[Windows Tip] Disable “This App is Preventing Shutdown or Restart” Screen

Recently an AskVG reader contacted me regarding this annoying issue. The reader wanted to completely disable the screen which appears when you try to log off, restart or shut down in Windows OS and shows a list of apps which are preventing the operation. Actually this screen can be disabled using a simple Registry tweak which has been shared a long time back in following exclusive AskVG article:

Collection of Best Registry Tweaks to Speed Up Your Windows

Today another reader contacted me regarding same problem, so I decided to create a separate tutorial for it so that it can help other people in addressing the same issue.

Actually it's not a problem or issue. It's a feature by design. This feature is called app manager or program manager. It automatically detects the running apps list as soon as the user performs a power operation such as restart or shut down and if the user has some unsaved work in any app, the program notifies the user about it. This feature shows following message on screen as soon as the user tries to log off, restart or shut down:

Closing apps and shutting down / restarting / signing out
To go back and save your work, click Cancel and finish what you need to.

Running app name
This app is preventing shutdown / This app is preventing you from restarting / This app is preventing you from signing out.

Two buttons are given "Shut down / restart / sign out anyway" and "Cancel". You can click on the first button to end task of the running apps and perform power operation. If you want to go back and save the work, you can click on Cancel button.

Following screenshot shows this feature live in action:


If you are also getting this screen frequently and want to turn this feature off, this tutorial will help you.

You can follow these simple steps to disable the annoying "This app is preventing..." message screen:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

3. In right-side pane, right-click on empty area and create a new String AutoEndTasks and set its value to 1


4. That's it. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer to take effect.

Now Windows will automatically end task of all running apps without showing you "This app is preventing..." message on screen whenever you want to sign out, restart or shut down your computer.

If you are worried about editing Registry and want a ready-made Registry script to do the whole task automatically, you can download the Registry script from the "Collection of Registry tweaks" topic mentioned in the beginning of this article.

Also Check:

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Which versions of Windows does this work on? Your screenshot shows Windows 10 (*spit*), but nothing in the text of the article indicates that it's specific to Windows 10 (*spit*).

  • VG

    ^^ This trick will work on all Windows versions. The image shown in screenshot may differ.

  • Why would you "want" to disable this protective program?

  • @frank Because some people like me press the power button and close the lid hoping Windows will power off but upon waking up in the morning, you find your computer still on just because of that sh*tty "feature" that prevented it from shutting down and you realize how much power went waste keeping the computer running whole night for no reason!

  • Hi VG,

    This does not solve the problem on Build 14295 and I DO NOT have the problem on any other builds or windows.

    Mine was already set to 1 and NO apps are reported running but I still get the Funky message that has started showing up on this build to "Go Back and Close Your Work.... ?????

    I tried setting it to "0" Restarted, message was still there, set back to "1", Restarted, message was still there.

    It is very annoying and slows down Shutdown.

    Best Regards,


  • VG

    ^^ The trick has been successfully tested on Windows 10 latest public November Update build 10586. If its not working on latest Insider Preview build, try to create new DWORD with the same name and value. Please check and confirm.

  • @ Crysta
    there are other registry entries you could check. i have this list that might help (these might not be the exact words used in the registry but i think they will be close enough. This is just a text file i made from before when i was looking for ways to make shutting down faster)

    these were adjusted by level

    -- Time to wait when a program crashes
    -- Time to wait for services to end before shutting down
    -- Time to wait before ending programs with errors

    these ones you just enable/disable. i think.

    -- Closing non-responsive programs automatically
    -- Closing applications that have no visible windows automatically

    sorry i could not tell you where in the registry these are found cos i've 4gotten. You might want to ask VG, he more familiar with reg tweaks. he might know where these are located in the registry.

  • VG

    ^^ Their Registry entries details are given in following topic: :)


  • The AutoEndTasks registry entry tells the computer to always shut down without saving data. I would not advocate this setting without explaining that data could be lost if the user is not very careful.

    I regard the "app preventing shutdown" screen as Windows' way of reminding me that I need to save my document. It's very clunky, but at least it gives me a chance to go back instead of shutting down without saving.

    I liked the Windows XP behavior, where I could watch the apps shutting down down one by one, prompting me to save a document when needed. Is there any way to restore this behavior in Windows 10?

    Windows XP would sometimes prompt "The system cannot end this program because it is waiting for a response from you." But Windows 10 doesn't seem to recognize programs awaiting a response, at least not during shutdown. Nor does it give me any chance to save documents before going to the "closing apps and shutting down" screen. I hope there is a registry fix for this!

  • IT WORKED! You are totally awesome!!
    For the longest time I could not get win 10 to shut down or restart without hitting the power button.

  • Hi VG,
    I actually don't want to disable it. It is a very good thing. I just want to find out what it is and kill it on msconfig/startup. So NO crab next time...

  • also can send the answer on my email.
    It is slowing my laptop from the beginning. I want to find out what the heck it is.
    and try to give me a manual button. So I can press the button like "end, delete, kill, destroy". It'll be a great feeling. You know what this all about right? Thanks a lot in advance man.

  • VG

    ^^ Post your HijackThis log file in following topic first:


  • This is horrible advice to give as it is solving issues elsewhere within the users system by disabling an important protective feature within Windows. If this screen is becoming bothersome then have one of 3 root causes.

    A. A very poorly coded application that is causing issues with shutdown and the system never fully shuts down after this screen is displayed.

    B. This message is displayed for only a short time while Windows is asking if applications are ready to be closed and all data integrity is intact.

    C. The message is telling the user that there are applications with unsaved data that will be lost if using the shut down anyway command.

    If you read this and think this registry tweak is anything but an insanely terrible idea which one should be ashamed of themselves for even considering, then you should not be anywhere near the Windows Registry and should have supervision whenever you even think about using a computer.

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