How To Turn Off RetroPie

RetroPie is a very popular software used for playing retro games on computers so everyone can enjoy the same games they loved as kids without needing to keep outdated consoles.

Using RetroPie’s expansive library, anyone can find retro games and play them with ease – but a lot of people make one fatal mistake with their RetroPie.

RetroPie is part of Raspberry Pi, a small and low-cost computer that can be plugged into a TV or monitor. Because it’s so small and easy to use, a lot of people tend to leave it running in the background even when not in use. 

How To Turn Off RetroPie

This can lead to several problems. If you leave your RetroPie running in the background, this can lead to your Raspberry Pi overheating and lowering its lifetime. This means that you may end up only having your Raspberry Pi for a very short time.

So how can you avoid this problem? By shutting down your software programs, including RetroPie, to stop the Raspberry Pi from overworking itself.

But how do you do that?

Here we are going to look into how you can turn off your RetroPie software safely. This will also mean you are less likely to damage and corrupt your software by shutting it down properly. So – let us guide you step by step and show you how to turn off your RetroPie with ease.

Step One: System Shutdown

Whether you are a newbie or a pro, it’s important you know how to exit your games and shut down your RetroPie. 

To start the process, you need to either press the start button on your controller or the enter button on your RetroPie-connected keyboard. 

This will bring up the main menu. There, you will be able to see a lot of different options including your sound settings and UI settings, but right at the bottom is the option called ‘quit’. You need to scroll down and select that option so it will take you to another menu.

This menu will show all of your quitting options. The very bottom one is called ‘shutdown system’. This is the option you want to press to shut down your RetroPie. So, when you are done playing your retro ROMs for the day, just scroll down and select the shutdown system option. 

The RetroPie will give you one final prompt, asking if you really want to shut down the system. Select the ‘yes’ option and your RetroPie software will shut down safely.

Doing this will prevent your files from corrupting and allow the RetroPie software to go through its own motions to turn itself off. 

It really is that easy!

Step Two: Powering Down Your Raspberry Pi

When it comes to powering down your Raspberry Pi, because it is separate from your RetroPie, you will need to press the power button to switch it off. 

So, booting down your RetroPie software does not mean you have fully switched off your Raspberry Pi – it’s kind of like closing all the windows on your computer but the computer is still running. 

Just press the clicker button to end the power feed to your Raspberry Pi when the green lights stop blinking and turn into a solid red light – if you don’t have the click button option on your Raspberry Pi, do not yank the power cord out before the lights stop blinking.

This is what can sometimes lead to corrupted files and a damaged Raspberry Pi card. 

Wait until the lights turn to a solid red before powering down your Raspberry Pi. This will ensure it maintains a long and healthy life. 

Step Three: Restart

There may be times when you are required to restart your RetroPie – usually after an update or pairing a new controller to the system (see also ‘How to Configure Controller RetroPie‘). Instead of manually shutting down your RetroPie and Raspberry Pi and then switching it back on again, you can just use the restart system. 

The restart system is designed exactly for these instances so all you have to do is select it and your RetroPie will shut down and then automatically start back up again. This method is usually quicker and requires less effort on your part. 

To restart your RetroPie, head back to the quitting options from the main menu. There, you will see the ‘restart system’ option.

Scroll down and click on it. It will give you a prompt asking if you really want to restart your system, just press yes and the system will shut down and restart all by itself.

Step Four: EmulationStation

The other two options in the quitting menu are related to powering down your EmulationStation. 

By quitting the EmulationStation, you can head into the terminal to make some changes to the software without having to remove the card and plug it into another computer. All those changes can be made by just heading into the terminal. 

Click the ‘Quit EmulationStation’ option to close out of EmulationStation and head into the terminal. 

There is also an option to restart your EmulationStation, which is a quicker way of restarting the software compared to restarting the whole system.

This is the option you are more likely to choose when it comes to restarting after loading ROMs – however, the difference is only a few seconds so whether you want to choose the ‘restart EmulationStation’ or ‘restart system’ option is completely up to you. 

Restarting your EmulationStation, however, is not the better option when it comes to updates and patches. You are better off rebooting the whole system in that situation. 

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And that is how you can safely and properly shut down your RetroPie software!

Doing so not only helps prevent your Raspberry Pi from overheating, but also protects the card from corrupting and losing your precious save files.

Instead of just pulling the power cable out of the Raspberry Pi, shut your software down properly to prevent such issues. This means you can continue to play the retro games you love for longer. 

So to save your card from corrupting – just follow the simple steps above!

Erik D