How to close Metro apps in Windows 8

A few days back, we saw how to shutdown or restart Windows 8. Today we will learn about something equally basic and that is how to close  Metro apps in Windows 8.

This is Windows 8! In the opened Metro apps, you wont see a small ‘x’ button which will let you close the app. Nor will you be able to right-click the taskbar thumbnail and select Close, like you could on the Windows 7 desktop. In fact, to continue working on other apps or programs, you no longer have to close the apps. This is because, the Metro Style apps are not meant to be closed. The operating system takes care of keeping the apps from consuming background resources automatically, by putting them in suspension mode.

Windows 8 will suspend apps to avoid resource usage when they are not active, as it is programmed to automatically shutdown the apps, after a set period of inactivity on that app, or close it in case it finds itself short on resources. In such a case the app which you have NOT used for the most period of time, will be automatically shutdown to make way for a new app which you have opened.

In effect what happens is that the Windows Scheduler does not include it in the CPU scheduling, as a result of which the app does not use any CPU. In this suspended state, the apps will be instantly ready for you to get back to them. When you switch to a suspended app, it resumes instantaneously and takes you back to exactly where you left off. With this, you will be able to switch between more apps faster than you ever have before on Windows. You’ll no longer need to worry about how many apps are running on your Windows 8 PC.

Read: How to close apps in Windows 8.1.

Close Windows 8 Apps

Nevertheless, if and when you want to close an open Metro app in Window 8, you have to take your mouse cursor to the top of your computer screen, drag and hold the top edge of the app, and pull it down to the bottom edge, the action resembling that of throwing something down towards the bottom edge.

This may feel a little awkward when using a mouse.  But on a touch device, you have to simply touch and hold the top edge and swipe the finger down to ‘throw away’ or close the app. This will close the app.

Alternatively, if you are on a non-touch device and using a mouse, you may find it more convenient to close apps via the Switch List bar. To do so, move your cursor to the top left corner (or press Win+Tab), right-click on the thumbnail of the app you want to close, and select close.

On the desktop, Alt+F4 may bring up the Shut Down Windows box, but when on the Metro UI, if you use Alt+F4, apps will be closed in most cases.

If you observe in the Task Manager, after closing the app in this way, the process will not exit instantly, but you will see the CPU dropping and when it touches 0, you will see the app exit.

If you are begiining on Windows 8, you may want to see our Windows 8 Beginners Guide.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. somebody

    thank you

  2. robertzaccour

    Thank you. I was lost without my keyboard.

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