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Eliminating Nag Screens in Windows 7 – Part 1: “Force Shut Down”

Ray from TX asks:

When I go to turn my Windows 7 machine down I get this “Force Shut Down” screen. It’s scary – what do I do?

A common issue affecting just about every Windows 7 user at some time or another are the “Force Shut Down” and “Logged On” nag screens, which occasionally appear when attempting to shut down your computer. These can seem very worrisome to those unfamiliar with the reasons behind their appearance. In general however, these screens only appear when we forget to complete a few simple tasks prior to shutting down, and therefore are easily taken care of. To eliminate these screens, follow these simple steps:

Eliminating the “Force Shut Down” screen

Step 1. Take a quick look at the list of programs which Windows would like to forcefully close prior to shut down. If there are any programs in this list which you recognize, and which you may have saved information to recently (such as saved browser sessions in Firefox, Word documents, Photoshop files, etc.) you will want to close these programs yourself to prevent possible data loss or corruption to any files which are open or still being accessed in memory by Windows.

To prevent an unlikely, but possible, data loss catastrophe, find and press the blue “Cancel” button in the lower right corner of your screen. This will stop Windows from forcing your files to close and/or your programs to automatically shut down.

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Step 2. Find the open files/programs which were contained in the “Force Shut Down” list on your taskbar or in open windows, then save and/or close them as you normally would.

Step 3. Attempt to shut down your computer once again. If all programs have been exited correctly, the “Force Shut Down” black screen should not appear, and Windows should shut down normally.

Note: In some instances, programs which are not normally shut down by the user; such as Anti-Virus programs, printer software, and others which are “always on” when Windows starts, may cause the “Force Shut Down” screen to appear briefly when turning off your computer. If you notice the “Force Shut Down” screen appear with only¬† these programs in its list, ignore it, as such programs will either shut themselves down a split second after the “Force Shut down” screen appears, or Windows will automatically close them without any likely data loss or corruption.

And that’s it; A very simple way to get rid, or highly minimize your exposure to, the annoying “Force Shut Down” screen in windows 7.

In Part 2 we will go over how to get rid of another common annoyance: the “Logged On” alert box.

– J. Conboy