Why does it take so long for Windows to reach “quittin’ time?”

FI-Log-On-With-Larry-SchneiderDear Larry,

Why can’t my Windows shut down when I tell it to? It always seems to be saying End Task this and End Task that.

R. F.

 

Dear R. F.,

Once again, the truth of the matter is that it’s probably not Windows that’s creating the issue. Remember, while Windows oversees the programs and processes that run on your computer, it would never try to interfere with them unless you gave it your permission.

When you click Start, Shut Down, you’re essentially asking Windows to close up shop. But to do so, Windows must first ask the tenants to leave the building.

You see, Windows is like your computer’s landlord and you’re asking it to shut down the building and lock the doors. In order to fulfill that request, Windows must first call each of the tenants (i.e., the programs running on your computer) and ask them to finish what they’re doing, turn out the lights in their respective offices and vacate the premises.

Most of the time, Windows tells each program it has to end and each program in turn responds in a timely fashion and says, “OK, I’m outta here.” However, some programs are stubborn or don’t bother to pick up the phone or find themselves too busy to be bothered by urgent requests to leave their offices.

When that happens, Windows presents you with a message indicating which program is giving it trouble. It then asks for your permission to physically evict the program from the building (that’s right, to end its task) so that it can finally finish up.

You have two choices when this happens. You can instruct Windows to kick the unruly party out or wait and see if it eventually gets around to quitting for the day. Unfortunately, programs that become unresponsive rarely wake up, it seems, and oftentimes, it simply makes sense for you to select End Task so that Windows can successfully move about its business.

On the other hand, if the misbehaving program is one in which you’ve created or edited some work and forcefully ending the program might cause that work to be lost, that’s a different story. In that case, it might make sense to give the program the benefit of the doubt and see if it comes around to asking you if you want to save your work before it quits.

That being said, once everyone in the building is accounted for and all the offices are empty — well, only then will Windows bolt the doors and turn off the power.

This is Larry Schneider, logging off.

 

Larry Schneider is the owner of Accent on Computers, a Greenwich-based consulting firm now — in its 15th year of business — catering to individuals, businesses and professional offices. PC and Mac services include computer setup, training, troubleshooting, virus resolution, networking, Internet, database, and programming. Call 203-625-7575, visit Accentoncomputers.com or send e-mail to [email protected]

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