Why Windows 8.1 apps still active after closing

Windows 8.1 active apps in the Task Manager

After upgrading to Windows 8.1, many users are finding out that a lot of Metro apps (e.g., Mail, News, IE 11, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, etc.) still active and using system memory in the Task Manager after closing. Why is that?

Although as this might seem bad, the reason is that Windows 8 has new way to manage memory and other system resources, and Windows 8.1 also includes even more changes on how you go closing apps.

Starting in Windows 8, you can open as many Metro apps as you want, switching away or moving to a new app, after 5 seconds the Memory Manager will Suspend the app. The app will remain open, but just using a minimum amount of memory. This process basically allows apps to resume almost instantaneously without losing any of your previous work. (It’s worth noting that none of the process affects system performance, on the contrary, you’ll get a better experience.)

Here is what’s really important, you don’t have to worry about Metro apps using your system memory (RAM), Windows automatically will close apps as more resources are needed. And “no”, you won’t be losing any of your work, Windows 8/8.1 is smart enough to save and resume where you left off on every Metro app.

Closing Windows 8.1 apps completely

Now if for any reason you still want to close a Metro app completely, in Windows 8 was as easy as grabbing the app from the top edge and dragging it down to the bottom edge and realising. In Windows 8.1 this has changed, using the previous method that I just mentioned will simply put the app in the Suspend mode. As such, if you really want to close a Metro app in Windows 8.1, you’ll have to use one of these methods:

  • Method #1: Move the mouse cursor to the top edge of the screen, drag the app down and don’t release, wait 2 seconds until you see a flip, then release the app.
  • Method #2: Use the good old Alt+F4 keyboard shortcut.
  • Method #3: Open the Task Manager, select the app, and click End Task in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8.1 Trick: Quickly restart apps without going back to Start

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].