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How To Stop Apps Restoring On Boot In Windows 10

If you’ve upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update then you might have noticed your system is doing something different each time you turn it on. When you boot to your desktop, all your previous apps are reopened. This isn’t to be confused with Cortana’s Pick up where I left Off feature. This is new, and different. It’s part of a seamless experience that Microsoft is trying to push. It helps you start work right from where you left it off but not everyone likes it. To stop apps restoring on boot in Windows 10 isn’t too hard but it requires the user to shut down with one extra step.

Stop Apps Restoring On Boot

There’s one tried and tested way to stop apps restoring on boot; exit them before you shut down. It seems simple but if you give the shut down command before an app has closed completely, it will reopen when you next boot up. That’s really all you need to do and of course, you can’t be sure if an app or file has closed so, we need a work around that doesn’t leave any room for guess work.

Shut Down Alt+F4

Use the Alt+F4 keyboard shortcut to bring up the shut down menu. This shut down menu, as per the dialog, will close all apps before initiating a shut down. Since all apps are closed, they won’t be restored when you turn your system on the next time.

Some users say if you hold down the Shift key when you click Shut Down in the power menu, the apps will not restore but that didn’t work on Windows 10 Pro. Perhaps it will work for Home users.

Shut Down Desktop Shortcut

If you find you can’t get in the habit of using Alt+F4 to shut down, and you can’t remember to close all your apps before you click Shut down, there is one more option.

Go to your desktop and right-click anywhere. From the context menu, select New>Shortcut. In the location field, enter the following and click Next, followed by Finish.

shutdown /s /f /t 0

Whenever you need to shut down your system, double-click this shortcut. Your apps will be closed and your system will shut down immediately. If you would like a warning before the system is shut down, you can change the command in the location field to the following;

shutdown /s /f

You will get a 30 second count down.

Slow Boot

One major drawback of apps restoring on boot is the initial impact it has on start-up. The screenshot below shows the CPU usage at 100% though, because this is on a fairly good system, it was only high for a few seconds. On older systems with less capable hardware, this is bound to be much higher. It will delay start up and it might open apps you don’t want to use.

The feature, for those that like it, is great but there should definitely be an off switch for it that’s easier to flip.

Leave a comment

  • Tony Mills

    Brilliant.