How to fix “This app is preventing shutdown” error

Shutting down the PC should normally be a smooth process. However, for some users, it isn’t. As soon as they hit the Shut down button, they run into an error stating that this app is preventing shutdown. More specifically, the error looks like something along these lines –

Closing 1 app (or any other number of apps) and shutting down. To go back and save your work, click Cancel and finish what you need to.

Under normal circumstances, the course of action is straightforward i.e. you can go back, save your work, close the application, and shut down. But, what if you are clueless about which app is creating issues?

In this post, we’ll cover all such situations and look at the best ways you can fix this app is preventing shutdown issues.

Best Ways To Fix – This App Is Preventing Shutdown

Solution # 1 – Click on Shutdown Anyway

You can follow the course of action and either click on the Cancel button or proceed with Shut down anyway but that is only when you trust the applications. However, if you suspect that the application is malicious, you can bring into force an Antivirus tool to ascertain if the application is safe or not.  

Solution # 2 – Close The App Via Task Manager

If you get “this app is preventing shutdown”, one of the easiest ways to fix the issue is to close the app via Task Manager. The steps for the same are mentioned below –

  1. Press Shift + Ctrl + Esc key to open the Task Manager.
  2. Select the problematic app.
  3. Click on End Task from the top.
    End Task

Solution # 3 – Configure Auto End Task

This is a slightly complicated method but it can help you permanently get rid of the “this app is preventing shutdown” error. Since we will be using the registry editor, it is recommended that you first take a backup of your registry before proceeding with the steps below –

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys.
  2. In the dialog box, type regedit and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to the below-mentioned path –
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  4. Right-click on it, click on New and select String Value
    String Value
  5. Rename the value as AutoEndTasks. Double-click on it and enter 1 in the value data.
  6. Press OK.
  7. Close Registry Editor.
  8. Restart your PC and check if the “This app is preventing shutdown” persists or not.

Solution # 4 – Check For Malware

If “This app is preventing shutdown” is a common occurrence, you should check your PC for malicious threats, especially to the apps that are repeatedly creating the issue. For this, you can take the help of an Antivirus tool.

T9 Antivirus, for instance, is one of the best Antivirus tools for Windows. It comes with a massive malware database and uses advanced heuristics to identify and remove malicious threats, even zero-day malware threats. We have discussed all its features and other aspects in this post.

T9 Antivirus

Features That Can Be Of Help

If an app or apps are preventing a shutdown, here are a few features that can be useful –

  1. You can control internet access for installed applications through its Firewall Protection.
  2. Steer clear of zero-day threats and other software vulnerabilities with its Exploit Protection feature.
  3. Its Web Protection can prompt you from accessing any sketchy websites that the app may redirect you to.

Solution # 5 –  Disable Fast Startup

Many users were able to fix the constant occurrence of this app is preventing shutdown errors by disabling the fast startup. Here are the steps –

  1. Open the Run dialog box, type powercfg.cpl, and press Enter.
  2. From the left-hand side, select Choose what the power button does.
    Choose what the power button
  3. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
    Change settings that are currently unavailable
  4. Uncheck the Turn on fast startup checkbox.
  5. Click on Save Changes.

Solution # 6 –  Run Power Troubleshooter

Both Windows 10 and 11 have a built-in way to identify and fix issues. In case of issues with Shutdown, you can run the Power troubleshooter. Here are the steps to do that. We have enlisted steps for both Windows 10 and 11 –

In Windows 10

  1. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I
  2. Click on Update & Security > click on Troubleshoot > From the right, click on Additional troubleshooter.
    Additional troubleshooters
  3. Scroll down, click on Power, and then click on Run the Troubleshooter
    Run the Troubleshooter

In Windows 11

  1. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I
  2. Click on System.
  3. From the right, scroll down and click on Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on Other troubleshooter.
    Other troubleshooters
  5. Under Other, scroll down and locate Power, and click on Run next to it.
    locate Power

Solution # 7 –  Use The Event Viewer To Find The Culprit Processes

  1. Open the Run dialog box by right-clicking on the Windows icon and selecting Run.
  2. In the dialog box, type eventvwr.msc and press Enter.
  3. When the Event Viewer opens, from the left-hand pane, click on Windows Logs and then, double-click on Application
  4. In the Application section, look for an event saying The following application attempted to veto the shutdown under the General tab.
  5. You will either be able to find the executable file that has caused the warning message to occur or you can Google it to find out which program it is listed to.
  6. Once you have identified the executable file or program, open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Windows icon, locate the executable file or program, and click on End Task.

Solution # 8 – Force Shutdown

If nothing else seems to work and the privacy filter is stopping you from shutting down, you can forcefully shutdown your PC using the steps mentioned below –

  1. Open the Run dialog box as shown above.
  2. In the dialog box, type Shutdown /f /t 0  and press OK.
    Force Shutdown
  3. The computer will then be forced to shut down.

Can You Now Shutdown Your PC Smoothly?

Once in a while, if apps are stopping you from the shutdown, it might not be much of a concern but, as we stated above if it has become a repeated occurrence, you may want to look into the matter, check for any impending malicious threats and get rid of them before they lead to some more serious issue. That being said, hope you have overcome the issue. For more such content, keep reading WeTheGeek.

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