Fast Shutdown Tweak for Vista

I had a registry tweak for Windows XP that made it shut down faster. Is there a shutdown tweak for Vista?– Chilion F.

The popular Fast Shutdown tweak for Windows XP was used to change the default timeout for programs and services that would not end. This allowed hanging programs to be closed sooner making for a faster shutdown experience.

This is controlled by a series of registry entries. Ironically enough, the same XP tweak also works in Vista so let’s take a minute to revisit it.

We’re going to be making four changes to the registry. If any of the following entries do not exist, create them with the supplied value. Open up the Registry Editor and lets get started.

In the left pane, navigate to the following key:


In the right pane, locate the WaitToKillServiceTimeout value. This is the time in milliseconds that Windows will wait before ending a non-responsive service. Change the default from 20000 to a more appropriate 5000.

Now navigate the key below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Here you will need to change or add three values. The first is AutoEndTasks. Typically when there is a non-responsive program at shutdown, Windows will prompt whether or not to end the task or to wait for it to close. Setting this value to 1 will instruct Windows to end the task without user intervention. The default value of 0 tells Windows to prompt the user.

The second value under this key is HungAppTimeout. When a user clicks the End Task button in Task Manager, Windows will wait a specified amount of time for the application to end before notifying the user that the instruction was unsuccessful. This value sets that threshold in milliseconds. Change the default 5000 to 1000. Changing this value is mostly optional for this tweak. However, it can speed up the process if a problem arises forcefully ending a process.

The final value we need to change is WaitToKillAppTimeout. When user chooses to shut down the computer or log off, this is the default time in milliseconds that Windows waits for a user process to end before displaying the End Task dialog. If you changed the AutoEndTasks value above, then the process is simply ended instead. Change the default value of 20000 to 5000.

This should help streamline the shutdown process. If you are still experiencing long shutdown times, make sure that you have not chosen to clear the page file at shutdown. This can increase shutdown times dramatically.

If you have not chosen to clear the page file and you are still experiencing slow shutdowns, this may indicate another problem altogether. There is an entire section in Nilpo’s Ultimate Windows Troubleshooting and Security Guide dedicated to shutdown problems.

Troubleshooting Shutdown Issues

If you are uncomfortable editing the registry, download and run the file below.



Like the read? Share it!


  • Recently, I’ve been having long shut-down problems with my computer. I used your tweaks and now it is operating much smoother. keep up the good work. =)

  • Thank you. I appreciate the kind words.

  • Same here!. My system was always taking forever when I sut it down and now everything work so much better!

    Thanks for all you do!!

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