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Published: March 21, 2015 | Applies to:

This article will show you how to end tasks automatically to avoid "This app is preventing shutdown" message while turning off your Windows 8 or later.

When you sign out, restart or shut down your system, the apps you don’t have closed yet prevents the action from happening. This is due to the fact that system waits for each process, to have its own shutdown. Unfortunately, when the process fails to close themselves, then system forces to kill these processes. Generally, the time for which system waits to forcefully kill an specific task is around 5 seconds. Else, you receive following screen with message:

Closing <number of tasks> apps and shutting down

This app is preventing shut down.

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

[Shut down anyway] [Cancel]

[FIX] This App Is Preventing Shutdown In Windows 8 Or Later

Here you can click Shut down anyway to support system in forcefully ending each task yet running. Or you can select Cancel button and go back to close each apps (tasks) manually and then sign out, restart or shut down your system. If an user faces this scenario when he is shutting down machine yet running a number of apps, then this situation is obvious.

Recommended : See this if you’re unable to access Task Manager

However, if you’re seeing The app is preventing shutdown message each time when you turn off your system, then it needs to be fixed. Here is how you can:

FIX : “This App Is Preventing Shutdown” In Windows 8 Or Later

NOTE : Making mistakes while manipulating registry could affect your system adversely. So be careful while editing registry entries, also its better to create a System Restore point before proceeding.

1. Press W8K + R and put regedit in Run dialog box to open Registry Editor (if you’re not familiar with Registry Editor, then click here). Click OK.


2. In the left pane of Registry Editor window, navigate here:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

[FIX] This App Is Preventing Shutdown In Windows 8 Or Later

3. In the right pane of above shown window, right click and select New -> DWORD Value. Rename the newly created DWORD (REG_DWORD) as AutoEndTasks and double click on it to get this:

[FIX] This App Is Preventing Shutdown In Windows 8 Or Later

4. Finally, in the Edit DWORD Value box shown above, change the Value data to 1. Click OK. You can now close the Registry Editor and reboot the machine to make changes effective.

Hope this helps! Also check how to prevent users from forcefully ending scheduled tasks.

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  • Hi, I don’t have ‘AutoEndTasks’, I have the one above and below but not it.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You can manually create the DWORD :)

  • Doesn’t work for me (Windows 10, Version 1511 (OS Build 10586.104)

  • For Windows 10 you need to configure it in Local Group Policy

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Either you do registry maniputation or configure a policy, that both does the same job :)

  • microsoft said is REG_SZ not reg_DWORD


  • I just want to have it end task on one particular program. If I happened to have something *valid* I want to know… Any way to have Windows automatically end task when shutting down for a particular application?

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