One of the top three questions I get asked about windows XP is:

‘How do I speed up the shutdown of XP’.

If you’re having this somewhat annoying problem were Windows just takes ages to shutdown, always when you’re in a hurry¬† to go out somewhere, then carry on reading and I’ll show you how to solve it.

To achieve the goal of speeding up your shutdown time on XP, what I’m about to show you involves editing the registry. ¬†Before you make any changes to the registry it’s always advisable to backup your registry using your favourite registry backup utility. If you don’t do use one, then don’t panic as you can just set a system restore point instead. I’ll be covering backing up your registry as part of a series of articles I have planned for the next few weeks.

Ok, so once you’ve backed up your registry, proceed with the following:

Step 1

Click ‘Start’ and then click on ‘Run’. In the Run window type Regedt32 and click ‘OK‘:


You should now see the Registry Editor window.

Step 2

Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER by clicking on the little plus sign next to it.

Now do the same for ‘Control Panel’ and then ‘Desktop’

Now look under the ‘Name’ column and scroll down until you see the field that says ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ (like in the image below).

Double click on this field with your left mouse button.


Step 3

You will then be presented with another window like below. Set the value data to 1000 then click OK


Step 4

Now double click on the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value


And set the value data to 1000 also….


Ok, now we’re nearly there we just need to alter one more registry value.

Step 5

Click on the little minus sign next to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER to collapse the tree below it.

Now expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE by clicking on the little plus sign again. Now do the same for System, CurrentControlSet and then finally Control, see below for example….


Now double click on the entry that says ‘WaitToKillServiceTimeout‘ and set the Value data to 1000 then click OK.


That’s it! Now just click on File and then Exit in the Registry Editor and you’ve successfully solved your slow shutdown problem J

Stay tuned for more great tips coming to you in the next few weeks.

I’m currently testing out an excellent video creating software package called Camtasia, so I’ll be trying it out on my next series of articles.

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Filed under: Windows XP

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