Intervening in Windows 8 shutdown/restart if it's slow?

Scenario: I find some processes and devices take considerable time to shut down.  Speculatively, I think because some processes might hold handles open or do a lot of closure activity after a "close" signal, or perhaps open handles prevent shutdown of removable storage.  (Outlook is - or was - notorious for taking ages to shutdown, many users anecdotally find themselves themselves forced to kill it from Task Manager eventually rather than wait the 10 - 20 mins it can take to end its task.)


Windows 7 behaviour worked nicely: Under Windows 7, shutdown or restart displayed a list of processes which were awaiting termination.  I could cancel the shutdown/restart if I noticed an issue needing human attention, or tell Windows to force-close the relevant processes without regard for their usual shutdown time if I chose. Not ideal, but few things are.  It was never a problem in over 5 years and never gave data loss.


Same scenario under Windows 8: I just tried restarting my new clean-install Windows 8 trial platform.  It was still showing the spinning dial and "restarting" 3/4 hour later. No hint what was up, although I'm expecting it is the same as above.  I'm not worried, though I'd hoped it would handle it better, but I need similar workarounds.


Two questions: 

  1. Is there a way that when I shut down Windows 8, it can display the tasks remaining to be closed, and allow an option to choose to cancel the close or force-shutdown if I feel there is a need?
  2. Is there a way in the new shutdown command options, to effectively tell Windows, "try to shutdown now, but if Windows is still waiting for processes to terminate after 30 seconds, forcibly shutdown at that point regardless"? 

    (I'm not sufficiently sure of the full implications of /f and /full and /t 0)




Question Info

Last updated March 24, 2018 Views 746 Applies to:



Windows 8 comes with an auto-quit applications feature that looks for all active consoles and GUI based applications at system shutdown and restart, and forcibly closes them. I need more information to assist you in a better way.


Is it Windows 8 or Windows 8 pro you are using?


If you are using Windows 8, it is by design that the Operating System closes all the applications and consoles on its own.


However, if you are using Windows 8 pro you have an option to disable the auto termination and change it to manual.


If you want to disable auto-termination you may follow the steps.

a.       On start screen, type gpedit.msc.

b.      Click on gpedit tile.

c.       Navigate to Computer Configuration—> Administrative Templates—>System—>Shutdown Options.

d.      Double-click Turn off automatic termination of applications that block or cancel shutdown policy setting.

e.       Check the option Enabled and Click apply.

f.        Click OK to save the changes and close the window.


Hope this helps. If the issue persists or for any Windows related queries or issues, please get back to us. We are here to assist you.

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