Windows 10 added a feature to Windows that automatically reopened programs, which were open when you shut down or restarted your computer. While some just love the feature, others are looking for a way to disable it. If you are one who wants to stop Windows 11/10 from reopening programs & applications after a restart, then this post will interest you.
What has changed in this scenario is that Windows preserves the state of your open applications before it shuts down or restarts. Once the computer has started again, all these applications are reloaded in the interest of productivity and continuity. This is because of the Winlogon Automatic Restart Sign-On (ARSO) feature.
But if you liked it the old way, a computer starting fresh and fast after a restart then you might be a little disappointed by this feature. But this can be tackled with a few approaches, make note that Windows does not provide any control or switch for this feature as of now, but you can work around a bit to achieve it.
Some people do confuse this feature with a setting called Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my devices after an update or restart’, but this setting has nothing do with this feature till Windows 10 v1709. But starting with Windows 1803, Microsoft changed a few things. Read on to find out.
Stop Windows 11/10 from reopening programs after restart
The most simple and best solution to this problem is ‘Close your applications before a shutdown.’ Yes, that seems one additional step before shutting down your computer, but that is a habit you can maintain over time. But if this does not work for you, consider the following approaches to this issue:
- Use Alt+F4
- Use a desktop shortcut that will full- shut down your computer
- Use shutdown -g command
- Turn off Use my sign-in info to automatically
- Group Policy Editor.
1] Use Alt+F4
Don’t use Start > Shutdown. Instead of the start menu, you can use the classic ‘Shut Down Windows’ dialog to perform a shutdown or restart. Go to desktop and hit ‘Alt+F4’, now choose the desired option and hit ‘OK’.
Another way of doing this quickly would be pressing ‘Win+M’ to minimize all the windows and then hitting ‘Alt+F4’ to bring up the classic shut down dialog.
2] Use a desktop shortcut that will ful- shut down your computer
This method is a little tricky one but it is easier to access later and use. You will have to create a desktop shortcut that will full-shut down your computer without preserving the state of the applications.
Right-click your desktop and then select ‘New > Shortcut’.
Now type in ‘shutdown /s /t 0’ and hit Next. Name your shortcut and also choose an appropriate icon for it.
This command will shut down your computer without preserving the application state.
The commands for restart are ‘shutdown /r /t 0’ and if you want Windows to use fast-boot, then the command will be ‘shutdown /s /hybrid /t 0’.
You can create as many shortcuts you want, and you can also pin this shortcut to the taskbar. Alternatively, you can pin this shortcut to the start menu so that you can have dedicated control to shut down your computer from the start menu itself. If you do not want to deal with the shortcuts, you can directly run the above commands from a CMD window. This post talks about the Shutdown command line options available to you.
3] Use shutdown -g command
Use shutdown -g in the Run box or CMD. You may create and use the desktop shortcut.
4] Turn off Use my sign-in info to automatically
Open Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options and turn off Use my sign-in info to automatically. This will stop Windows from reopening the programs in Windows 10 v1803 and later, as well as Windows 11.
5] Use Group Policy Editor
You can also open the Group Policy Editor and navigate to the following setting:
Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Logon Option
Double-click on Sign-in last interactive user automatically after a system-initiated restart and set it to “Disabled”.
So, these were two workarounds to stop Windows 10 from reopening applications after a shutdown or a restart. You can use any one of these methods.
How do I turn off Restartable apps in Windows 11?
To turn off restartable apps in Windows 11, first access the Accounts category present in the Settings app (Win+I). Open the Sign-in options page available under the Account settings. Turn off the Automatically save my restartable apps and restart them when I sign back in option.
Why are apps randomly opening on my PC?
You should first check your keyboard for stuck keys as this could be the most possible reason why apps are opening randomly on your Windows 11/10. In addition to that, look for the Startup apps list and disable the unwanted apps from that list. If this doesn’t help, then disable the Sticky keys and Filter keys, run the Keyboard troubleshooter, and re-install the keyboard driver.
Read next: Disable This app is preventing shutdown message in Windows 11/10.