Windows 8–Why you don’t close a Metro Style application

One of the first things I noticed when playing with the Windows 8 preview build was that you can’t close metro style applications. Almost instinctively I pressed the Alt+F4 keys when I wanted to close a running application but nothing happened, I then tried to find an option within the application to close it but couldn’t find an exit button there neither.

Well after some reading and watching the Fundamentals of Metro style apps: how and when your app will run presentation things became clear. You don’t close a metro style application.

When opening a few metro style applications and then opening the task manager you will notice that some processes have the status of “Suspended”. To save system resources, Windows suspends the metro style application when it is not used, this to save system resources, but once a user switches back it’s almost instantly there again.

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Even if you’re not a developer I recommend you watch you the BUILD session mentioned above as it provides some great detail about how metro style applications work.

9 thoughts on “Windows 8–Why you don’t close a Metro Style application

  1. Well, what if I have a long running uptime, where maybe a lot of apps where launched in the past (>50 for example).. how can I tell Windows 8 that I just want to switch between the most recent apps? I could use Strg+Tab or Windows+Tab but I would have all 50 apps in this window… this could be pretty confusing to same people including me.

    I did not tried it yet… but a simple functionality to close an app like in iOS should be provided I guess.

  2. Thanks for putting this up. I understand what they are trying to accomplish here, however I just don’t like it or agree with it. I like to be able to kill easily any app I am running on any operating system. In reality not being able to do this causes any number of irritating or critical problems and is just plain untidy. If they must have this as the default behaviour for metro apps fine, but at least lets have a simple way to kill them other than opening task manager. Preferably a discreet x somewhere, or at the very least retain the alt-F4 option!

  3. Alex, I just released a new blog post (http://bit.ly/vIVs5K just in German) containing a video showing, that Windows 8 will close suspended Apps, if memory comes low. In my view it’s realy confunsing, how Windows 8 handles App live time.

    Maybe someone made the same observations. I’m eager, how Microsoft will fix that thing in upcoming Beta.

  4. Yeah, this ain’t gonna fly. Trying windows 8 now and it’s utter bs you have to use the task manager to close apps. Trust windows to manage memory of running apps? Pfft, go search about gamers and issues with windows processes in windows 7. We’re already turning off resource hogs off with scripts for games like BF3, can’t imagine the nightmare it will be with 8.

  5. In case you haven’t found out yet how to kill Windows 8 apps, here’s how:
    1. Move your pointer to the top of the screen, the arrow will turn into a hand
    2. Click and drag all the way to the bottom of the screen. As you do it, the app screen will shrink.
    3. When you get to the bottom of the screen, release the mouse button.
    4. App is now offically closed.

    Note, if you release the mouse too soon, the app will snap back and will not be closed.

  6. You CAN close an application. What you do is you move the pointer to the top left of the window, then drag down. From there, it shows all open applications. Right click an application, and close it from the list.

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