How to Shutdown Windows Faster

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There are a number of factors that can adversely affect the speed in which your computer shuts down. It can be anything from a hardware conflict, incompatible driver, corruption of data, to a poorly configured operating system. On the flip side, it could be a combination of all of these factors. However, in this tutorial, I intend to show you a number of tips that you can use to dramatically decrease your shut down time. Tips that the vast majority of computer users should have little difficulty implementing.

During the shutdown phase of your computer, there are a number of registry values that determine how long the system will wait before it attempts to close open programs and/or services. However, by properly tweaking your registry, it is possible for you to decrease the amount of time your system waits before it initiates this process, which in turn will make your computer shutdown Windows faster.

Note: If you make the wrong alterations to your operating systems registry, it could render your system inoperable. Thus, it’s very important that you follow the steps that I’ve outlined, exactly as they are written. Before you make any changes, you may also want to consider backing up your registry and/or creating a restore point, this way, if anything were to go wrong, you could very quickly restore your system back to its original working state.

WaitToKillAppTimeout

WaitToKillAppTimeout is a registry entry that determines how long the computer will wait for user process to close during the shutdown phase. Once the specified time has lapsed, an End Task dialog box will appear, stating that the process in question will not respond. However, if you set the registry entry AutoEndTasks to 1, then it will immediately close the process instead of showing the End Task dialog box, but that’s something I’ll get into later.

For now, you’ll want to decrease your wait time; this can be done by doing the following.

1. First, ensure you’ve logged into your computer with a user profile that has administrative rights.

2. Then click on Start -> Run [Windows Vista/7: Press windows key + R], and type regedit and click on OK.

regedit command

3. Once the Registry Editor loads up, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

4. Then find the entry WaitToKillAppTimeout, and right click on it and Select Modify.

Edit WaitToKillAppTimeout

5. This will load up an Edit String dialog box, modify the current Value data from 20000 (equivalent to 20 seconds) to 1000 (equivalent to 1 second), then click on OK.

edit WaitToKillAppTimeout value

WaitToKillServiceTimeout

This registry entry determines the amount of time that the system will wait for services to close after it has notified these services that the system has entered the shutdown phase.

Once the value set on this registry entry has lapsed, the user will be notified that the service has failed to stop. The user will then be given the option to either force the service to stop or to wait for it to stop on its own accord. If the user decides to wait, then the value set inside this registry entry will determine how long before the next failure to stop dialog box appears.

If all system services stop before the value in this entry lapses, then the computer will shutdown.

Note: There are some services that increase the value of the WaitToKillServiceTimeout entry, so that they can perform certain cleanup tasks during shutdown.

1. To alter this entry, first ensure you have administrative rights on your computer.

2. Then click on Start -> Run [Windows Vista/7: Press windows key + R], and type regedit and click on OK.

regedit run

3. Once Registry Editor loads up, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

4. Then locate the WaitToKillServiceTimeout entry and right click on it and select Modify.

Modify WaitToKillServiceTimeout

5. This will bring up an Edit String dialog box, change the Value data from 20000 (equivalent to 20 seconds) to 1000 (equivalent to 1 second), then click on OK.

edit WaitToKillServiceTimeout value

HungAppTimeout

This particular registry entry determines how long the computer will wait after the user clicks on the End Task button within Windows Task Manager. If the process fails to close within the specified time, then an End Task dialog box will load up, stating the process didn’t respond.

This registry entry complements the WaitToKillAppTimeout entry, making them most effective when used in conjunction with one another to make your system shutdown Windows faster.

1. The first thing you’re going to want to do is log into your system with administrative rights.

2. Then click on Start -> Run [Windows Vista/7: Press windows key + R], and type regedit and click on OK.

start run regedit

3. Once the Registry Editor loads up, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Find HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

4. Then find the HungAppTimeout entry and right click on it and select Modify.

Edit HungAppTimeout

5. From the Edit String dialog box, you’re going to want to change the Value data from 5000 (equivalent to 5 seconds) to 1000 (equivalent to 1 seconds), then click on OK.

change HungAppTimeout value

Notes

If you have more than one person using the computer in your home/office and you would like these shutdown settings to be applicable to their user profile(s), then you should do the following.

1. First, ensuring you have logged in with administrative rights.

2. Then click on Start -> Run [Windows Vista/7: Press windows key + R], and type regedit and click on OK.

regedit utility

3. Once Registry Editor loads up, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_ USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Locate HKEY_ USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

4. Here, you will be able to find the registry entries WaitToKillAppTimeout and HungAppTimeout, which you can alter to corresponding with the Value data above.

Change WaitToKillAppTimeout and HungAppTimeout

AutoEndTasks

If a process fails to close during the shutdown phase, the operating system will, by default notify you, and ask you whether you’d like to force an end to the process or wait until it closes by itself. With this feature on, Windows will automatically end any process that takes too long to close without your confirmation.

1. First ensuring you’ve logged into your computer with administrative rights.

2. Start Registry Editor by clicking on Start -> Run [Windows Vista/7: Press windows key + R], typing regedit and clicking on OK.

Start regedit

3. Once Registry Editor has loaded up, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Change HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

4. Then find the registry entry AutoEndTasks, right click on it and select Modify.

Change AutoEndTasks

5. From the Edit String dialog box, change the Value Data from 0 to 1 (to turn on this feature). Then click on OK.

Change AutoEndTasks Value

Create a Shutdown Shortcut

Another method that you can use to shutdown windows faster is to create a shut down shortcut. It’s an incredibly effective way of decreasing the amount of time that it’ll typically take for you to shut your system down. To create this shortcut, simply do the following.

1. First, right click on your Desktop and select New -> Shortcut.

Create shortcut

2. In the Create Shortcut dialog box, type in shutdown /s /t 0 then click on Next.

Enter command shutdown /s /t 0

3. Lastly, give the shortcut a name, and then click on Finish.

Create shortcut name

Notes

Double clicking on this shortcut will shut your system down immediately. So make sure you keep it somewhere convenient, so that you don’t mistakenly click on it.

If you would like to create a shortcut that restarts your system, then use the following parameter shutdown /s /t 01 in place of the previous one above.

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  • mike 158

    Great! Only one problem: WaitToKillAppTimeOut is not there!

    • Not on all the latest operating systems. However a certainty on Windows XP/ME/98, which I’m certain you no longer use anyway.

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