How to speed up the shutdown process in Windows [Tip]

If Windows is taking a while to shut down, you can give it a boost without any extra software. You can speed up the shut down from the registry in Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Just follow the steps outlined below.

First, open the registry by entering regedit in the Start menu’s search box. Alternatively, open it with Run by pressing Win + R. Then input regedit in Run to open the window below.

shut down3

Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control as in the shot below. On the right pane you’ll find WaitToKillServiceTimeout. That will have a value somewhere between 12000 to 20000. That’s the number of milliseconds it takes for Windows to shut down. So 20000 amounts to 20 seconds and 12000 is 12 seconds.

shut down

Click WaitToKillServiceTimeout to open the Edit String window in the shot below. There you can enter an alternative number in the Value data box. To shave a few seconds off, enter a lower number in that window and press OK. However, remember that the value should not be set to 1000 (one second) or lower as Windows won’t have time to shut down correctly. As such, make a more marginal adjustment to the original number.

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Do the same to the following registry keys:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop –> HungAppTimeout
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop –> WaitToKillAppTimeout

Close the registry editor, and then shut down Windows. It will now shut down a few seconds faster than before!

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  • kajnvde11

    With the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant, you could easily convert dynamic disk to basic disk without data loss, and similarly, we could also easily convert basic disk to dynamic one either by using Windows built-in Disk Management Snap-in or partition assistant.
    http://www.disk-partition.com/help/convert-dynamic-disk-to-basic.html

  • melen001

    Done and Wins 7 shuts down in 3 seconds. Great tip… I also did the following; create a short cut on your desktop and use this ” C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00 -f ” and then name as you please. I named it Instant Shutdown and when ever you shutdown your computer just click on it and it will instantly.

  • Ashraf

    [@therealtruth] [@BearPup] Good tips!

  • BearPup

    The Windows Club (thewindowsclub.com) has a tweaker application on their site (ultimatewindowstweaker.exe) that combines this tip with the two other tips provided by “therealtruth”. Run the application and click on the System Performance tab, there you’ll fine sliders to accomplish these tips, no editing of the Registry needed.

  • BearPup

    Nice trick. Its amazing how much more quickly the computer shuts down when reducing the shutdown time by a mere 5 seconds. Reduced my shutdown time from 12000 to 7000. Thanks.

  • therealtruth

    Following the above info is only a third of the solution … as pertaining to shutting down faster. The above ONLY works on Services. To do the same to open and hung applications (software) in the registry go to
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, in the right pane scroll down to HungAppTimeout and further down WaitToKillAppTimeout and change the numbers. I (personally) never set any of the 3 faster than 1500, that’s 1½ seconds, YMMV.
    Towards the bottom of the above article, MatthewA has written the 1000 variable as 1,000 … I’ve never noticed a “comma” in any variable in the registry. Once again … YMMV.