Exclusive: How to reduce distance to drag close Metro apps and speed up closing in Windows 8.1

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably saw my tutorial "how to close Modern apps", which I posted recently where I explained that apps no longer close when dragged from the top to the bottom - you have to drag and hold the apps to fully close them. Today, I would like to share with you an exclusive tutorial for Windows 8.1 which will improve your Modern app closing experience by leaps and bounds. I discovered some hidden secret parameters which will allow you finally to fine tune the way Modern apps are closed in Windows 8.1. Also, I will share with you my new revived tool, CloseThreshold for Windows 8.1!

In Windows 8.1, there are several hidden parameters located at the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Switcher

Specifically, as far as "drag-to-close" and "flip-to-close" features are concerned, we need to review only three of those parameters. Those parameters are:

MouseCloseThresholdPercent

This parameter controls the distance you have to drag the Modern app with the mouse from the top edge to close it.

This is a DWORD value which accepts  values from 0 to 100 in decimals. The values 0 and 100 mean drag to close with mouse is disabled, greater value means shorter drag distance and vice versa.

TouchCloseThresholdPercent

This parameter controls the distance you have to drag the Modern app with touch/fingers to close it.

The values are the same as for MouseCloseThresholdPercent.

CloseDwellTimeout

This is the golden parameter which when tuned allows you to speed up the flipping animation/app closing delay. This DWORD value is a timeout expressed in milliseconds. When the timeout is reached, the Modern app will be terminated. The default value is 1000 ms/1 second, but you can reduce it to 300 milliseconds to speed up closing of your Modern apps in Windows 8.1. Note that you should specify the new value in decimals.

Let me set the values I use to explain these parameters to you.

  1. Open the Registry editor (see this tutorial, if you are not familiar with registry editor).
  2. Open the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Switcher

    If that key does not exist, just create it.
    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.

  3. Create the following DWORD values in decimals:
    CloseDwellTimeout = 300
    MouseCloseThresholdPercent = 80
    TouchCloseThresholdPercent = 80
    Registry Editor
  4. Restart the Explorer shell (see how).

Now open some Modern app, and drag it from the top to bottom. You will notice that you don't need to drag all the way to the bottom to close it, dragging a much shorter distance is enough. Also, the app flips much faster meaning you have to wait less before completely closing it. Awesome improvements, right? ;)

Use Winaero Tweaker

If you remember, for Windows 8 RTM, there were 2 simple parameters to control the mouse and touch close threshold and I had written an app, called Close Threshold to tweak them. Unfortunately, Windows 8.1 killed those parameters leading me to conclude that Close Threshold wouldn't work on Windows 8.1. Well, since I've discovered new parameters for Windows 8,1, I added appropriate options to my freeware Winaero Tweaker. It has a simple and easy-to-use GUI for all parameters I've described above:
winaero_tweaker_close_threshold
Just use the sliders/trackbars to set the desired parameters, and Explorer will be restarted automatically when you click the "Apply" button.

Use "Reset to defaults" button to get the default Windows behavior back.

Enjoy.

11 thoughts on “Exclusive: How to reduce distance to drag close Metro apps and speed up closing in Windows 8.1

  1. zydrius32

    What a great find! I was looking how to remove app closing delay for ages! Now the only thing I need in Windows 8.1 is Aero Glass. There’s a person who decided to create a program which could bring this effect, but the program’s development is going slowly.

    Reply
  2. throkr

    Thanks for the tip; I used the manual way (“mouse” and “dwell” keys) and it works flawlessly : what a difference ! :-)

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome!

      Reply
  3. Glenn

    What a great and easy tip for someone on a tablet. Since I updated to 8.1, the drag-and-wait-to-close thing has been a real… drag. Now it’s much less of a hassle. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome :)

      Reply
  4. Ali B

    Hi,
    I want to disable the drag-to-close feature entirely (or at least make it so tiny I don’t activate it by accident). I’m always dragging my desktop instead of hilighting icons and it drives me crazy. I have no experience with registry keys so any help regarding this would be brilliant! Sadly SkipMetro no longer works since I “upgraded” to 8.1 :(
    Ta.

    Reply
    1. Gaurav Kale

      Are you use a Start Menu replacement and which one?

      Reply
  5. vala

    Wow, thanx. that slow motion was killing me.

    Reply
  6. jothki

    Thanks for this. The delay had always bugged me, especially since that was the only normal way to completely end the task. I just set the thresholds to 95 and the delay to 0, and the results are forcing me to fight an urge to burst out in maniacal laughter.

    Reply
  7. Daniel7689

    Thanks you

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Reply

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