What To Do If Your PC Is Slow To Shut Down

Does your system take a lot of time to shutdown? If yes, follow the tips listed below to speed up system shutdowns.

Close All Running Programs

When you give the command to shutdown Windows, the shutdown process first closes down all applications and processes running on it and then shuts down itself. Therefore, if your system is slow in shutting down, it is recommended that you first close all programs running on the computer and displayed in the system tray and then give the shutdown command.

Resolve Problems Related to Buggy and Outdated Drivers

Buggy and outdated device drivers may also cause problems during system shutdown. To see if there are problems with device drivers on your computer, do the following:

  1. Open the Start menu, select Control Panel, and then select System.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager window, look for the following items:
    • Items that are marked with red exclamation marks: This implies that the device is not working.
    • Items that are marked with yellow question marks: This indicates that Windows is using a generic driver for the device instead of the device-specific driver.

Quite often, you can resolve the problem by updating the driver files. To do this, in the Device Manager window, right-click on the device entry for which you need to update the driver, and then select Update Driver. Next, follow the wizard to upgrade the driver for your device.

Note: You may need to download the updated driver files from the device manufacturer’s web site on your computer before running the wizard.

Terminate Terminal Services

If terminal services such as remote desktop, remote assistance, and fast user switching or any other terminal services that you do not require are enabled on your computer, they may unnecessarily slow down the shutdown process. To prevent these slowdowns, you may disable the Terminal Server service. To do this, at Start > Run, type services.msc and then press Enter. Browse down and double-click on Terminal Services in the Services window, click stop and then change Startup type to Disabled.

Reduce Shutdown Wait Time

When you give the shutdown command, the shutdown process gives some wait time to all programs currently running on the system to shutdown normally. To speed up the shutdown process, you may reduce this wait time. To do this, perform the following steps:

Open Start menu, select Run, type regeditand then press Enter. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following registry key:


In the right-pane double-click WaitToKillServiceTimeout. In the Value data field, change the default value of 2000 meaning 2 seconds of wait time to something lower, say 1000 or 1 second. After you are done, click OK to implement your changes, exit the Registry Windows and then restart your computer.

Warning: The registry is a critical component of your Windows computer. Therefore, before making any direct edits to it, you must make a backup. You can make a registry backup either by using the Export option in Registry Editor or by using the backup and restore feature of a reliable registry cleaner tool.

Hibernate Your PC

Unless something goes wrong with your PC, there is no need to shutdown your XP computer for weeks. So, instead of completely shutting down the system, you can opt to put it to sleep by hibernating it. When you choose to hibernate your PC, all information in the RAM of your computer is written to the disk and the computer is turned down. From a hardware point both shutdown and hibernate processes are identical, but the benefit of hibernating is that it enables much faster system shutdown and startups. What’s more, when your PC comes up from hibernation it displays all the Windows you were working on before you hibernated the system, saving you more time in opening them again.

In addition to these tasks, you may perform a certain amount of preventive maintenance of your system to keep it free from unwanted junk data. Some of the important tools that can help you maintain a healthy PC are registry cleaner, antivirus, antispyware, Disk Cleanup, and Disk Defragmenter.