Speed up Windows Shutdown

This article applies to both Windows XP and Windows Vista.

You may find that it is very annoying that your Windows takes “for ever” to shut down. Here we explain what can affect your Windows Shut down time, and how to speed up the shut down.

Windows XP and Windows Vista stores a couple of values in its registry which are responsible for determining how long to wait before shutting down open applications and services once the shutdown command has been given.

By editing these two settings and changing them to lower values, you can considerably decrease the amount of time that Windows needs to successfully shut itself down, and so speed up the shut down process. The first part of this tweak deals with setting the amount of time Windows will take to kill open applications on shutdown.

Open Regedit and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\’
Highlight the ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000′.
Now highlight the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value
Set it to ‘1000′ also.

The second part of this tip changes the same settings, this time for all users on the system.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop’
Highlight the ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000′.
Now highlight the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000′ also.

In the third part of this tip, we will alter a second registry setting to decrease the amount of time Windows will wait before shutting down active services after receiving a shut down command.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\’

Highlight the value ‘WaitToKillServiceTimeout’

Change this value to ‘1000.’

This should help to considerably speed up the time Windows XP and Window Vista takes to shut itself down.

Auto kill tasks on shutdown

By default, Windows will prompt the user for input if there are one or more applications which have crashed or are not responding and it receives a shut down command. This halts the shutdown process entirely until the user approves the stopping of the non-responsive app. In order to speed up shut down time, we need to avoid this happening.
By altering the registry slightly, Windows can be set to close crashed applications automatically. While this does not technically speed up the shut down process, it does streamline it, and ensure that the user will not give the shutdown command then get up and leave, only to find the PC still powered on because Windows never received input on what to do with a hung application.

To allow Windows to close non-responsive applications automatically upon shutdown:

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop’

Highlight the value ‘AutoEndTasks.’

Change the value to ‘1′

Windows will now be able to close hung applications without user input during the shutdown process.

Our experience

This tweak has really increased our systems shut down speed. I can now shutdown my PC within a few seconds.

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