Occasionally I have some program that locks up in such a way that I cannot get other open programs to respond. Although I could just restart my machine, I often have ten or more documents, spreadsheets, etc., open that I am actively working on. Is there a Windows (10 in my case) command to save and close all open user applications? Or just to save all? Shut down is supposed to ask and then save if you say yes, but I have found it to be unreliable in this regard, especially with respect to programs that have not previously been saved.

Alternatively, is there a utility that will periodically autosave open files produced in programs I select, those that do not themselves have an autosave function?

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    Depending on type of system lockup this is not possible.
    – Moab
    Feb 3, 2019 at 19:50
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    To add to Moab, if you cannot access anything, then more often than not the CPU is stuck and you couldn't fix the lock up by typing anything, since the CPU is stuck in its own loop and can't service the OS's request to capture the keyboard combination. Because this is unpredictable, I recommend a regular auto save option - every 30 seconds or so. It might do a lot of disk writes but its better than losing work.
    – QuickishFM
    Feb 3, 2019 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


As there are different programs, a single keyboard shortcut or method will not work within them all. And MS Office doesn't give any option of Close All.

you can try finding an AutoHotKey Script whether that can do this, I am not aware.

there is a Shutdown Guard that will not let windows shutdown if any single program/ window is open. So when it is running and you shut down windows, it will show on screen a list of all open programs and ask you to choose what to do, to go close them one by one, and then shutdown, or maybe force shutdown.

I have used that, the only problem I found is when I had closed all programs, even then it pops up saying that it itself is running so I had to close it and then shutdown.

Otherwise, it is totally reliable and free.


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