How to fix slow computer shutdown


Computers have dozens of programs and processes that need to close when they get the signal to shut down.  After a few months or years of use, the system can get bogged down and shutdown can go from a few seconds to several minutes. If your computer is taking longer and longer to turn off, try these tips and tricks to speed up the process.

System Restore

If the computer suddenly slows after installing another program or driver, you can either uninstall the program using Add/Remove programs or run a System Restore to roll the computer back to an earlier time before the problem started. To run System Restore, go to Start and choose All Programs. Click on Accessories and in System Tools, choose System Restore.

Background Programs

When the computer starts up, many programs start and run in the background. A good way to speed up both start and shutdown processes is to control these background programs.

  1. Go to Start and choose Run.
  2. In the box, type in: msconfig.exe.
  3. Find the System Configuration Utility and choose Service or Startup tab.
  4. Remove checkmarks from all unnecessary programs that you donít want running in the background. Click OK.


Over time, files get spread out through the computer instead of being all in one, easily accessible place. By defragmenting the computer, you put all of the files back together which can significantly speed up shutdown.

  1. Go to Start and My Computer.
  2. Go to the drive you want to defrag and right click on it.
  3. Find Properties and open Tools.
  4. Choose Defragment Now. This might take a little while, so make sure you have time and your computer wonít lose power or have to shut down in the middle of the process Ė that can be deadly.

Clear Page File

Clear Page File is a safety feature that keeps sensitive information out of the hands of unauthorized people on your computer. It can take a lot of time to shut down and clear the page file, so altering that can speed up the computer. This process involves the registry and doing the wrong thing here can damage your system. Make sure everything is backed up and set a System Restore so that you can go back in time should there be an error.

  1. Go to Start and then Run.
  2. In the box, type in: regedit.exe.
  3. Find this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>System>CurrentControlSet>ControlSession> ManagerMemory
  4. Double click on Clear Page File at Shutdown.
  5. Change the value of the page file to 0.


Using a third party registry cleaner can also speed up both start and shutdown. There are many programs available for download and many sites that review this type of software that can clean out the registry of unwanted items and streamline your computer. In any case, a periodic registry clean is a good idea for any system.


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