This App Preventing Shutdown: How to Fix This Error?

Are you experiencing an issue with shutting down your PC due to an unknown app running in the background? This error message, ‘This app is preventing shutdown,’ can be frustrating, especially when you are in a hurry.

While closing the app and running a full virus scan may solve the issue, sometimes you may need to take additional steps to resolve the problem.

In this article, we will discuss the various causes of this issue and offer several solutions to fix it, including closing apps from the Task Manager, using the Event Viewer, and disabling Fast Startup.


  • If your computer is prevented from shutting down by an app, the easiest and quickest of all fixes is to run a full scan using the antivirus on your PC.
  • Another easy way to resolve an app preventing shutdown error is to close any app that you may have left open and forgot to close.
  • Some simple methods, such as disabling Fast Startup, shutting down the system forcefully, and running the power troubleshooter, may also help.
  • Running a full virus scan and performing a clean boot are also recommended in order to resolve this problem.
  • Often, making changes in the account settings, such as altering the sign-in options, may prove useful.

What Causes This App Preventing Shutdown Error?

The most obvious reason for an app preventing shutdown issues is that a specific app may be running in the background.

This app can be of any type such as:

It may also be any third-party app that is conflicting with Windows services.

In addition to that, some other settings and features on your PC may also result in such an issue, such as:

  • The fast startup feature
  • The Auto End Tasks value
  • Account sign-in option

It may also be caused due to the existing malware and viruses on your PC or even if Windows has not been updated for a long period of time.

How to Fix This App Preventing Shutdown Error?

This App Preventing Shutdown

You will simply have to close any app left open so that your PC shuts down. Apart from that, you may also try to resolve the problem by disabling all services and programs at Windows startup or by running a full virus scan to remove them.

However, sometimes it may not work, and in that case, you will have to check it out in the Task Manager for any open apps and close them manually.

Some other ways to fix the issue of an app preventing a PC from shutting down are as follows:

  • You may use the resource monitor tool built into Windows to detect the unknown app by its icon and close it.
  • You can also use the command line to scan the system or even shut it down.
  • Configuring the Auto End Task value is another useful and effective way to fix the problem of an app not shutting down your PC.

There are, in fact, several different ways, as mentioned below, in which you can rectify this specific problem and not encounter the error message again.

Here they are all described for you in detail.

Method 1: Force Shutdown Using the Command Prompt

If your computer is not shutting down due to some app but you want to turn it off badly, a direct way to do it is to do it forcefully.

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  • Go to the Search box.
  • Type cmd in it.
  • Select Run as administrator.
  • Press Enter.

Force Shutdown Using the Command Prompt

This will shut down the PC by killing the process.

However, mind you, this is not the process to resolve the issue fully. Therefore, choose this fix if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, try the following solutions to rectify ‘This app preventing shutdown’ error.

Method 2: Close Apps from the Task Manager

Even after closing the apps your PC may not shut down because there may be other apps open but those may not be showing on the Taskbar.

In that case, you will have to find, identify and then close them manually, one by one. You will need to use the Task Manager for that matter.


  • Right-click on any blank space on the Taskbar.
  • Select Task Manager.

Task Manager

(Alternatively, you can also right-click on the Start icon and select Task Manager from the Window popping up.)

  • Look for the number of Apps open under the Processes tab.
  • Right-click on each app.
  • Select the End task option.
  • Repeat it for every app that is open.
  • Finally, click on the End Task button at the bottom.

App End Task

There is also another thing that you can do here, if you think that some specific apps are creating problems with shutting down your PC.

  • Go to the Startup tab on the Task Manager.
  • Click on the items that are marked as Enabled under the Status column.
  • Right-click on each of them individually.
  • Disable all of them one by one.

Disable app

Finally, close the Task Manager window and shut down your PC.

Method 3: Use Event Viewer

If an app is preventing shutdown, you may resolve the issue using the Task Manager as above, but that is for the identifiable app icons. For the unidentified ones, you may use the Event Viewer.


  • Press the Windows and R keys together to open up a Run dialog box.
  • Type eventvwr.msc in it.
  • Press Enter.


  • In the Event Viewer utility, select Windows Logs from the left panel.
  • Click on the small arrow next to it in order to expand it.
  • Double-click on Application under it.
  • Click on each application on the right side of the window keeping an eye on the description in the General tab below.

select Windows Logs

This will take time. Continue till you see a warning message ‘The following application attempted to veto the shutdown:’ in the box. It will look something like this:

The following application attempted to veto the shutdown:

Note that the particular app causing the problem in shutting down the computer system is mentioned after the colon, DeviceDetector7.5exe, in this case.

If you can identify the app and the program that is related to it, go to the Task Manager straightaway. If you cannot identify it, Google it and you will find the exact program it is linked with.

Now, go to the Processes tab in the Task Manager as before and close the app manually.

Method 4: Use the Autoruns Feature and Uninstall the Problematic App

If the problem still persists and you cannot identify the culprit, you can use Autorun.exe and then uninstall the app.


  • Right-click on the Start menu and select Apps and Features from the pop-up menu.

Apps and features

(You may also type apps and features in the Search box and press enter or select Settings from the Start menu and click on Apps to go to the following window.)

Find apps

  • Scroll down to find Autoruns from the list of apps displayed.

If you cannot see it, it is not installed on your PC. In that case, you will have to Google it, go to Microsoft and download it.

  • When you are done downloading, now, open Autoruns from Downloads.
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  • Go to the Everything tab.
  • Select the app causing the problem, if you can identify it.

Go to the Everything tab

If you do not know which particular app is creating the problem in shutting down your PC, you may identify it by looking at the value under the VirusTotal column. If you find there is nothing mentioned in this column, you can bring it up by:

  • Going to Options at the top.
  • Choosing scan options.
  • Click on the boxes next to ‘Verify code signatures,’ ‘Check,’ and ‘Submit Unknown Images.’
  • Click on Rescan.

As the system scans, you will see values under the VirusTotal column. Select anything that is more than 1, marked in red, and is not verified. Right-click on it and hit Delete from the drop-down menu.

Method 5: Make Changes in the Auto End Tasks Value Data

If the above methods do not work, there may be the value data of Auto End Tasks that needs to be changed in the Registry.


  • Go to the Search box.
  • Type run in the box.
  • Press Enter.

Run app

(Alternatively, you can press the Windows and R keys on your keyboard together.)

  • In the Run box, type regedit.
  • Press Enter or click on the OK button.

In the Run box, type regedit

  • Now, in the new Registry Editor window, click on the small arrow beside the HKEY_CURRENT_ USER folder to expand it.
  • Then expand the Control Panel folder.
  • Under this folder, look for the Desktop folder.
  • Double-click on it.
  • Right-click on the blank space on the right side of the window.
  • Click on New and choose the String Value option from the drop-down menu.


  • Right-click on the New Value #1 and choose Rename.

New Value #1

  • Rename it as AutoEndTasks.


  • Double-click on it.
  • In the Edit String window, set the value data to 1.
  • Click on the OK button.

Edit String

Now, close the Registry window and restart your PC.

Method 6: Run System File Checker Scan

You may simply run a System File Check scan. It will detect the app and other problems causing issues with shutting down your PC and it will also repair them at the same time.

In this process, first, you will need to detect the app causing the issue or integrity violation by simply running an SFC scan and then go for the DISM scan.


  • Open the Command Prompt as you did in Method 1.
  • Type in the command sfc /scannow.

Run System File Checker Scan

It will take some time to scan for the process to complete. Sometimes, this will even fix the issue. Restart your system and then check whether or not it really has.

However, sometimes, running System File Checker directly may not work. In that case, you will first need to run a few specific Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) commands and then run the SFC scan.

The commands are:

  • The DISM CheckHealth Command – Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

  • The DISM ScanHealth Command – Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

  • The DISM RestoreHealth Command – Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

  • The DISM RestoreHealth with Source options – DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:D: \sources \install.wim

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:D: \sources \install.wim

Note: Here D is the Drive letter where the ISO file is mounted.

If you want to restrict the use of Windows Update, you can use the following command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:D: \sources \install.wim /LimitAccess

Wait for the scan to complete and then run the SFC scan again, as shown above.

Method 7: Performing a Clean Boot

There may be some conflicting software installed on your PC that is preventing a particular app from shutting the system down.

Performing a clean boot, an essential utility of Microsoft Windows, will put an end to this conflict.


  • Go to the Run box as you did in Method 5.
  • Type msconfig in the box.
  • Click on the OK button.


  • This will open the System Configuration window. Go to the Services tab.
  • Check the small square box next to ‘Hide all Microsoft services.’
  • Click on the Disable all button at the right.
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Go to the Services tab

This will keep the Microsoft apps running and remove all conflicting third-party apps.

Finally, click on the Apply button and then on the OK button, then restart your computer to ensure that the changes take effect.

If you want to use some of these disabled apps after your system restarts, you can enable them one by one and restart your PC every time.

This way you will be able to finally find out which particular app is creating the problem. You can then uninstall it completely.

Method 8: Tweaking Accounts Sign-in Option

Your Accounts settings may also cause the issue of an app preventing shutdown. Therefore, make a small change in the Sign-in options.


  • Go to the Start icon.
  • Select the gear icon to open the Settings window.

Select the gear icon to open the Settings window

  • Choose Accounts from the different options displayed.

Choose Accounts from the different options displayed

  • Choose Sign-in options from the left panel of the window.
  • Scroll down to find the Privacy Section.
  • Set the slide switch under the option ‘Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device after an update or restart’ to off.

Choose Sign-in options from the left panel of the window

Now, restart your computer system.

Method 9: Run a Complete Scan

The existence of malware and viruses in a computer can cause all sorts of problems, including an app preventing it from shutting down.

Therefore, performing a complete scan will help in detecting the issue and fixing it.


  • Press the Windows and I keys on your keyboard together.
  • Select Update & Security.

Update & Security

  • Click on Windows Security on the left side of the window.
  • Click on Virus & threat protection.

Click on Windows Security on the left side of the window

  • Click on Open app of the antivirus program installed on your PC.

Click on Open app

  • Click on the Scan option.

Click on the Scan option

  • Double-click on Full or Complete Scan.

Complete Scan

This might take some time. When it is finished, shutdown and restart your PC.

Method 10: Update Windows

If your Windows update is long overdue, it may result in this particular issue as well. Therefore, updating Windows is very important to stop an app preventing the PC from shutting down as well as to keep your system safe and fresh.


  • Go to Settings and Update & Security as above.
  • Click on Windows Update on the left side of the window.
  • Click on ‘Download and install’ on the right side of the window.

Click on Windows Update

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the download.

Additional Fixes:

However, if none of the above fixes were helpful in your case, you need not fret and consider buying a new computer altogether. There are a couple of additional fixes to this specific issue of an app preventing a system shutdown.

In fact, you can try our already written article on a few general fixes of PC Not Shutting Down, which will surely resolve the problem.

Look for the specific methods mentioned in the article:

  • Method 2: Disable Fast Startup
  • Method 6: Using the Windows Troubleshooter


The error message “This app is preventing shutdown” can be quite frustrating for computer users. Fortunately, there are several solutions that can help resolve this issue.

Some of the methods include running a virus scan, disabling fast startup, altering sign-in options, and using the task manager to close open apps manually.

In some cases, you can also force shutdown your PC using the command prompt. These solutions are effective and can help you prevent this error message from recurring.

It’s important to note that if the problem persists, it may indicate a more serious issue with your computer, and you may need to seek professional help to resolve it.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers since childhood. He has over 12 years of experience in writing, computer testing, and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin

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