Windows XP Shutdown too slow, fix it to shutdown instantly

by Rohit Khurana on January 27, 2008



We have received a mail from one of our readers Vikram, having slow and delayed shutdown time on his windows XP computer.

The problem of slow or delayed shutdown is very commonly faced by most of the window XP users. If you are using windows XP for a long time, you are more likely to have such problem.

Why Slow shutdown?

In Windows XP certain registry keys are responsible for determining how long windows will wait before shutting down all the opened programs and services after the shutdown command has been given by the user.

Lets see how we can fix the slow shutdown in windows XP


You need to optimise some registry keys values in order to speed up the shutdown process.

1. Open Start >> Run and type regedit and press enter

2. Now navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
In this entry, you will see a registry key named WaitToKillAppTimeout .

Double click on it and set its value to 1000 , this value is the time in milliseconds for which the windows waits before all the processes and services are closed.

This way you have set it to 1 second.


Not only this, there are some other registry settings set by default due to which Windows XP will prompt the user for input if there are one or more applications still not closed or not responding. This increases the shutdown time due to no response from the user.

So, you should also change that registry key settings value.

3. Navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Double click on the registry key ‘AutoEndTasks.’ and set its value to 1

4. That is all, Trouble Fixed.

Now restart your system, you will see a considerable reduction in the shutdown time this time.

Tip: If modifying registry seems cumbersome to you can simply create a instant shutdown shortcut on your desktop.

1. Right click on your desktop and select New >> Shortcut

2. copy the following command: %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -s -f -t 00

3. Name your shortcut as instant shutdown

4. You can use this created shortcut for fast shutdown.

This will forcibly end all running tasks and shutdown instantly.

Warning: Make sure to save any unsaved work before you shutdown using these tips. It may cause loss of unsaved work.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime1079 February 6, 2008 at 5:19 am

Where to copy the instant shutdown command?

Rohit February 6, 2008 at 8:08 am

When you create shortcut on desktop, there is a window with text-box, which says “Type the location of the item”. In that text-box, paste the command and press next.
Hope this answers your question.

Jaime1079 February 7, 2008 at 4:15 am

Wow, the shortcut works now! Thanks Rohit. Would you believe I’d tried this before asking but failed because I typed this part as -s-f-t, no spaces?

Networker1 May 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Excellent tip!!! This is the first one I’ve seen working.

Shriyal July 17, 2009 at 4:58 am

when I click start-shutdown, then it takes almost 20-25 min to display shutdown, restart option. Please help

VINAY August 26, 2009 at 7:41 am

I have quickheal installed in my system but due to some reason i need to uninstal it and that when i install it this shows an error of quick heal already installed.
I try following thing:-
—–>delete quickheal folder from program file
—–>delete registry entry
—–>uncheck from startup(from msconfig)
but instead of that error persist.

pls give some solid cure which will remove this error bcoz i’am frustated by this.
If there is any S/W which i run and after that problem cure pls tell me…………………..

PerdidoParadise October 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Thank you for all your wonderful tips. You fixed my Certificate Error problem and slow shutdown problem with your knowledge. Bless you!

manpreet November 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm

thanks a lot for the magical shortcut

boy2men May 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

thank men ,,,, u help me a lot>>>>>

Milind Patil September 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

Thanks a lot.. :-)

frank October 23, 2012 at 4:39 am

It works perfectly! Thanks!

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