Fix: Apps Reopening Upon Shutdown/Restart After 1709 Update

Like all other Microsoft updates, the 1709 update also included various new features and some new bugs/problems. One of these ‘features’ is that the applications start automatically whenever you open your computer after shutdown or you restart your PC. This feature was demonstrated by a Microsoft Official as follows:

Old behavior:

  • When you shut down your PC, all applications are closed.
  • After the reboot/restart, you have to re-open any application you would like to use.

New behavior:

  • When shutting down your PC, any open apps are “bookmarked” (for the lack of a better word).
  • After reboot/restart, these apps will re-open automatically.

It seems that the majority of the people did not like this feature to be added to the new update. There are still a few workarounds for this solution but none of them as proper fixes. Takes a look.

Solution 1: Close all Applications before closing/restarting your PC.

The simplest solution is to close all the applications before shutting down or restarting your computer. As stated by Microsoft, if you close all the applications, there will be nothing for Windows to “bookmark”. Hence no application will start when you boot/restart your computer. Also, make sure that you are not mistaking this feature with startup items enabled on your computer. Perform the following steps to check if an application is enabled on startup.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “taskmgr” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the task manager, open the tab of “Startup”. Here all the applications will be listed which automatically launch upon startup of your computer. Right-click on the application and select “Disable” to disable it from launching.

Solution 2: Disabling File Explorer Windows from Launching upon Startup

Another feature which is present in Windows for a long time is the file explorer launching automatically whenever you boot your windows (the last opened folder will be launched). You can easily disable this function using the file explorer settings. Do note that this option only works for file explorer, not for applications.

  1. Press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer. Click on the “View” tab present at the top of the screen and select Options > Change folder and search options.

  1. Click on the “View” tab. Navigate through the options under “Advanced settings” heading until you find “Restore previous folder windows at logon”. Make sure it is “unchecked’. Press Apply to save changes and exit.

  1. Reboot your computer and check if this solves the problem.

Solution 3: Using Classical Shut Down dialog for Shutting Down or Restarting

The new feature introduced in the Fall Creators Update 1709 doesn’t work if you use the classical shutdown menu when you are shutting down or restarting your PC. It is an extra step while shutting down but it prevents any application running automatically upon startup.

  1. Navigate to your Desktop (you can press Windows + M to minimize all the windows) and focus on it by clicking it (by clicking on the wallpaper or background).
  2. Press Alt + f4 to launch the classic shutdown menu. You can also use this option if you want to restart your computer. Press OK to shut down your computer. Hopefully the next time you start your computer again, there will be no applications running on your PC.

Solution 4: Using Command through Command Prompt

Another workaround for this problem is to create shortcuts on your desktop of commands which execute in the command prompt. Through this method, you would only need to click the shortcut once and your computer will shut down/restart properly.

  1. Navigate to your Desktop and right-click on the blank screen and select New > Shortcut.

  1. Enter the following command in the dialogue box which comes next:

shutdown.exe /s /t 0 

The above command will shut down your computer immediately after a 0-second timeout. You can always adjust the timeout time by changing the number at the end.

Click Next to proceed.

  1. Name the shortcut according to your need. Now check your Desktop. A shortcut would have been created. When you click it, the command prompt window will flash for a second and your computer will shut down.

You can also make a shortcut of the following command to restart your computer.

shutdown.exe /r /t 0

Another point worth noting is that the above two methods don’t allow Fast Startup feature to be implemented. If you want the feature to still be active, make a shortcut of the following command:

shutdown.exe /s /hybrid /t 0

Solution 5: Creating a Batch File and Add it to the Group Policy

Another solution which worked for few users was the creation of a batch file and adding it to the group policy of logging off. This batch file prevents Windows from launching the application by default upon the startup. Do note that this solution might not work for all the users.

  1. Right-click on your Desktop and select New > Text Document

  1. Once in the new text document, copy and paste the following command line:

for /f “tokens=1-3,” %%a in (‘reg query HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce /v “Application Restart” ^| findstr “Application Restart”‘) do reg delete HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce /v “%%a %%b %%c” /f

  1. Once you have written the following command, save the file by clicking File > Save as > policy.bat
  2. Now press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “gpedit.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  3. Now navigate to the following file path:

User Configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts (Logon/Logoff)

  1. Now double-click on the “Logoff”.

  1. Click on the “Add…” button to add the script we just created.

  1. Click on the “Browse” button to navigate to the script you just created.

  1. After adding the script, restart your computer after shutting it down and check if the problem is solved. Do note that you shouldn’t move the script from the location. Therefore place the script at a location which is accessible to you as well as where you have reading rights. Once you have placed it in the location, you can easily add the script to the logoff policy using the method listed above.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.
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