FIX: This app is preventing shutdown on Windows 10

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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This app is preventing shutdown

The “This app is preventing shutdown” message appears when you try to shut down Windows when there are still third-party apps running. Then you’ll see a screen that lists software apps you still need to close, and you can select a Cancel or Shut down anyway option. By selecting Cancel, users can manually close the listed apps preventing shutdown.

The “This app is preventing shutdown” screen appears when applications with unsaved data are still open in Windows. Word processor, spreadsheet, text editor and image editor software will usually prompt you to save unsaved documents or images when you click the X button to close their windows. Then you can select to save and close or close the application without saving anything. So you need to close all applications with unsaved data open in them before shutting down Windows.

How to disable This app is preventing shutdown message?

However, you can get rid of the “This app is preventing shutdown” warning message. You can edit the registry to ensure that all open software which include unsaved data close automatically when you shut down Windows. Follow the guidelines below to edit the registry.

  1. First, some might prefer to set up a new restore point before editing the registry. You can set up a restore point as covered in this post.
  2. Next, right-click the Start button and select to open the Run accessory.
  3. Enter ‘regedit’ in Run, and click the OK button.
  4. Then open this registry key in the Registry Editor window: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
  5. Right-click an empty space on the right side of the Registry Editor window to open its context menu.
  6. Click New > String Value on the context menu.
  7. Enter ‘AutoEndTasks’ as the string value name.
  8. Double-click AutoEndTasks to open the window shown directly below.
  9. Enter ‘1’ in the Value data box.
  10. Click the OK button to close the Edit String window.
  11. Close the Registry Editor window.
  12. Then restart your desktop or laptop.

The new AutoEndTasks string value ensures all software closes automatically when you click Shut down. Thus, you’ll no longer need to close programs with unsaved data open in them before shutting down. Remember, however, that the “This app is preventing shutdown” warning message can also be a handy reminder that you have forgotten to save something.


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