You probably know by now that Windows 8 apps run in full screen without the usual window controls that you find when you run desktop apps (update: Microsoft has added better controls in Windows 8.1 Update 1). Without the controls, it may not be directly obvious how to close the apps once they have been opened, especially since you also do not have a taskbar where the open apps are displayed in.
The three options that Microsoft has thought of are to close apps using the task manager, by using the trusted shortcut Alt-F4 (which may not work for every app apparently) or by using a gesture either with your finger or the mouse. To open the task manager, you would use the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc, locate the app or apps that you want to close down, and use the controls available in the task manager to end the processes.
The gesture works the following way: while the application is open, move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen until it changes into a hand. Once the hand appears press and hold down the left mouse button, and move it all the way down to the bottom of the screen at which point it gets closed automatically.
Moving the mouse up and all the way down is not eh most comfortable way of closing apps down, and it is not clear why Microsoft did not add a preference to reduce the way one needs to move down to close apps.
Sergey Tkachenko must have had similar thoughts and decided to do something about it. His free application Close Threshold for Metro Apps lets you modify the distance that you need to move the mouse down to close apps.
For that, you simply need to move the slider for mouse or touch gestures down from its default value of 1000. The minimum value is 100 which reduces the distance that you need to move down to close the app to less than a quarter of the original distance.
You do need to save the settings once you have modified the threshold values. This closes and restarts the explorer process to make the new setting available right away. It may take a try or two before you get it right, but it is definitely improving the closing of apps under Windows 8. If you run into issues, you can click on the reset button to restore the original settings.
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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.