When you shutdown your PC, Windows quits all open programs, allows you to save any unsaved documents, exits Windows, and turns off your PC.

Whew! Sometimes it takes Windows forever to shutdown. The culprit might be all those services running in the background. Windows has to shut them all, one-by-one. In each case, Windows waits for some time for the service to close, and if it hasn’t closed in that time, Windows kills it. That waiting time brings the shutdown process to its knees. Follow these simple steps:


1. Don’t Let Your Windows Delete Your Paging File at Shutdown

If Windows were to run out of memory, the system would slowly stop. To avoid this, Windows uses the paging file on the hard drive as a memory substitute. The problem with this is that hard drives are much slower than memory, so it reduces performance when the Windows clears paging file at shutdown. Result: Your PC takes minutes to shut down while Windows is busy erasing paging files.

Insider Scoop:

Registry Editor should be used carefully. A single wrong step can damage your operating system functionality. If you’re confident using it, it can speed up your shutdown process. It provides an easier and cheaper alternative. Here’s how:

  1. Start Button
  2. Search Regedit
  3. Press Enter

Search for:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

Now keep these 3 points in mind to know whether Windows is or isn’t removing the paging file at shutdown:

  1. “0x00000000 (0)” means Windows isn’t.
  2. “0x00000000 (1)” means it is.
  3. If you can’t see the setting that means Windows isn’t.

If it shows “1,” prevent Windows from doing so. Here’s how:

  • Double-click the ClearPageFileAtShutdown setting.
  • Set it to 0.
  • Here you go! Now your can expect a much faster Windows 10 shutdown.

2. Find out the real culprits

The real culprits are services running at backend. Not all of them are guilty. Use the Event Viewer to identify ones causing shutdown lags. Here’s how:

  • Hit Windows + R keys together
  • Type eventvwr and Go further

And then check this section:
Applications And Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Diagnostics-Performance\Operational

  • Right click on the Operational log and select Filter Current Log.
  • Type 203 into the Event IDs and hit Ok
  • It filters the log and shows shutdown events.
  • Probe the list you’ve found. You’ll see the name of the service causing all of this shutdown delay. See next to File Name and Friendly Name.

The information it contains directs you to any service that is taking time to turn off. Here you can uninstall applications that you do not use. If you are unsure of any software, Google it.

3. Last of it is to check WaitToKillServiceTimeout Value

As noted above, when you shutdown your PC, Windows has to quit all open programs before it shuts down.  It’s time-consuming. By default, it takes 5 seconds. Registry Editor does this in milliseconds. Here’s how:

  • Open Registry Editor
  • Search regedit
  • Press Enter
  • Now search for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
  • Read the value in columns. If it’s 5000, you will observe 5 seconds Windows holdup. If it’s 20000, Windows waits 20 seconds.

Remember: Some services can take more time to shut down properly. We do not recommend you to set any service less than 5000. If any application is larger in numbers (say 20000), set it to 5000. Double click an application and enter 5000.