How to really close Modern apps in Windows 8.1

With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has secretly changed the behavior of Modern apps when you close them. In Windows 8, when you dragged a Modern app from the top edge to the bottom edge of the screen, it got closed. But in Windows 8.1, when you do the same, you will be surprised - that the app does not get closed; it remains in the Task manager! Windows 8.1 keeps Modern apps in the "suspended" state when you close them. In addition, Microsoft has also killed off all settings to tweak the close threshold for Modern apps as a result of which Winaero's CloseThreshold tool no longer has any effect see how to reduce distance to drag close Metro apps and speed up closing in Windows 8.1. But it's not all bad news, you are still able to close apps completely with a mouse gesture or swipe. Let's see how.

Step one. 

Move you mouse to the top most edge of the screen where the pointer turns into a hand. If you use a touch screen device, then swipe from the top edge to the bottom.

Drag the app down, but do not release it!

Step two.

Hold the app dragged to the bottom until the app's thumbnail flips. Now you can release the thumbnail.

Finally, the app is closed! The proof of that is this time, the app disappears from the Task Manager and from your Alt+Tab/Win+tab lists, indicating that it is truly closed.

See the following video:

Of course, the good old, Alt+F4 keystroke still works to fully close a Modern app. They just made it a little bit harder to close apps using a mouse.

You might be curious, why has Microsoft added such a complex way to close Modern apps? Well, the answer is in my next article. Stay tuned.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

14 thoughts on “How to really close Modern apps in Windows 8.1”

  1. yes, it is disgusting. it takes three seconds to close an app and if you don’t wait all your things will pop up the same even after a complete reboot. microsoft is keen on worsening what was good.
    i wish there was a registry tweak to stop that awful gesture or even an app to shutdown all running apps at once. sorry i can’t write it.

  2. I have tried this method of closing modern apps and although it does appear to close the app, it is still visible in task manager, thus it is still running in the background. I have to end task in task manager to completely kill the app. Not very convenient at all. Anyone else having the same problem?

    1. It will be killed after a minute or even less, but not immediately.
      This is by design, everyone has the same issue.

      1. I have this issue and it is not killed in a minute or less. I’ll check thirty minutes later and the app will still be running in task manager.

        1. I’ve had the same issue with the built-in Windows 8.1 Reader app – I’ve ended the process several times over the past few reboots and it still appears in the task manager and Alt-Tab switcher.

          Ended up uninstalling the app just to stop it from launching. Nothing appeared in the startup processes yet it continued to keep itself open in the background throughout.

          Windows 8, smh.

  3. Likewise I have not been successful in closing apps in 8.1, they persist. Task manager is the only way, a bit like turning a light off by smashing the bulb. In My Humble Opinion. AND Microsoft will tell us this is progress, where’s a copy of WIN 3.11 when you need one.

  4. I have NOT been able to close facebook. I drag from top to bottom and think it is closed but I can be working on Family Tree Maker and is some one post to me, it will beep and notify me and some times take me directly to facebook. Which is very aggravating. I paid $2,000.00 for this new desktop computer and it thinks it is a $59.00 tablet. ( bought it at Microsoft store ) And when I go back with a problem I always get the one that doesn’t have an answer and I have to wait till someone else can take care of me, and some times I have to wait on two or three different geeks. This thing was designed by geeks to impress other geeks and the ever day user is the one that gets screwed. Try printing wit it . You get a notice that you can’t print from this app, and you have to jump thru a dozen hoops to print. The keyboard still has a ” Prt Scr” key, but it doesn’t work in any way shape or form. The only thing more aggravating was when you use to have to type in the commands and get a syntax error.

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