Windows 8 has introduced Windows 8 apps which are optimized to open on tablets and other mobile devices. If you are using a desktop PC or a laptop, it becomes difficult to close Windows 8 apps. This is because there is no close button or even a title bar in Windows 8 apps. The apps will run in full screen mode only.
We will discuss various ways to close Windows 8 apps. First of all let’s discuss what is a Windows 8 app. These apps are actually called Windows Store apps. Microsoft has introduced a store in Windows 8. This is just like stores in iPhone, iPad and Android. These apps are optimized for touch enabled devices. They will run in full screen mode and need to be switched in order to use another app.
One feature of Windows Store apps is that they will be closed automatically if you do not use them for a some time. They will actually become inactive and will not take any CPU or memory resources.
The default Windows 8 apps include People, Mail, Video, Photos, SkyDrive, Bing, News, Games, Music etc.
Close Windows 8 Apps
Using Drag n drop
If you are using a touch enabled device like a tablet PC, the easiest way to close a Windows 8 Metro app is to grab the screen from the top and drag it down to the bottom. This will close the opened app. If you are using a mouse, take your cursor on top of the screen, press the left button and drag it down to the bottom.
The app will shrink and disappear when you reach the bottom of the screen. This is an indication that the app has been closed.
Using the Switch List Bar
Windows 8 uses the corners of the screen pretty efficiently. Every corner has a different function. If you move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen and then move the cursor downwards alongside the screen, it will show you the switch list bar. This bar is like the taskbar of Windows 8 Metro apps. All the open apps will be shown in this switch list bar.
You can switch between different Metro apps from here. If you want to close any app, just right click it in the switch list bar and select Close.
Using Alt – F4 Keyboard shortcut
Alt – F4 is the good old shortcut key which is used to close apps in Windows. This shortcut has existed since the very first days of Windows and is still being used. It can be used to close programs as well as Metro apps of Windows 8 Store. You can right click any app and select End task to close it.
Using the Task Manager
Task Manager can also be used to close Windows 8 apps. If you view the Task Manager with less details, it will list down all the open Metro apps. You can also use the Switch To option to switch to the app without going to the switch list bar.
You can open the task manager in 3 ways:
- Right click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Use Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut keys and then select Task Manager.
- Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut keys to open the Task Manager directly.
Deleting the Switch List history
Windows 8 maintains a history of recently opened Windows Store Apps. You can safely delete that history which in turn closes all the open Windows 8 apps. To delete the switch list history, do the following:
- Open Windows 8 Charms bar (WinKey + C)
- Go to Settings and then select ‘Change PC Settings’
- Go to General from the left hand menu.
- Click on Delete History button under App Switching.
I hope these methods will make you more productive while working with Windows 8 apps. If you know of any other way to close Windows 8 apps, please let us know through comments. What is your favorite way to close Windows 8 apps?