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When you run apps from the Windows 8 Start Screen and switch to another one, the original app that you were using is not actually closed. Instead this App is left running in the background so that you can easily switch between them. When you leave apps running in the background they use resources such as memory and CPU power that could be better used by other programs on your computer. Therefore it is better to close an app when you are done using them rather than leaving them running.
Unfortunately, Windows 8 does not provide a readily apparent method of terminating an app like they do on a normal Windows application. There is no X button () like we have become accustomed to in Windows desktop applications and most apps do not provide a way of quitting them. In this tutorial we will walk you through three methods that you can use to actually close a Windows app rather than leaving it running in the background. This will allow you to actually terminate the app so that the resources they are using can be used by your other applications.
Method 1: Alt+F4
The Alt+F4 keyboard combination is by far the easier method that you can use to close a Windows 8 app, but it can only be used when you are actually using the particular app. To close an app using this keyboard combination simply switch to the app and then press the Alt key on your keyboard, and while holding it down, press the F4 key on your keyboard as well. This will immediately and forcefully close the app in the middle of what it was doing.
Method 2: Windows 8 Task Manager
The Windows 8 Task Manager has been updated to not only include running processes but to also list any apps that may be running. This allows you to quickly see all the apps that are running easily close them. To access the Task Manager, type Task Manager from the Windows 8 Start Screen and then click on the Task Manager option when it appears in the search results. This will open the basic Task Manager as shown in the screenshot below.
To close the app, simply left-click once on the app name and then click on the End Task button. Task Manager will immediately terminate the app for you.
If you wish to see more details on how much memory or CPU a particular app is using before you terminate it, you can click on the More Details option. This will open a more detailed interface for the Task Manager as shown below.
This new interface allows you to see how much resources a particular app is using so that you can better decide if you wish to or even need to close it. If you do wish to close the app, simply left-click on it to select it and then click on the End Task button.
Method 3: Win+Tab
The last method is to use the Win+Tab keyboard combination, which opens a panel that displays all of the open apps currently running in Windows 8. This keyboard combination is different than Alt+Tab as it will only list open apps and will not display any open desktop applications. From any screen on your computer, when you press the Windows () key on your keyboard, and while holding it down, press and hold the TAB key a vertical panel will appear that shows individual tiles for each running app on your computer. Please note, if there are no apps currently running this keyboard combination will not display anything. This list of of open apps is indicated by the red arrow in the image below.
To close an app on this list, right-click on an app and then click on the Close option that appears. This will immediately terminate and close the app that you selected.
If you have questions regarding this tutorial or just want to chat with others about Windows 8, please feel free to post in our Windows 8 Forum.
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