Make Windows XP Shut Down Faster

One of the biggest annoyances in Windows XP is waiting for what seems an eternity while it shuts down, so we have a couple of registry tweaks to help force Windows to shut down more quickly.

Usually what is happening is one or more applications is hanging up to 20 seconds (in the Registry all values are set to milliseconds) while the OS tries to shutdown. Before making any changes to the Registry it is highly advisable to create a backup.

The first thing we need to do is access the Registry by going to Start Run and type in “regedit” (no quotes) then click OK.

XP Run

Now with the Registry Editor open the first change we want to make is under HKEY_CURRENT_USER Control Panel Desktop scroll down to HungAppTimeout and change the default 5000 to 1000 then click OK.

Regedit 1

Then scroll down to WaitToKillAppTimeout from 20000 to 1000 then click OK.  Keep the Registry Editor open as we have 3 more values to change in two different sections.

Regedit 2

Next we are going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE System CurrentControlSet Control and double click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout to 1000 then click OK.

Regedit 3

Finally, we need to navigate to HKEY_USERS DEFAULT Control Panel Desktop and change HungAppTimeout to 1000 and click OK.

Regedit 4

Then scroll down to WaitToKillAppTimeout to 1000 and click OK.

Regedit 5

While I am showing much lower timeout times in this post you might want to start with say 20000 to 10000 as some programs may be performing cleanup maintenance.  No matter what you change the values to, make sure they are uniform throughout each setting.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+