How to Make Windows XP Shutdown Faster?

You are probably reading this article because your Windows XP takes a lot of time before it shuts down and you want a way to solve this problem once and for all. So why does your Windows take eternity to properly shut down?

This problem is caused by third party applications and sometimes by Microsoft apps themselves that need to be properly cleaned up when exiting. Windows will keep on trying this until its done and this will generally take 1-2 minutes before it shuts down. This could even take more time if the number of third party applications increases overtime.

Fortunately, there is a registry tweak to force Windows XP to shut down as quickly as possible. When applied can drastically shave of some time. But before you begin, don’t forget to backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.

Cut short time and boost up Windows XP Shutdown speed

1. Click on Start Menu -> Run,

2. Enter: regedit

3. A Registry Editor window will pop up, look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER, click on the folder,

4. In the drop down menu click on Control Panel folder, next click on Desktop,

5. On the right side of the pane, you’ll see a list of files, scroll down to HungAppTimeout,

6. Double click on the file, a small window will pop out. Under the value data, the default value is set to 5000, change this to 1000. Click OK when finished.


7. Now scroll down in the same list and click on WaitToKillAppTimeout, change this value to 1000 as well. Default is set to 20000. Click OK when done.

Next up is to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, click on the ‘+‘ (plus) sign to expand the folder,

1. Inside it look for the System folder,

2. Next click on CurrentControlSet and then Control,

3. On the right side of the window, search for WaitToKillServiceTimeout, and set it to 1000,


In the end, go to HKEY_USERS \ DEFAULT \ Control Panel \ Desktop,

1. Change HungAppTimeout to 1000 and click OK,


2. Scroll down and also change WaitToKillAppTimeout to 1000,


Save changes and reboot your system to see whether it work or not. In case it doesn’t start from 10000 and then decrease the count. The reason lower values like 1000 might not work is because some of the programs may be performing cleanup maintenance.

Play around with the values to see which works for your system. Note, if you do change these values, make sure they are uniform throughout each setting.

However, if you are afraid to use this hack, you can download User Profile Hive Cleanup Service as an alternative to this hack. Basically, this tool helps to ensure user sessions are completely terminated when a user logs off.

We would love to hear your views about this article. Image Courtesy: HowToGeek