Why won’t my computer shut down because of the Task Host window? How do I stop Microsoft background Task Host? Take it easy if you are confronted with the issue –Task Host window prevents shutdown. Here are the reasons & workarounds offered by NewsPivot.

Task Host Is Preventing Windows from Shutting down Windows 11/10

You may suffer from a situation – Task Host window prevents shutdown. To be specific, when you try to turn off your computer, Windows 11/10 refuses to shut down and the culprit could be the Task Host window.

Task Host is an important system program that can make sure all the running programs are closed properly before a shutdown to avoid corruption in data or programs. Once the Task Host window detects some running programs or unsaved work, it will prevent the shutdown. On the screen, you may see a message “Task Host is stopping background tasks”.

If no apps are running but you still suffer from this error, possible reasons include a damaged Windows update, Windows update files running in the background, corrupt system files, certain running services, and more.

After clicking the Shut down anyway button, if you still receive the Task Host window error, continue some other troubleshooting tips.

Fix 1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

In most situations, Task Host is preventing Windows from shutting down due to issues with Windows updates, and running Windows Update Troubleshooter can be a good option. It can effectively check for update problems and fix them.

Step 1: Open Settings via Win + I.

Step 2: On Windows 11, go to System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters. On Windows 10, navigate to Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.

Step 3: Choose Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter or Run to start the troubleshooting process.

run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Related post: How to Disable Automatic Driver Updates in Windows 11?

Fix 2. Turn off Fast Startup

The Fast Startup feature can keep Windows in a hibernation state while shutting down the PC, instead of a full shutdown. In this way, your PC can start up faster. When the Task Host window prevents shutdown, disabling this feature helps a lot.

Step 1: Press Win + S, enter Control Panel, and click the result to open this app.

Step 2: Click System and Security and tap on Change what the power buttons do under Power Options.

Step 3: Click Change settings that are currently unavailable, uncheck the box of Turn on fast startup (recommended) and hit Save changes.

disable fast startup

Once done, restart the PC and shut down it, then you won’t receive the error of Task Host is stopping background tasks.

Fix 3. Uninstall a Problematic Windows Update

According to users who have reported the Task Host window prevents shutdown, uninstalling a problematic update may solve the issue.

Step 1: Open Control Panel in Windows 11/10 and click Uninstall a program under Programs.

Step 2: Tap on View installed updates.

Step 3: Choose the recently installed update and tap on Uninstall.

Step 4: Then, go to Windows Update again, check for available updates, and reinstall the uninstalled one.

Fix 4. Use Registry Editor

If the Task Host window prevents shutdown after the above fixes, you can try to tweak the wait time before forcing it to shut down. For this purpose, edit WaitToKillServiceTimeout in the Windows Registry.

Before proceeding, remember to create a restore point or back up registry items to avoid system accidents due to wrong operations to the Registry.

Then, use these steps:

Step 1: Open Registry Editor by typing regedit to the search box and pressing Enter.

Step 2: Navigate to the path: Computer > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control.

Step 3: Double-click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and change its value data to 2000.

edit WaitToKillServiceTimeout

Step 4: Move to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. If you cannot find WaitToKillServiceTimeout, right-click on the blank space in the right pane and choose New > String Value to create that entry. Then, set its value data to 2000.

If Task Host is still preventing Windows from shutting down, go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WpnUserService. Next, double-click on Start and set the value data to 4.


These are common fixes for the issue of the Task Host window prevents shutdown. Follow the steps to easily solve your issue. If they cannot help remove the message “Task Host is stopping background tasks”, you may also need to run an SFC & DISM scan, perform a clean boot, complete any pending updates, etc.

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