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How to AutoEndTasks in At Shutdown in Windows 10 (force close apps)

If open programs are blocking shutdown or restart, you can configure AutoEndTasks to automatically close applications during shut down.

When you shut down or restart Windows, it sends a signal to all the opened or running applications and asks them to close or be closed automatically. More often than not, the applications will close themselves. However, if there is any unsaved work in any of the application, that application can block the shutdown or restart process so as to prompt you to save the work before shutting down the system. When that happens, Windows will show a quick list of applications that are blocking shut down or restart process. From there, you can either cancel the shut down to take a look at the blocking applications or force shutdown by clicking on the “Shutdown anyway” button.

As you can guess, this is a great feature that helps you not lose any of your work. However, there will times when you just want to make sure the system shutdowns no matter what. This is especially true if some application is misusing the feature to block shutdown or restart. In those cases, you can use a simple Registry edit to automatically close applications during shut down in Windows 10.

So, without further ado, let me show how you can do it.

Automatically Close Applications During Shutdown – AutoEndTasks

Like I said before, we need to make a small registry change to automatically close applications at shutdown and reboot. Just follow the steps as it and you will good.

1. First, open the start menu, search for “Registry Editor” and click on the top result to open the Registry Editor. Once opened, copy and paste the below path in the address bar and press Enter. This action will take you to the Desktop folder.

  • For All Users (if you want the setting to be applicable to all user accounts on your system)
HKEY_USERS.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop
  • For Current User (if you want the setting to be applicable to your user account only)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Note: If you are confused about which path to go to, just go with the Current User path. The AutoEndTasks setting will be applicable to your user account only.


2. Once you are at the target folder, right-click on the “Desktop” folder and select the “New → String Value” option. This action will create an empty string value on the right page. Name the new string value as “AutoEndTasks” and press Enter to save changes.


3. After creating the value, double-click on it. Enter “1” in the Value Data field and click on the “Ok” button to save changes.


4. Finally, close the Registry Editor and reboot Windows. After rebooting, the changes you just made will be applied.

That is all. From now onwards, Windows will not only notify the application of the imminent shutdown but if there is an app that is stoping the shutdown or restart process, it will automatically close said application and continues with the shutdown or reboot process.

Keep in mind that Windows will take a few seconds to automatically close the applications. This is to give you a chance to take a look at the offending application and save and unsaved work.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

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