A blue screen may randomly appear on your PC saying “This app is preventing Windows from shutting down”: the appearance of this window that’s not a problem in itself if it appears once in a while and the PC shuts down regularly after a few minutes, but it can become If your PC doesn’t shut down, you can’t see the app that’s blocking your computer or there are so many apps that it prevents the system from shutting down correctly.
In the following guide we will show you all the tricks for solve the problem of Windows not turning off due to an appanalyzing both the causes directly linked to the reported app and trying to solve the problem with the tools integrated into Windows.
READ ALSO -> Solutions if Windows won’t shut down and your computer won’t shut down properly
1) Check running apps
Apps still open when you shut down Windows they can prevent the shutdown procedure as a safety system: in fact they are preventing us from losing the work we had started up to that point (a download, an open document, a change to PDFs).
Before turning off the PC, make sure that all the started apps have finished their activity, then close them from the taskbar by right clicking on them and pressing Close the window; for some apps it is also worth checking the menu at the bottom right (near the clock), also expanding the arrowhead to view the apps that are still active (even without windows reduced to an icon).
Only after we have closed all the apps do we start the system shutdown procedure. If one or more apps are blocked, they must be terminated manually from the tool Activity management (press together CTRL-MAIUSC-ESC), by going to the processes tab to force the program to close, as explained in another post. From the processes tab, find the name of the blocked program, select it and press on Ends.
For further information we can read our guide Automatic shutdown of your Windows PC with timer.
2) Disable app autosave
On Windows 10 and Windows 11 there is a function called automatic app saving, which allows systems to save started apps and restart them as soon as we log in again. This feature is useful but can cause problems when shutting down the computer, displaying the “This app prevents Windows from shutting down” error.
On Windows 10 we can deactivate automatic saving by pressing WIN+I on the keyboard, taking us along the path Account -> Login Options and turning off the switch under the item Automatically save restartable apps when you log out and restart them after you log in.
On Windows 11 we can use the same shortcut as Windows (WIN+I) and take us on the same path (Account -> Login Options), so you can turn off the voice Automatically save restartable apps and restart them when I log in again.
3) Use troubleshooter
Failure to turn off the PC may be due to a problem with the energy saving settings, especially if they have been changed in the past. Since remembering what you changed could be a challenge, you might as well use the energy saving troubleshooting tool.
To use this tool on Windows 10 we open the path Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshootingwe press on Additional troubleshooting tools and let’s launch the named tool Energy saving.
On Windows 11 the path is slightly different: we will in fact have to go to Settings -> System -> Troubleshootclick on Other troubleshooters and press the button Run next to the entry Energy saving.
To learn more we can read our guide on How to use Windows troubleshooters.
4) Disable fast startup
On some computers, Fast Startup may prevent Windows from shutting down properly even if there are no apps open or in the background. Since this function is still useful, it is worth turning it off temporarily, restarting the PC and activating it again to see if the situation improves.
To proceed, open the Start menu, search for “close lid”, and start the item Changes the settings made when closing the lidwe press on Change settings that are currently unavailablewe remove the check mark on Enable fast startupwe click on Save changes and restart the PC (forcibly pressing the power button if necessary).
After the restart (which may take a little time) we repeat all the steps seen above to restore the check next to the item Enable fast startup, taking care to turn off the PC (even forcibly). If we have done everything correctly, the “This app prevents Windows from shutting down” warning should no longer appear the next time you turn off the system.
5) Run the system file checker
If no method has solved the problem, the error appears at every shutdown or we cannot understand which app or process caused the warning window, it can be very useful to run a system file check via SFC.
To proceed, we open the Start menu and identify the app Command Promptwe right-click on it, press Run as administrator and launch the following command:
We let the entire system be scanned, knowing that the tool is capable of repairing any damaged system files on its own. At the end of the scan we try to turn off or restart the system to verify that the error disappears.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to use SFC come on how to repair windows system files with DISM.
The “This app prevents Windows from shutting down” window immediately shows us the apps that we can forcefully close and, in the normal scenario, disappears after a few seconds or minutes after the shutdown starts. If the window persists and does not go away, we try to follow the advice given above to resolve this problem brilliantly and go back to shutting down Windows normally.
On turning off Windows we can read our guides on keys to Shut down Windows 10 and 11, Restart the PC and Log out come on how to lock or shut down your PC when idle or at the end of a process.