- Some users got the Task Host window preventing shutdown when trying to turn off the computer, and it appeared on every attempt.
- The problem usually arises due to corrupt system files, pending updates, problematic services, or conflicting programs.
- To fix things, uninstall recent Windows updates, disable services and startup apps, or turn off Fast Startup, amongst other solutions.
Windows runs with many default services and apps in the background, but sometimes those apps can interfere with your system. Users reported that the Task Host window is preventing a shutdown along with a Shut down anyway option.
While clicking on it helped some, others again got the error on their subsequent attempts at performing a shutdown. Remember, the Task Host window is not a virus, as often understood by many. With that cleared up, let’s find out how to get things up and running.
Why is the Task Host window preventing shutdown?
Here are a few reasons users might be getting the error:
- Updates running in the background – In case Windows updates are stuck or are installing the background, you may have the Task Host window preventing shutdown.
- A program is installing in the background – Oftentimes, users don’t realize that a program’s installation is in process, which triggers the error.
- Services preventing the shutdown – Certain services, too, can lead to issues with shutting down the computer.
- Corrupt system files – If the PC has corrupt system files, you are bound to encounter several issues.
What can I do if Task Host window is preventing shutdown?
Before we go to the slightly complex solutions, here are a few quick ones that you can try:
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- Click the Shut down anyway button on the error prompt and check whether it appears again. For some, it was a one-off thing.
- Make sure there are no apps running when you shut down the computer. In case there are, terminate them and the related process via the Task Manager.
If these two quick fixes didn’t work, head to the ones listed next.
1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter
- Press Windows + I to open Settings, and then choose Troubleshoot from the right in the System tab.
- Click on Other troubleshooters.
- Now, click on Run next to the Windows Update entry to launch the troubleshooter.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to identify and eliminate the problem.
In most cases, it was an issue with Windows Update that led to the Task Host window preventing shutdown. And the built-in troubleshooter did wonders by fixing things in no time.
2. Restart the Microsoft Store Install Service
- Press Windows + R to open Run, type services.msc in the text field, and hit Enter.
- Locate the Microsoft Store Install Service, right-click on it, and then choose Restart.
- Wait for the service to restart.
The Task Host window preventing shutdown mistaken for a virus can also be due to issues with the Microsoft Store Install Service, and restarting it should get things up and running.
3. Disable startup apps and non-critical services
- Press Windows + R to open Run, type msconfig, and click OK.
- Head to the Services tab, tick the checkbox for Hide all Microsoft services, and then click on Disable all button.
- Now, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager and go to the Startup apps tab.
- Select the apps that read Enabled under the Status column individually, and click on Disable at the top. Do it for all such apps.
Once done, restart the computer, and verify whether the Task Host window is still preventing shutdown. In case it is, head to the next solution.
4. Uninstall Windows updates
- Press Windows + I to open Settings, go to Windows Update from the navigation pane, and click on Update history.
- Scroll down to the bottom and click on Uninstall updates.
- Now, click on Uninstall next to the update that was installed right before the error first appeared.
- Again, click Uninstall in the confirmation prompt.
- If the error persists, uninstall another recent update, and check again.
Many users who reported that the Task Host window is preventing shutdown fixed things by uninstalling a few problematic updates. For most, it was the last two, but it might be different for others.
5. Turn off Fast Startup
- Press Windows + S to open the Search menu, type Control Panel, and then click on the relevant search result.
- Click on System and Security here.
- Now, choose Change what the power buttons do under Power Options.
- Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
- Now, uncheck the box for Turn on fast startup (recommended) and click on Save changes.
- Once done, restart the computer, and the error shouldn’t appear again.
6. Run the DISM and SFC scan
- Press Windows + R to open Run, type cmd, and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
- Click Yes in the UAC prompt.
- Paste the following three commands one at a time, and hit Enter after each:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Once done, execute the following command to run the SFC scan:
In a few cases, users got the Task Host window preventing shutdown due to corrupt system files, and running the DISM tool and the SFC scan got things working. These two shouldn’t take more than half an hour to run under ideal conditions.
7. Install the optional updates
- Press Windows + I to open the Settings app, navigate to Windows Update, and click on Advanced options.
- Now, click on Optional updates.
- Tick the checkboxes for all the available updates here, and click on Download & install.
That’s it! If nothing has worked so far, installing the optional updates should fix things in case the Task Host window is preventing shutdown.
While fixing things, find out the best settings for improved Windows performance.
For any queries or to share a solution that’s not listed here, drop a comment below.