How to Close an App in Windows 8

Closing an app sounds like it would be the most basic and straightforward process anyone can do in a modern desktop operating system. In Windows 8, there are no less than three ways to get this done.

The problem is, none of these ways include a little X in the corner of the screen. This is because apps made for the Modern UI aren’t everlasting processes that run continuously until the system is restarted or the programs are closed. The apps are far more optimized, usually taking minimal resources to keep on standby when they’re not on screen.

Still, some apps do run in the background and can be annoying, especially when they make noise. In this article, we’ll discuss a few ways you can properly close an app made for the Modern UI.

Click and Drag

The simplest way to close an app in Windows 8 is the move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen while the app is open, click it, and drag the window down to the bottom of the screen. This will close the app the majority of the time.

This method only works when you’re actually in the app and is the primary way to close apps on a touch device.

Right-Click and Close

Let’s say you’re not in the app in question and you just want to close it without switching out of your current app. You can do this using just your mouse by moving the mouse cursor to the left-top or left-bottom of the screen and moving the cursor along the side until you find the app you’d like to close. Then, right-click the app in the sidebar and select close.

Task Manager

How to Close an App in Windows 8Task Manager is the best way to shut down stubborn processes and applications that are hung up and refusing to close. This happens in Windows, and it’s one reason why the Task Manager received an overhaul for Windows 8.

Getting to the Task Manager is easy. You can hit Ctrl+Shift+ESC or right-click on the taskbar on the desktop and select Task Manager from there.

Once Task Manager is open, you can right-click the app in the Processes tab and select End Task. This will force close the task and keep it from taking up any RAM. This option should only be used of the other methods fail to get the job done for you.


This simple keyboard shortcut will close any window and/or app you have displayed at the forefront of the screen. It works a great deal of the time, and is probably the fastest method once you get used to using it.

Be Patient

You really don’t have to close apps in order to free up system resources. If these apps really are crunching away at your RAM, Windows 8 will close them for you when more RAM is needed. Most Windows 8 apps won’t touch your CPU resources unless the app is on screen. Traditional desktop programs don’t share the same frozen state when pushed to the background or minimized.

What questions do you have regarding Windows 8? Leave them in the comments section below and we’ll try to answer them in a future article.

8 comments On How to Close an App in Windows 8

  • ALT+F4 works too.

  • I just swipe from top to bottom when I am done using the app.

    • Everyone has a favorite method. I don’t like doing that myself because I usually run out of trackpad space for some reason. It’s the first suggestion I put in this article, though.

  • good article.. I appreciate it and was a little puzzled at first as I lost what I considered the easiest way (clicking on x on top right corner),, top to bottom works just as well, as well as alt+F4…Thanks again!!

  • Good Job Ryan; but the Windows 8 interface is ridiculous. Absolutely nothing seems to be intuitive about it. Why make it such a pain to use effectively, not to mention with any degree of productivity. Why should I need to “Learn how to Close an Application”? I’ve learned any number of other versions of Windows and Linux with this nonsense!

  • when will we get the game free cell?

  • The purpose of closing an app has little or nothing to do with computer resources it has to do with privacy, and not having annoying apps always present. Closing apps a critical to the success of Win 8, also powering it down of logging off should be quick and easy and involve the least amount of steps. I’ll try the methods above to see what works best.

  • Thank you so much Ryan you answered my question for today. I was always wondering how you close those applications. Do you think they will invent a simpler way to close out applications for Windows 8 users?

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