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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Forcing Unresponsive Applications to Close at Shutdown

If you are like me, nothing annoys you more then having Windows tell you that it cannot shut down your computer because one of your applications is unresponsive. At this point, if you want to close your PC, you'll need to go to the Task Manager and terminate the culprit by selecting it and pressing on the "End Now" button. There is a way to remedy this situation, and here's how to do it:

(Warning: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft or I cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.)

  • Go to Start->Run, type regedit in the "open" text field and press OK
  • Navigate to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop (as seen on the picture below)
  • Find the string Value named AutoEndTasks, double click it and change its data value to 1
  • Exit regedit, reboot, and voila! you're done!

The next time an application will be crashed when you try to turn off your PC, Windows will auto end it and proceed to shut down your computer automatically.

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13 Comments:

  • You have just saved me so much time, I'll spend it reading your blog. Subscribed.

    By Anonymous Sterling Camden, at 2:41 PM  

  • It would probably be wise to allow the application to close by itself. The reason the message box is displayed because the program is still working when the shutdown initiates. Closing the program before it's ready to be closed could lead to data/software issues.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:31 PM  

  • Most of the time, Unresponsive applications have to be killed when you are shutting down, so doing it manually or automatically won't make a difference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:51 PM  

  • will this shut down programs that windows tells you are 'unresponsive' (when you ctrl-alt-del to try and work out what's happening/make sure the whole computer hasn't died on you) even if these, if left alone, finish doing whatever it was that made them seem 'unresponsive' in the first place?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 AM  

  • This is simply a bad idea - don't do it. If you want to shutdown everything and force closes on a one-time basis on purpose, rather than all the time, by accident, use the shutdown command.

    At the run prompt type
    SHUTDOWN -f -t 0

    And all processes will be killed and your system will shutdown. Add -r if you want to restart. If you do this often and don't want to remember it, make a batch file on your desktop.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:40 AM  

  • Um, I believe you mean SHUTDOWN -S - F - T 000

    -S = Shutdown
    -F = Force
    -T = Time (in seconds)
    Additionally:
    -R = Restart
    -L = Logoff (only works locally)
    -M \\computer_Name = name of remote PC to issue command to (only if you have admin rights to do so)

    By Anonymous WarezAppz, at 3:29 AM  

  • To those saying this is a bad idea: that was the normal behaviour before Windows XP. Well behaved applications must catch Windows messages that notify them that the system is going to halt inmediately. It was wrong to allow crappy or crashed apps to prevent shutdown. The blog entry is very useful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 AM  

  • It is to say, that anyone who is shutting down there system and is being responsible/conscious about doing so, is/should be aware of the fact of 'unfinished business' in the first place. If they are not, then either way chances are great that the same end-result as the doomsayers above would still prevail. The info is good for those 'aware' enough to utilize it, and for those who aren't - well in this limited instance, your 'blissful state' protects you from potential folly.

    By Anonymous WarezAppz, at 11:58 AM  

  • You're right - without the -S it just kills your apps and logs out. I always use -R myself....

    Having kids/family members who never save stuff on a shared computer, I'd hate to see what happens if you made this "automatic" after they spent the last four hours working on thier school paper, but, hey, whatever floats your boat....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 PM  

  • I use this: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1B286E6D-8912-4E18-B570-42470E2F3582&displaylang=en

    Works great and no more slow shutdowns!

    Call me Sti! ;-)

    David Milette

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 PM  

  • "Having kids/family members who never save stuff on a shared computer, I'd hate to see what happens if you made this "automatic" after they spent the last four hours working on thier school paper, but, hey, whatever floats your boat...."


    How can you say this... the computer is being shutdown not going into standby. even if word or other programs are still opened it will shutdown. this is for unresponsive programs, not for running programs. maybe you should teach them to save.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 PM  

  • Will this force close any app that becomes "Not Responding" whenever it happens. I.E. I use a documant management system that integrates with Outlook. When you open a doc, Outlook can report to be "Not Responding" but is fine. its just the other software opening files. wouldnt want to use it if it kills things like this.

    Cheers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:38 PM  

  • To all those people asking if this shuts down "unresponsive" processes... It will do so, but only if you tell your computer to shutdown.

    And for those who say that this is a bad idea. When you shut down your computer all programs are going to end, period. This setting only forces them to close IF THEY BECOME UNRESPONSIVE, which, at this point, means they can't shut down or finish their "unfinished business" anyways.

    "Having kids/family members who never save stuff on a shared computer, I'd hate to see what happens if you made this "automatic" after they spent the last four hours working on thier school paper, but, hey, whatever floats your boat...."

    As somebody else said, when you shut down your computer, it'll end those progams without saving, no matter whether you "force close" them or not. Always save your work.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 PM  

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