It sometimes takes ages to shutdown the Windows operating system regardless whether you are using Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10. This seems to happen most of the time when you are in a hurry, or at least that is when you notice it the most.
This can be caused by processes that are still open, processes that are not reacting, or other reasons why the shutdown process cannot complete right away.
Windows tries to close the processes which can take a long time as it is waiting for them to close first before it tries to kill them or displays a prompt in which you are asked to make a decision. If you don't have the time or patience to wait for the shutdown to complete, you may want to try the excellent freeware Superfast Shutdown which does exactly what the name suggests.
The shutdown is almost immediate which means it is much faster than the shutdown that you can achieve using various Registry options and even most command line options.
The freeware runs fine on all recent versions of the Windows operating system.
You need to be aware that Superfast Shutdown ignores all programs or processes that are still open and running. This can mean that you may lose data that has not been saved, so make sure you save everything important before you activate the shutdown option.
If you do not, data that has not been saved yet will be lost in the process. The best course of action is to close the important programs manually before you click on one of the shortcuts that the program adds to the system.
Installing the freeware adds two shortcuts to your desktop. The first is called Superfast Shutdown and the second Superfast Reboot. Both options are great if you think that the normal shutdown and reboot procedure takes to long. Again, make sure that everything important is saved before you click on the shortcuts.
Update: The latest version of Superfast Shutdown, version 2.0, is compatible with Windows 7 as well. It is likely that it is also compatible with Windows 8, but that has not been tested by us.
The program itself is no longer hosted on the developer website. We have uploaded the latest version to our server from where you can download it. Note that we do not offer support for it or guarantee that it will work on your PC system. You can download the program with a click on the following link: superfastshutdown.zip
The password is ghacks.net. We had to password protect the file as several antivirus engines flag it as malicious. This is not the case however.
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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.