Does your computer running Windows take a long time to shut down? Is it taking minutes after you click on shut down before the Windows operating system finally shuts down your computer? This problem may be caused by the delayed unloading of the current user profile.
This can happen when third party, or even Microsoft applications have not properly cleaned up when exiting. Windows will keep trying to unload the profile until Windows finally decides that it can't and should shutdown. Even if you find the application causing the problem - it may be impossible to do anything about it.
Microsoft released the tool User Profile Hive Cleanup Service to address this issue. When you install the tool you will find that a new service installed which is called profile hive cleanup service. This service cleans up user profiles automatically when it is running which should reduce the time it takes to shut down Windows considerably, provided that this is the issue that is experienced.
The idea of this program is to reclaim resources when a task is finished (memory, handles, etc). It accomplishes this by monitoring for users to log off and verifying that unused resources are reclaimed. This approach is superior as it works for any known reason that profiles do not unload and also will keep working to address new unknown issues.
Update: The Profile Hive Cleanup Service has moved to a new location.
You can download the program now directly from Microsoft's Download Center. It needs to be noted that the program is only compatible with Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, and not later versions of the operating system. It also has not been localized and is only available in English.
Just install the program first on a supported version of the operating system. You can then launch it from the start menu or the installed location.
Microsoft pulled the program from its website. We have uploaded the latest release version of the tool to our own download server for archiving purposes. Please note that we don't support the program in any way. You can download it with a click on the following link: Hive Cleanup Tool
Update 2: You can alternative use a program like Fast Shutdown to shut down the operating system faster. You can use it to shut down normally, or by forcing the shutdown. The latter, while certainly faster, may impact data that has not been saved during the session. It is recommended to save all data and close all programs before you run the command.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.