How many times have you have you tried to install a program, or perform some other task, only to be told that you need to close all of the programs you have running? In all likelihood, this is something that has happened to you more than once, and it can be deeply annoying.
SmartClose is a great tool to have on hand to when situations like this arise. Not only can it quickly shut down all of your running applications and processes, but also temporarily disable your screensaver to prevent it from interrupting whatever you are doing.
But there’s more to investigate too. As well as exiting programs for you, SmartClose can also take a snapshot of your system before doing so, enabling the tool to restore the previous running programs so you don’t have to do it manually.
Run through the installation accepting all of the default settings, including the option to Associate system snapshot files (*.scss) with SmartClose. For ease of access you might want to select the option to create a Quick Launch icon, and at the end of the installation, opt to launch the program.
Configuring Program Options
Start by clicking the View and/or change all the settings of SmartClose button in the program window and move to the General tab.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to create new shortcuts that provide instant access to the closing and restoring sections of the programs. From the first drop down menu choose where you’d like a shortcut to be created – such as a the desktop – and then select the SmartClose – Close Programs wizard option from the second menu before clicking Create Shortcut.
You can repeat this process for the SmartClose – Restore wizard option so you have easy access to the two main features of the program. You might want to take things a stage further and configure keyboard hotkeys to activate these shortcuts, and this is an option that is available through Windows.
Now move to the Close Programs tab and if you’re interested in seeing precisely what is happening while programs are being closed for you, tick the box labelled Show the list of running programs while killing programs. It’s also a good idea to tick the box labelled Exit SmartClose when the Close Programs wizard is finished to ensure that SmartClose itself does not interfere with any other program or process.
There is no need to change any of the remaining settings for the time being, so just click the OK button.
Creating a System Snapshot
If you are installing a program that requires everything else to be closed down, or you just want to free up system resources by quickly shutting down all of the apps you are currently using, either launch SmartClose and click the option labelled Create a system snapshot and close all programs, or activate the shortcut you have created for this purpose.
The first time you do this, a welcome screen with be displayed but you can prevent this from happening in future by ticking the box at the bottom before clicking Next. You can then use the wizard to choose what is to happen next; use the check boxes to indicate whether you would like to close programs, shut down Internet Explorer, disable your screensaver, stop services and create a snapshot. Having made your selection, click the Next button.
There are a number of key system processes that SmartClose will never terminate, and at the next screen you can use the Add button to select any other programs you would like to leave running – whether you change anything here or not, click Next to continue.
Assuming you would like to save the system snapshot to the default location, just click Next again, but you can choose to save it elsewhere if you would prefer. Click Start and you’ll see a progress window describing what is going on – click Finish when this is complete.
Restoring a System Snapshot
When you have finished installing your software, or carrying out whatever other tasks you decided to start using SmartClose for, you can restore your previous session just as easily. Again, you can do this via the main SmartClose menu or by using a shortcut that you have already created.
Having selected the option to restore a snapshot, you can then choose between restoring the last snapshot to be saved, or choosing another one that has been stored in a different location. Having made your selection click Next and you’ll be shown a list of what tasks will be carried out.
Click Next followed by Next and then Start to start the process of restoring programs and SmartClose will re-open all of the programs and windows it previously saved.
As well as coming in useful for those occasions when you need to quickly shut down anything you have open, SmartClose also enables you to quickly launch a particular set of programs for specific tasks.
You could create snapshots that can be used to launch the applications you need when editing photos, another for when you are browsing the web – the possibilities are endless. Take the program for a spin and let us know what you think in the comments below. Thank you so much for reading!