Home Tutorials Safely Close and Restart All Running Programs on Windows in the Blink of an Eye

Safely Close and Restart All Running Programs on Windows in the Blink of an Eye

Posted: August 5, 2009

Many of the tasks that can be performed on a personal computer these days require you to close all currently running programs. Almost every installer asks you to close all other applications to minimize conflicts and to avoid replacing in-use files. Other high-end tasks, such as burning CD's and defragmenting or scanning hard drives can slow down or even fail when other processes suddenly begin running, like background programs, screensavers or a scheduled task.

This is where SmartClose comes in. SmartClose is a free Windows utility that you can use to easily close all programs currently running in Windows, disable screensavers or a scheduled task, and halt all other processes that may interrupt without prior notice. Another of the perks of using SmartClose is that restarting any of the scheduled tasks or programs you had running is quick and easy, as the program takes a snapshot of all of your currently running applications, then restarts them again once you have concluded whatever task required you to close the programs in the first place.

Smart Close

Some of the other features of SmartClose include the two separate Wizards that help you to both close all running programs, and then restore them again at your leisure. Both provide an intuitive and clear interface and assist you step by step. With thanks to the SmartClose technology, most programs can be properly closed, so that the program can still save its settings and return memory and resources to the system.

In those rare cases where a program cannot be properly shut down, SmartClose can use SmartKill to kill the program. Still, all the memory and resources used by the program will be freed with this method. If you don't want a program to be closed or killed by SmartClose, you can add it to a list of 'Protected Program'. Besides closing programs, SmartClose also closes Explorer and Internet Explorer windows and saves their current location, so they can be restored properly later.

SmartClose not only disables and restores screensavers, it stops and restarts Windows NT/2000/XP-services, such as the Task Scheduler, that can interrupt other processes. On Windows 9x/Millennium, the Task Scheduler can also be disabled and re-enabled. Finally, you get all of these features for free! SmartClose is 100% freeware without any nag screens, trial periods, ads, spyware etc.

Do take note that most antivirus and firewall programs cannot be closed or killed because these programs are especially protected against this so that malicious programs are unable to turn them off either. Understandable, since you wouldn't want something as easy to use as SmartClose to be able to shut down your most basic security programs, right?

The last time SmartClose updated was on March 9, 2005 and it only mentions that it supports from Windows 95 up to Windows XP.