If your PC / laptop is taking ages to shut down/reboot, there are multiple areas that we need to focus on in checking to identify the root cause and fix it permanently. In this post I am going to show you the common areas to look at when you are in such situations.


First thing to start with is to fire up the Task manager and identify the resource utilization from the moment you initiate shutdown/reboot. Speaking in context with Windows 8 and 10 versions, launching Task manager will land you at Processes tab by default unless you chose fewer details; if so, click on more details and this will land you at Processes tab. Here key areas to look at is CPU, Memory and Disk processes.

Active programs accessed during your session are generally accessed using Physical memory (RAM) and the other passive/minimized programs will be moved off to page file based on RAM utilization and availability. So, in our case, active programs data we accessed needs to be written off to Disk to commit the tasks we performed just before hitting that shutdown/reboot buttons/commands.


CPU, Memory & Disk resource utilization are heavily dependent on the programs those you accessed during your session and background programs those run as part of OS/software requirements.  Considering an example, I have launched VMware workstation program which consumed about 56GB of my RAM for its operations. Closing the program will not immediately free up used 56 GB of RAM, because the program itself has child processes that needs memory accessed data be written off/committed to the Disk to save the programs state I have left it at.

See below screenshot for your reference:

This is Resource monitor tool (type “resmon” in command prompt to fire this thing up), from this utility you can further check the resource utilizing processes. Take a look at the screenshot above, though the memory usage has come down to 4%, the disk still has read write operations going on it. Sort with “Total (B/sec)” in descending order to see which process is performing operations on disk. In my case VMware workstation uses .vmem files to hold the physical memory of my machine to give those physical RAM resources to Virtual machines I use within the application. Once I shutdown/suspend those VMs running on VMware workstation application, the RAM utilized by the VMs must be saved to disk on .vmem file. This process takes time based on amount of RAM utilized by each VM – the larger VM memory configuration/utilized, the longer time it takes to commit the data off to disk.


Similarly, there are multiple child processes/background tasks that runs in the back-end and until those tasks are completed, the system will not shutdown/reboot. These tasks do not appear on “Shutdown preventing programs” because they are actively working to close the session data. There are a lot of other tools we can use to identify the processes those consuming resources, but the first step to start off is with resource monitor.


I will keep adding more information on this topic, but if you have any queries feel free to comment and I will try to address them.