How to Speed Up Shutdown Process in Windows

Windows has come a long way and the shutdown process in Window 7 and 8 is way faster than the older versions. Usually, the Windows shutdown process will be quicker than the bootup process.  What happens in the background is that whenever you shut down your computer, Windows requests every program and service to end their session and exit gracefully. If the apps and services are not responding to the request, Windows just kills those misbehaving services so that the system can shutdown.

But if you are using an old computer, or if your Windows system is taking longer to kill the process or services, then the shutdown process may be longer than usual.

If the slow shutdown bothers you, here is how you can speed up the shutdown process with just a couple of Windows registry tweaks.

Note: since we are going to edit Windows Registry, make sure that you have a good backup so that you can revert the system to before the changes if needed.

In order to speed up the shutdown process, we need to edit three different Registry keys. To start , press “Win + R,” type regedit and press the Enter button to open the Windows Registry.

Open the Windows Registry.

Once the Registry has been opened, navigate to the following key and find the key “WaitToKillServiceTimeout” in the right pane. As you can see, the default value is set to “5000,” i.e. Windows will wait five seconds before killing the service.


Find the key 'WaitToKillServiceTimeout.'

To change the value, double click on the key and set the value to “2000” and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes. In case you are wondering, the value of “2000” is in milliseconds which means we are reducing the timeout from five seconds to two seconds.

Change the value, which is the 'time in milliseconds.'

Now, navigate to the following key and find the key “WaitToKillServiceTimeout” in the right pane.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop

Find the key 'WaitToKillServiceTimeout.'

Just double-click on the key and set the value as “2000” and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes.

Set the value as '2000.'

Again in the same panel, find the key “HungAppTimeout” and double click on it to open it. If you cannot find the key, simply create a new one with that name by right-clicking and selecting the option “New -> String Value.”

Find the key 'HungAppTimeout.'

Just as above, enter the value data as “2000” and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes.

Enter the value data as '2000.'

That’s all there is to do, and it is that simple to speed up the shutdown process in Windows. This is how it looks once you have it configured.

The final result should look like this.

Moreover, as tempting as it is, never change the value data of the above keys to lower than “2000” (two seconds) as it may cause problems with your Windows system.

If you want to, you can also configure your Windows system to auto end the tasks without any prompts whatsoever. To do that, find the key “AutoEndTasks” in the same panel, double click on it and change the value data to “1”.

Find the key 'AutoEndTasks.'

That being said, if you are using Windows 8, then you might not notice any noticeable improvement as Windows 8 is already optimized for quick shutdown. For Windows 7 or Vista, the above method will improve the shutdown duration.

Hopefully that helps, and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to speed up the shutdown process in Windows.