Task Host Prevents Windows From Shutting Down

Task Host Window Prevents Windows From Shutting Down. How To Easily Fix It?

Task Host is a process that can be seen running in the background when you open the Task Manager and scroll through the running processes list. Task Host is a Windows system file and you could find it in the Windows system 32 folder, but usually it is hidden and you can only see it in the previously mentioned Task Manager. It is a legitimate process and an essential part of the process hosting. Seeing this process running is not a bad thing, however, some users reported that is is preventing Windows from shutting down.

Some users reported that they started experiencing problems with Task Host after they upgraded to Windows 10, however, this problem could affect other Windows versions users as well. This problem usually occurs when users are trying to shut down their Windows operating system. Task Host is a process which is responsible for a proper closing of opened/running programs in order to avoid any program or data corruption. For example, if you left some program opened and running, and then clicked the "Shut down" button, the Task Host window will show up and will start stopping running background tasks (like opened programs) so your computer could shut down properly.

Usually it is not a bad thing and it is required for Windows to run properly every time you shut down or start your Windows operating system. However, some users reported that this Task Host window shows up every time even if it looks like that there are no opened or running programs. Or the Task Host is closing apps (or programs) but it cannot do it successfully and keeps closing a program (or programs) for several hours. In other words, it looks like Task Host is closing apps, but the computer is never shutting down.

There are various solutions for this problem, depending on what is causing it. In order to fix this problem you might need to edit Windows Registry, turn off fast start-up, change sign-in options or to run Windows troubleshooter (if the AutomaticAppUpdate is the culprit of the problem). Read the guide below, follow our described steps and see which method solves the problem for you.

task host prevents windows from shutting down

Table of Contents:

Edit Windows Registry

Windows Registry, usually referred to as just the registry, is a collection of databases of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more. Many of the options exposed in the registry are not accessible elsewhere in Windows. In this guide we are going to show you how to reduce the shutdown time, in other words, to control how long Windows waits before killing programs at shutdown. Normally, you would not need to change these settings, but reducing the time period which is given to close apps and shut down your computer could solve the problem with the Task Host preventing your computer from shutting down. To do so, you will need to open Run dialog box first. Press Windows Windows key + R or right-click Start and select "Run" and type "regedit". Press Enter or click "OK".

edit windows registry step 1

Now follow this path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control" and right-click the "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" on the right-pane and select "Modify...".

edit windows registry step 2

You will need to enter a lower number than a current one. For example if it is 20000, then it means that the Task Host is given 20 seconds to close apps and programs. Try to set the value data to 2000 (for 2 seconds) or to 5000 (5 seconds). We do not recommend to set it below 2000. Click "OK" to save the changes.

edit windows registry step 3

Now follow this path "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop", right-click the "Desktop" key, select "New", then "String Value" from the contextual menu.

edit windows registry step 4

Name the new string value as "WaitToKillServiceTimeout", right-click it and select "Modify...".

edit windows registry step 5

Set its value data to the same value data as you did with the previously modified string and click "OK". Close Registry Editor and see if you are still having problems with Task Host preventing you from shutting down Windows.

edit windows registry step 6

[Back to Table of Contents]

Turn Off Fast Start-Up

Fast startup is a feature on Windows 10 (and also Windows 8) that provides a faster boot time when starting up your computer. It is a useful feature and one that most people use without knowing, however, some people disable it immediately when they receive a new computer with the Windows operating system. With the fast startup feature enabled, shutting down your computer might seem like you are completely shutting it down, but this is not entirely true, since it moves into a state between hibernation and shutdown. Leaving fast startup enabled should not harm your PC, since it is a Windows feature, but it could possibly cause problems with Task Host preventing your computer from shutting down. To disable Fast Startup go to Search and type "power". Click on the "Choose power plan" result to open it.

turn off fast startup step 1

In the Power Options window, click "Choose what the power button do".

turn off fast startup step 2

Click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable" and then uncheck the "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" option if it is enabled. Click "Save changes" to save the changes made, restart your computer and see if the problem is solved now.

turn off fast startup step 3

[Back to Table of Contents]

Change Sign-In Options

Some users reported that turning off the "Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart" option solved the problem for them if they had their Windows operating system updated to version 1709 or later. To turn off this feature go to Settings and select "Accounts".

change sign in options step 1

Now select "Sign-in options" on the left pane and scroll down through the settings until you find the "Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart" option under Privacy settings. Toggle the switch to the "Off" position. Restart your computer and see if you are still having problems with the Task Host window preventing Windows from shutting down.

change sign in options step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. If Task Host window shows that it is closing the "AutomaticAppUpdate" and Windows are having problems with it, then the Windows Update troubleshooter could solve this problem for you. To start troubleshooting, go to Settings and type "troubleshoot", select "Troubleshoot" option from the list.

run windows update troubleshooter step 1

Find "Windows Update" under Get up and running and select it. Click "Run the troubleshooter" and see if it is able to fix this particular Task Host problem for you.

run windows update troubleshooter step 2

Additionally, we recommend you to run the "Power" troubleshooter as well. You can find it under Find and fix other problems section. Select it and click "Run the troubleshooter".

run windows update troubleshooter step 3

[Back to Table of Contents]

Clean Registry

If there are some registry corruptions, missing shared DLL's, unused file extensions, ActiveX and Class issues, obsolete software etc., then you might need to scan for issues and fix them in order to solve the problem with the Task Host window preventing Windows from shutting down. We recommend you try fix registry entries using third-party software called CCleaner.

CCleaner is a small, effective utility for computers running Microsoft Windows. It cleans junk and issues that accumulate over time: temporary files, broken shortcuts, and other problems. It protects privacy, cleans browsing history and temporary Internet files, allowing you to be a more confident Internet user and less susceptible to identity theft. CCleaner can clean redundant files from various programs, thus saving hard disk space, remove unneeded entries in Windows Registry, help uninstall software, and select which programs start with Windows. You can download CCleaner from here

When downloaded, install CCleaner and open it. Select "Registry" on the left pane and click "Scan for Issues". It will find various registry issues on your computer, to clean or fix it click "Fix selected Issues...". Close CCleaner when finished fixing registry and see if you are still having problems with the Task Host window preventing Windows from shutting down.

clean registry

[Back to Table of Contents]

Update Windows

Sometimes checking for the latest Windows updates and installing them can solve lots of various problems. If Windows has not been updated for some time, then we recommend you to try to check for updates manually and see if there are any updates to be installed. To check for Windows Updates, type "check for updates" in Search and click the "Check for updates" result.

update windows step 1

You should be automatically directed to the Windows Update section. Click "Check for updates". Windows will start checking for updates. If there are updates available, install them. After the updates are installed (if there were any to install), restart your computer and see if the problem still persists.

update windows step 2

That's it, we hope this guide was useful and you found a solution that worked for you. If there is another method you are aware of and it solved this problem with the Task Host for you, do not hesitate to share it with us and with the others by leaving a comment in our comment section below.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Video Showing How To Fix A Problem With Task Host If It Prevents Windows From Shutting Down:

[Back to Top]