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SmartClose Frequently Asked Questions


Which versions of Windows does SmartClose support?

SmartClose supports Windows 95, 98, Millennium, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7. On x64 (64-bit) versions of Windows, SmartClose will not be able to retrieve the command-line arguments or working directory of 64-bit processes, nor will it be able to kill these processes.

Another limitation is that the current version of SmartClose doesn't properly recognize Internet Explorer 7 (or higher) windows containing multiple tabs. Such windows will be closed, but only one of its tabs will be saved to the snapshot and restored. On Windows Vista, SmartClose will not be able to see Internet Explorer windows at all if User Account Control (UAC) is enabled.

Before running SmartClose on Windows 95 and NT 4.0, you should check if at least Internet Explorer 4.0 is installed. On Windows NT 4.0, Service Pack 6 or higher is required.


Why does SmartClose fail to close my antivirus and/or firewall software, or why does it cause errors in these programs?

In most cases, SmartClose will fail to close antivirus and firewall software because these programs are especially protected against this (so that malicious programs are unable to turn them off either). I would recommend against disabling security software (such as virus scanners or firewalls) anyway, because it will make your pc vulnerable to viruses and hackers.

In other words, if SmartClose would be able to disable your antivirus or firewall software unattended without any problems, so would any virus or malicious program, making the protection of the antivirus/firewall completely useless.

If you really want to close or disable security programs, you should do this manually before or after using SmartClose to close all programs. To prevent problems or errors while SmartClose is closing all programs, you should add the processes, that belong to the antivirus and firewall software you have running, to the list of Protected Programs. The following table lists the most commonly used security software, and the processes that should be protected in SmartClose if the antivirus/firewall program is running on your system.

Note: processes with a * are system processes. The next version of SmartClose will automatically protect this kind of processes by default.

Security program Processes that should be protected
Acronis Privacy Expert Suite 8 paamsrv.exe
Avast Internet Security Suite ashWebSv.exe *
Norton AntiVirus ccApp.exe
ccEvtMgr.exe *
navapsvc.exe *
Sygate Personal Firewall smc.exe *
ZoneAlarm vsmon.exe *


Why do I experience software or hardware problems after closing all programs with SmartClose?

It's very likely that these problems occur because SmartClose closes or kills a program that should actually stay running. First, make sure that the problem only happens when the "Close (or kill) all programs" task is executed by SmartClose. If the same problem still occurs when you run SmartClose without this task checked, the "Stop Windows Services" task is probably the culprit. This means that SmartClose stops a required service. You can edit the list of services stopped by SmartClose on the Services tab in SmartClose Settings.

If the "Close (or kill) all programs" task is the cause of the problem, one or more programs should be protected in SmartClose. See the next question for how to find out which programs should be added to the list of protected programs.

If you are still unable to resolve the problem, you can send me an e-mail with a description of the problem, as a last resort. Also explain when the problem starts (what SmartClose was doing at the moment it happened, if applicable), and let me know which operating system you're running and if the problem goes away after restoring the created system snapshot with the Restore wizard. Attach the Close Programs and Restore log to your e-mail as well. Click "Details..." on the finished-page of the Close Programs or Restore wizard to view the log of that wizard. I will take a look at it when I have the time and try to find the cause of the problem.


Which programs should I protect in SmartClose?

A very useful resource to find out which programs shouldn't be closed or killed is the WinTasks Process Library that contains a database of the "Top System Processes":

In most cases, when the description of a program in this database states that the program should not be terminated, and the program is running on your system, you should protect the program in SmartClose.

Other process databases:


Which command-line parameters are supported by SmartClose?

The following command-line parameters are currently supported by SmartClose:

  • /closeprogs
    Starts the Close Programs wizard

  • /restore
    Starts the Restore wizard

  • /config
    Shows the Settings window

  • /about
    Shows the About window

To close and/or kill one or more specific programs, you can also use the /close parameter, as follows:

  • /close <list of processes>

<list of processes> should be one or more program filenames or process ID's, separated by spaces (without < and >). If a program filename already contains spaces itself, enclose the filename with double quotes, like this: "program to close.exe".

If you add the /kill parameter (right after /close and before the list of processes), then SmartClose will first try to properly close every program in the list, and will then kill each program that couldn't be properly closed.

After SmartClose has gone through the list of processes, it will display a result window, showing how many programs have been closed and killed. If you add the /noresult parameter, this result window will not be shown and SmartClose will exit immediately instead.

The next version of SmartClose will support more command-line parameters, so that, for example, an unattended run of the Close Programs and Restore wizard will be possible.


Last updated: July 4, 2010


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