How to Disable “This app is preventing shutdown” Message Alert in Windows 10

Windows 10 users often report that their screen comes up with an alert that says: “this app is preventing shutdown.” Here are some ways to fix it.

While the Windows 10 environment is considered a far superior product compared to some of its predecessors, there are occasions when unavoidable distractions occur.

One of them is the message that appears when you are trying to shut the system down or to restart. You may get a message which says “This app is preventing shutdown.”

If you are facing this on your system too, you may have noticed that the complete message that appears on the screen on those occasions, reads as follows:

“Closing apps and shutting down/restarting

To go back and save your work, click Cancel and finish what you need to.

This app is preventing shutdown.”

If you were wondering why this message appears, it is possible you were working on certain applications or programs within Windows but did not save the changes you made to the contents.

These could be in a Microsoft Word document or an Excel spreadsheet or even Microsoft Paint.

Windows tries to tell you to go back to the program and save your changes. In all probability, you had already saved and closed the program, but Windows still shows this message.

It offers you two clear choices; “Shutdown anyway” or “Cancel.”

If you are sure you had saved everything, you would click the first and be done with it.

Rarely would you pick Cancel. However, there are ways to eliminate this warning message and make Windows shutdown, the moment you click the Shutdown button on the power section.

Here are the solutions:

Making Changes in the Registry Editor

The best advice offered to you if you wish to do any changes through Registry Editor is to first do a System Restore before that. If you can create a backup of the files you consider important, that would be helpful too.

  • Take the mouse to the Start button at the bottom left of your Windows 10 screen and right-click.
  • Click the “Run” option.

Run option on Windows 10.

  • Then type “regedit” and click “Ok.”

Ok option on dialog option.

  • You should next reach this path ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERControlPanelDesktop by selecting the choices that appear among the large number of entries you notice on the Registry Editor Window.

ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERControlPanelDesktop Sreenshot.

  • Now, right-click on an empty space adjacent to this path.
  • The next set of clicks you will do are New > String > Value.

Right click on dialog window.

  • You will then have to type “AutoEndTasks.”

Auto End Task on dialog window.

  • This will be treated as a new string value.
  • You must then select this entry and right-click on it.
  • The resultant Window will appear with Edit String as the title and two boxes inside.
  • One box will mention String Value and under it “AutoEndTasks” will appear.
  • In the other, under Value, you make an entry of the number 1.
  • Click OK.
  • Now close all the Windows that are open and restart the system.
  • After this, the message that reads “This app is preventing shutdown” should disappear.

Note: The Windows OS does not have the feature to automatically close any running program on its own. The exercise you did above gives it the authority to do so now. This is how you have disabled the “This app is preventing shutdown” message alert in Windows 10.

Alternate Process to End String Value

There is another method within the same Registry Editor to achieve the same end result.

Here are the steps you need to follow to do it:

  • Steps 1 to 3 above to reach the Registry Editor Window are to be repeated.
  • Once there, the path you can now pick is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlSet / Control. The method is the same; under each heading there will be many entries and when you click on it the sub-entries below that will open up and you keep clicking on the right options to get the above path.

Alternate Process to End String Value

WaitToKillServiceTimeout option sreenshot.

  • As you did before, right-click to the right of this path within the Window in an empty space.
  • In the resultant page, you need to click “Control” to open the folder.
  • You should find an entry that says: WaitToKillServiceTimeout. Select it.
  • The next step is to select “Modify.”
  • There will be a default value 20,000; if it is appearing there, you can leave it as it is.

Experts are quick to point out that one can even change this value to a much lower figure of 5,000.

This translates into a much faster timeframe for your system to shut down. However, this quick shutdown method may lead to some data loss. It is therefore recommend that you enter the default value of 20,000 here.

The above two solutions should definitely solve this issue of alerts appearing on your Windows 10 screen while shutting it down regarding apps not being fully closed.

If the issue persists for any reason, you can get in touch with a repair professional to look into it.


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