Close All Windows At Once

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 8, 2011
Software, Windows, Windows software

While it is possible to close programs directly, for instance by killing their running process, it is usually better to close the applications from within the program interface so that program settings and data are saved correctly and without chance of corruption or errors. Most programs close down just fine, even if forced to close on the other hand. Some one the other hand may give you problems. Firefox may for instance "forget" the current browsing session on next start up.

Most Windows users come into contact with closing windows by force when they press the shutdown button on their computer. Depending on their settings, Windows may force programs to terminate which can result in the aforementioned problems.

Close All is a lightweight portable application for Windows that provides users with an option to close all program windows at once by executing it on the system.

The program has no interface. When you double-click it, it will close down all windows in record time. It will not shut down Windows for you though. It is therefor handy for users who close all open programs and windows manually before they shut down their system.

Probably the best way to use it is to place a shortcut to the program on the Windows desktop, or in the case of Windows 7 users, by pinning it to the taskbar.

close all windows

The program is offered as a 32-bit and 64-bit edition. The program supports parameters to exclude programs from closing down when the program is executed. For that though, you best create a program shortcut and edit the shortcut properties so that you do not have to enter the parameters whenever you want to close all but select program windows.

Right-click the program executable in Windows Explorer for that and select create shortcut from the context menu. This creates a shortcut in the same directory. Right-click that shortcut now and select properties from the menu.

Locate the target part of the window and add to the end of the path the following paramter


Replace app-to-exclude.exe with the application that you do not want to be closed when the shortcut is used. You can add multiple programs to the list by separating them with the pipe | character. If you do not want Firefox and Windows Explorer to be closed down automatically you would use the following parameter.


close all programs

Close All can be downloaded from the developer website over at NTWind.


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  1. Martin said on March 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    An even quicker way to open Task Manager is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

  2. archie bald said on March 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Win+Pause used to be the goto shortcut for me since… W95… Ms recently hijacked it and you now get Sysinfo. Device manager is still accessible this way: the second to last link at the bottom.

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