting the shutdown /L 🙂

    After 25 years using and distributing Microsoft products,
    I’m now quitting frindship. Adios Microsoft.
    I’m no longer selling this peaces of sh** to my clients.



    • sreekanth bandarla January 27, 2014 / 10:11 am

      Hey…There are lot of improvements in Windows Server 2012 which are amazing IMO, you should explore them before yelling at MSFT for hiding Logout.

  28. Mattia January 27, 2014 / 3:31 am

    It’s ridicolous. Microsoft, are you serious? What were thinking your engineers when they thought about hiding logoff button on a server?

    • Columubs January 27, 2014 / 12:47 pm

      If, in the beginning, basic functions are only accessable by uncomfortable steps,
      the NEW features ,may remain hidden a longer time,
      because of some frustration by the admins, users, owners …

      Just compare Linux/OSX CLI and this uggly Powershell.
      It’s endless spaghetti coding and often unintuitive.
      Thank God for copy & paste 🙂

      Sure you can manage new servers more remotely by admin tools, and
      the “logout” button gets useless, but why changing classical processes.

      • sreekanth bandarla January 27, 2014 / 5:48 pm

        I see where you are coming from…From what am reading, Microsoft is working on bringing back start button very soon(not the 8.1 start button), the real start button 🙂

  29. Eric Larson February 1, 2014 / 11:52 pm

    I just had to rant to make myself feel better “to someone.”

    I have no clue what possessed someone at Microsoft to create the Windows 2012 graphical GUI interface, but the individual(s) should be taken out for remedial server training.

    Up to now, I complained that Microsoft was forcing us to learn a new interface, in essence, forcing a retraining interval, while we are under pressure to deliver new applications that add actual value to an organization (Lync, SP13, etc.). I did not want to learn a new server interface as I’d already figured out Windows server via 3.51, 2000, 2004, 2008 – all were “refinements.”

    But I faced it full-face tonight. I had to bounce through a local machine via RDP to ensure I didn’t VPN my existing sessions, then had to build a 2012 server. All went well, even patching, and the hardest part, simply logging off cleanly from a 2012 Hyper-V server within a 2012 within an RDP. The standard “Go to the bottom left, then click the “pseudo Start menu” to get my name, from which I could log off, failed, because of the multiple horizontal and vertical scrolling needed toi get to the upper right corner. And unlike WIn8, no Windows X to get the text list.

    Server Admins are pissed Microsoft – you’ve delivered a lemon – please fix it.

    Thank you (rant over with :).

  30. SS February 20, 2014 / 10:33 am

    Thanks alot….Annoying when you have to break your concentration for its intended purpose just to find the door out…..What if there was a proverbial fire????

  31. Joe Beal April 24, 2014 / 10:56 am

    I miss Windows Server 2008

  32. Captain Cave Man July 22, 2014 / 2:03 pm

    M$ assumes you are managing servers with PS commands or remote tools and using Server Core as much as possible. They think Server GUI’s are so 2008.

  33. Leonard Shelby July 25, 2014 / 10:51 am

    Microsoft: Dullard “un-innovation” by over excited 16 year old staffers = our operational pain.
    Hence no real value added to Windows for 10 years. Sigh

  34. Bored with change August 6, 2014 / 10:54 pm

    Thank you. I don’t know why they make it so hard. The GUI change was just change for change sake. Marketers think that change is always good with no exceptions. MS = Meh.

  35. sreekanth bandarla August 14, 2014 / 11:50 am

    Agree that Metro interface annoys a bit on Servers, but blaming the OS just for one hidden button is not correct IMHO. If you look at the entire picture, the OS itself is very stable and robust when you compare with previous versions of windows. It has got lot of brand new features and enhancements which makes more complex tasks very easy to administer.
    For every one complaint I’ve, there are ten things I admire about Windows Server 2012/2012R2. YMMV…

    • Mitch. January 12, 2015 / 10:23 am

      @sreekanth I’m glad you like it. Personally I think it stinks. I can’t even find properties any more without going around the houses. Office 2007 with it’s ‘fluent tool ribbon’ was bad but this is so much worse.

  36. David September 11, 2014 / 9:01 am

    Thank you, this page was useful!

  37. David Tonge February 24, 2015 / 9:24 am

    Why do they waste peoples time like this? Do they think we have nothing better to do?

  38. Thierry August 1, 2015 / 1:16 am

    Just rightclick start button… Tada!

  39. mel August 23, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. alroger August 24, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    Thanks guys! Thanks Thierry even more.. Who would of thought?
    A server with the not even friendly GUI of Win8.
    Over a decade teaching users to Logoff… now MS calls it sign off? LOL
    –signing off – cheers

  41. Ootam September 2, 2015 / 11:40 pm

    who is the imbecile who design this UI???!!!

  42. Bart March 9, 2016 / 4:46 am

    Thanx! I hope MS is also reading this post and all replies 😉

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