How to close Apps in Windows 8?

Did you install Windows 8 and started using but got stuck with not being able to find a way to close the Windows 8 Metro Apps? Read this post to find different ways to close a Windows 8 App on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

If you are a seasoned Windows user and just started using the Windows 8, I am sure you would have got stuck with this problem: How to close Apps on Windows 8

Interestingly, you cannot find a close button or minimize option in Windows 8 Metro Apps. If you start an application, should you keep running it until you shutdown. Well, not really.

Microsoft wants to change the way we experience Windows. They promise it is going to be a new experience and it won't disappoint.

How to close Metro Apps in Windows 8

There are 3 ways you can close metro apps in the new Windows 8:

1. If you have a touch screen tablet or laptop, touch your finger on the top of the screen and drag it all the way to the bottom. It will minimize and move the app from your way.

2. If you don't have a touch screen but you use a mouse, do the same with the mouse. Point your mouse on the top of the screen and drag it all the way down. When you point the mouse to the top of the screen, you can see the cursor is changing.

3. Press ALT key + F4. This will still work just like the traditional Windows programs.

4. The killer option: use ALT+CTRL+DEL and kill the app using the task manager.

Also, some sources have indicated that the ALT + F4 option may not reliably work to close metro applications in Windows 8. However, so far it works fine, even though Microsoft may change this later releases.

Note that the traditional Windows applications will continue to have close and minimize buttons. You can close them the way you are familiar with.

Have you found any other ways to close metro apps in Windows 8? Please let us know by posting a feedback below.

Do you like the new way to close the apps? I am disappointed. I believe it was much easier to minimize, close and resize the traditional windows applications. Post your comments below.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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Guest Author: lfred29 Feb 2012

I just tried your Enable Classic Windows Start Program and it doesn't seem to work..will you be posting a new version?

Guest Author: Robinson29 Feb 2012

You can try this, mouse over to the top left hand corner, wait for the tiny box to appear, click on the desktop picture and mouse back to the same location, you should be able to see the opened app. right click on it and click close. Thats how i closed the app.

Guest Author: anonymous01 Jun 2012

I don't understand why MS have to make it so long winded, it just seems change for change's sake. I found another way - hold down the windows key + tab then right click the program you want to close and select close.

Author: Tony John01 Jun 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

I think a lot of people complained about the sophisticated way of opening/closing apps. Microsoft does not seem to change the way they re imagined windows, no matter who complaints!

Guest Author: Carlos05 Jun 2012

From desktop or another app just put your cursor in the upper left corner and do a right click.

Guest Author: harinatha08 Jul 2012

Thanks ... I was looking for this option for several days and finally found here.. the option 1...drap and drop...

Guest Author: kajaah16 Jul 2012

Close apps = ALT+F4
Close IE Tabs = CRTL + F4
etc etc etc

Guest Author: AzDayton25 Jul 2012

I found a few ways to get back to the Home screen (Back button, Drag down from top, Alt-Tab, tapping the Win button, etc).

For actually CLOSING the app, Alt-F4 seems to work sometimes, but not always.

Right-clicking on the upper left corner does nothing for me.

What DOES seem to work consistently though, is using the Win-Tab shortcut to show the active programs (similar to the "Rolodex" window switcher in Win7). Continuing to hold down the Win key, you can then either:

A. Right-click the thumbnail and click "Close", or
B. Tap the Menu key (between Ctrl and Alt on the right side of your bottom row of keys) and then use the arrow key to select "Close", then hit Enter to select it.

Note that if you do the Win-Tab from the Start Screen, the Start Screen will not appear on the thumbnail'd list of windows. If you do it from another app however, the Start Screen will appear as the bottom-most thumbnail. If you right-click that thumbnail (or tap the Menu key when it's highlighted), you'll get a context menu that has some interesting options on it, some of which used to appear on the old Start Menu in previous versions of Windows.

It sounds kinda clunky when explained here, but it's actually not TOO bad once you get used to it. :-)

- Dayton - 07/25/2012 12:26:07

Guest Author: Roy Aoun Sanchez31 Jul 2012

Drag and Drop to the bottom of the screen, the app will close

Guest Author: daren03 Aug 2012

Drag page from top of the screen to the centre of the screen. The app shrinks into the middle. Don't remove your finger from the app continue to drag the app to the bottom left corner (where the start button used to be)

Guest Author: Jannet17 Aug 2012

Closing an app is supposed to be one of the most trivial things, but Microsoft has made it an engineering job in Windows 8.

Guest Author: Ken19 Aug 2012

you can put cursor on bottom left of screen until a little "start" square pops up, keep cursor to far left and move up and a list appears with all your open apps, just right click and then close

Guest Author: Brian22 Aug 2012

Press Win + Tab and it pops up a list of running apps in a side bar, from there right click on the app you wish to close and select close. This will close the app.

Guest Author: stoney23 Aug 2012

I have used the Alt-F4 shortcut key combination for years. I wondered how to close apps also when I first installed Windows 8, and used the shortcut to get out. Now I realize this is really the best way. I have not had any problems closing the apps this way, and it is quick. So, for all you out there that don't know what alt-F4 is, you just hold down the ALT key, and while holding it, press the F4 key. Of course you have to make sure the application is active, in other words, you have clicked in the app to make it active. Also, another cool little shortcut I have used for a long time is closing a tab or webpage. You hold down the CNTL key and press "w". this will close tabs and kill programs also. I've worked in IT for 15 years as a paid career and hated Windows 8 when I first started using it, but it is growing on me and I am really digging it now.. I especially like the new task manager...

Guest Author: Cameron Martin26 Aug 2012

Windows 8 is a joke. The desktop is being completely phased out, and they are using this to slowly, but surely, trap us - just like Mac has done to their users (except from day 1). Pretty soon they will be telling me what to develop and how to develop it. I won't even be able to use firefox if I want to. I'm tired of the way Windows is eliminating advanced users. They are trying to make this OS for retards. There should be 2 options - the "I'm retarded and can't use a computer" option, and then the "I've been a Windows user since day 1" option. This is a complete disgrace.

Guest Author: Mike G27 Aug 2012

Microsoft seems to be following their trend of making every other operating system they roll out difficult to use. Windows 98 was great, M.E. sucked, XP was great, Vista sucked, Windows 7 was great, Windows 8 so far has proved to be a pain, though the verdict is still out.

I wish Microsoft would quit trying to dumb down their OS and GUI. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. They don't need to dumb anything down. If people want a device that eliminates the need for them to think, there's a Mac for that. When they make drastic changes like this, what it does is create a huge frustrating learning curve for new devices which have that OS loaded on it, and that's the reason why people wanted to downgrade to XP when Vista proved problematic.

Guest Author: Jess30 Aug 2012

Has Microsoft lost complete focus once again….
What is the point of making windows vague? I spend more time wondering how to get out of screens than it's worth. What is the purpose of having to minimize windows to close them or all this crap about “Remember to Windows Key + Shift + L + $^%&^%$@#$? What was wrong with clicking a mouse on a red X?
I have tried a windows 8 phone and I thought it sucked, now they want the same METRO junk on desktops? They should have named it EMO! Nobody gets them either.
Can't wait to see what a disaster it will be to join windows 8 to a SBS 2012 domain. That's if SBS 2012 will even know what a windows 8 machine is when its released :P

Guest Author: readread14 Sep 2012

lol go on deskopt just click START and TAB and with right click ( mouse) close apps...

Guest Author: Jacob26 Oct 2012

Another way I have found is to use windows key + tab, then hit delete on the app. This way you can close several open apps at once.

Guest Author: Gordon28 Oct 2012

Only £25 to upgrade so I did...
It broke my access to the Internet (probably because I didn't have microsoft malware suite) so went back to Windows 7.

That's 4 hours of my life and £25 I'll never see again!

What really slapped in the face thou was the first thing I tried was IE... and couldn't get out of it again. Now that I've got W7 back up again I have a look around for what I must have missed and find a whole thread on the subject... with nothing but a load of possibilities rather than a definitive do this or whatever.

What a joke!

Guest Author: TK01 Nov 2012

So many people dissing Windows 8 yet it is very obvious you have no idea how to use it. It's different yes but all the functionality of other Windows versions is there, just take the time to learn.
The easiest way to close an app in metro is to just drag from top to bottom anywhere on the open program... simples!
I installed it and had no issues, I've now installed it on over 100 machines and haven't had an issue. Some of those were clean installs, others were upgrades. It took me 10 mins to show users the changes and how to navigate and personalise Windows 8 to their preference, IT IS LITERALLY THAT SIMPLE.
Holding your cursor in certain corners will produce pop outs for various things. Move cursor to bottom left and wait a sec will produce a start button, right click that and you have a list of links... the list of features goes on and on....
Don't be lazy, take the time to learn it, it took me 10 minutes.

Guest Author: Cameron Martin reply01 Nov 2012

@Cameron Martin, I'm pretty sure retarted people would have no idea how to use windows 8, if anything this is for advanced users.

Guest Author: Mark02 Nov 2012

Hi, you all seemed to have missed the simple task of moving you pointer or finger to the left side of the screen, when the apps open bar appears simply right click on the app and the close option appears, click and it kills the app.

Guest Author: Jonathan03 Nov 2012

Even control alt delete doesn't quit Paint in Windows 8. It just minimizes it.

Guest Author: Diego05 Nov 2012

I LOL at the "advanced" users here who cant take 10 minutes to learn something new, Windows 8 is good, really fast and kinda secure. Blame YOUSELVES for not reading the manual or "how to"s, not the OS.

Gordon tried for 4 hours something that took more than 1 year to develop, I guess some ppl just give up so easily... I recommend you installing it again if you really purchased an update license and give it another try, just take your time to get familiar with it... gosh you don't even need to use metro, there are programs there that adds back the "start" button to the desktop (and block the touch areas and makes windows start directly on the desktop...just research before you dump something).

Author: james h waters phd05 Nov 2012 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 0

totally annoying and i think senseless to take away something that works, like the start button, just to institute something new. no good reason to leave us floundering. huge waste of time

Guest Author: Bharat06 Nov 2012

Thank's buddy :)

Guest Author: Amadeke06 Nov 2012

I agree 100% with the statement that some simple things in win8 are just too complicated. Giving it no chance to make it to the coörporate level.
The 'removed' the start button? But a 'sign' (?) for the desktop still appears in the left down corner.
A lot of things seem like 'fixes' for not thinking decent about the changes made.
Lousy job MS.

Guest Author: Justin12 Nov 2012

Windows 8 has a lot of potential; there is no reason why it can't do well in the market. The problem that I see everyone has is its very different from previous versions of windows which makes it hard to use at first. Once you learn how to use it is much faster to get things done than older windows versions.
The biggest improvements in windows 8 are speed, security, and stability.

Those of you who are having trouble with the os start "help and support".
Here is how:
1) Clicking in the lower left corner of your screen.
2) Type "help and support" to search your system and apps.
3) Press enter once the search is done.
4) Click on getting started to learn how to use windows 8.

Here are a few easy ways to close metro apps:

I) Click and drag the from the top of the screen to the bottom.

II) Hold windows key then hit tab to see a list of open metro apps. Simply tab through them by hitting tab while holding down the windows key. Then press delete when the app you want to close is selected. (much easier than it sounds) You can also switch apps easily this way by releasing the windows key once the app you want is selected.

III) Hover mouse in the upper or lower corner on the left side of the screen. Then drag the mouse along the edge of the screen to see the list of open apps. Simply right click on the app and select close from the drop down menu to close it.

IV) Hold alt and click tab to switch applications. Once application is open on your screen press right-control f4 to close it.

"Some" Other useful features:

Press windows + D to get to your desktop.

Windows + c to pull up settings and search sidebar.

windows + z does different things in different apps. for example in metro crome it makes it full screen and in the windows store it opens a menu that allows you to view your apps ect.

windows + shift + 0-9 opens the first 10 programs pinned to your task bar in the order they are from left to right.

Guest Author: Allan22 Nov 2012

Another method to close a program is to call up the programs window menu using Alt-Spacebar. This menu contains the familiar Restore, Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize and Close. Just select "Close" via keyboard or mouse.

This method works with virtually all versions of Windows (back to at least 3.1)

Guest Author: MadUser28 Nov 2012

Here is a program that believes the 4 corners are the way to go. Wow! In some programs if I right click at the bottom a menu appears to close the program but not all have it. The Bottom left corner gives a sort of Start menu in which you can select the "Desktop" like the older versions had. Going to the upper Left corner gives the option to go back to the desktop. Mouse over to the Middle right lets you search for Apps ie.. Programs.I was using the Task Manager to close things out but the ALt F4 seems faster. Here is Microsoft trying to compete with Apple's App programs. I hate copycats.

Guest Author: SlackJack03 Dec 2012

I agree w/ Diego. Take some time to learn it. MS still needs to tweek it and make improvements - like closing apps. But we fear change. It seems like IT professionals would be the first to learn to live with change - it's the way of life for us.

Guest Author: Don03 Dec 2012

If Microsoft didn't do it that way then they would not be copying Apple close enough and they are afraid Apple users might not like it. Kind of like the Republicans nominating the most liberal candidate they can find among their ranks so the the Democrats will like him. Works just about the same. :-)

Guest Author: Richard Frank06 Dec 2012

1. (Mouse) Hover cursor FAR upper left corner - right-click Close
2. (Touch-Current) Full top-to-bottom swipe*.
2. (Touch-Other) Pull app list from left a short distance, full top-left to bottom-left swipe.

*Works best when angry, which you probably are if reading this.

The goal is to keep common menus (system menu, resize) off the screen, and I'm all for it. Give me more real-estate, and I'm happy to learn whatever. Also, the old system menus do not work with fat fingers on a tablet.

That said i DO agree that discovering how to CLOSE an app surprisingly hard on Surface which does not have F4 to alt. The top-to-bottom swipe is clumsy and unreliable.

Guest Author: Jason07 Dec 2012

Having been a Windows user for years, I am used to the "Click X to close", so used to it in fact that when presented with a Windows 8 machine I was lost for a while.

It is designed for touch interfaces, so us old skool keyboard and mouse users, developers, gamers, advanced users should really stick with Windows 7.

Something as simple as closing an app now resorts to pressing windows + tab, then select app and right click and close as opposed to click X, how is that any easier?

People seem to be picking up on the "Didn't read manual" aspect. to be honest, I read the Windows manual back in version 3.1, haven't had to learn much new since then in how to navigate and manage apps. Changing a basic premise of closing a running app seem too much towards a phone/tab experience, one for browsers, not creators.

Guest Author: slapahippytoday09 Dec 2012

Wow. What an improvement. Will the next version of windows require a Kinect interface and need me to get out of my chair and dance a freakin jig to close the application I'm done using?
WTH? To all the idiots saying, "Just learn the new way", "You're old", etc. Just shut up. Really.
The old way was just click the x. The only way to make that easier would be to have it read my mind.
The new way is to use keyboard combinations like Alt-4. Yeah, I know that from years of use, but does the average user? No way. And the last I checked, keyboards don't have labels showing Alt-CloseTheApp written on them. Another way is to do some other arcane keyboard combo with the windows key to see what's running and then I can right-click to get the option to close. Maybe. Or I have to psychically know the magic mouse gestures to minimize the app. I want to CLOSE it, not minimize it.
So yes, if you think the new way is somehow better, you're a complete ID10t. /rant

Guest Author: Jeremy Kenyon10 Dec 2012

It says everything, that so many smart people could spend so long discussing how to close apps.
- It says that MS have made an very unintuitive interface.
- It says that to make W8 work you need to know about hidden shortcuts.
- It says that MS have made no effort to educate new users on how Windows 8 works - eg a tutorial during install or first logon that actually makes you aware you NEED TO WATCH IT to see how to use W8.
- It says that MS have not understood how their desktop users work, and have not bothered to listen to any feedback.
- It also says that MS have no clue about how to sell a product, because the huge negativity is actively going to reduce Windows 8 adoption, all because they are too arrogant to listen to the huge amount of feedback telling them they need to consider desktop users and techie users more.
- All in all it says MS are dumb.

They deserve every bad review they get for Windows 8.

Guest Author: Bob17 Dec 2012

Win8 is garbage if your use your PC for work and a joke for anything else. There is a reason I only use an iPad when I'm on the can and an iPhone for nothing but phone calls (both free or I wouldn't have either). I develop software and interfaces and whoever came up with this grand idea should be hung up out to dry. Win8 has so far been more of a hindrance, and I expected it to at least be no worse than Win7. It is a great day for Linux though. Now that MS has taken away the last bastion of convenience away I suspect Linux will start gaining even more traction. There is no way my office will be migrating to Win8 and god forbid we shell out tons of money for Macs that really blow.

Sure, this concept it probably good for a tablet or smartphone, not a desktop OS.

Guest Author: drumstick17 Jan 2013

The worst problem is that there is no way to close an app using the track/touch pad! You cannot grip and drag the app to the bottom of the display!

Guest Author: Bob The Helper23 Jul 2013

Another way to close an app is Ctrl + Esc

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