How can I close an app in Windows 8?

WIndows 8 close buttonMicrosoft wants to change users' Windows experience by having any open apps remain running until shutdown. The purpose of this is to hasten application load times when they are re-opened (similar to cookies on your Internet browser). Unfortunately, this approach can fill a user's taskbar and memory with unwanted applications and programs. The following sections contain instructions on how clear apps from one or both areas.

Closing an app in Windows 8.1

If you want to close an application, that is, remove it from the task bar but still allow Windows to keep it open in the background; use one of the following options. If you want to terminate the application entirely, proceed to the next section.

Using your finger or a mouse

  1. Move your mouse to the very top of the app, which should change cause a bar to appear.
  2. Click-and-drag the bar or swipe that app to the bottom of the screen.
  3. Release the mouse button or your finger to close.

Using the close button

  1. Move your mouse to the upper right-hand corner of the app.
  2. Click the red X that appears.

Using the app menu

  1. Move your mouse to the top-left corner of the screen and then down to show all open apps.
  2. Right-click the app you want to close and choose Close.

Using the Windows key

  1. Press the Windows key + Tab to show open apps.
  2. Right-click on the app you want to close.
  3. Select Close..

Terminating an app in Windows 8.1

There are essentially two options for fully closing (remove from the taskbar and RAM) an app in Windows 8.1.

Terminate with shortcut keys

Press Alt + F4 on the keyboard to close and end the app or any open program.

Terminate using task manager

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard to bring up the Windows logon screen.
  2. Select Task Manager.
  3. Under the Processes tab, locate the app you'd like to close.
  4. Right-click the app and select End Task from the dropdown menu that appears.

Note:Mobile users can bring up the Windows logon screen by pushing Windows key and the power button simultaneously.

Additional information

  • See the App commands and close definitions for further information on this term and related links.