Reduce Windows Crash Delay

Filed under: Windows XP 

Whenever an application hangs under Windows XP, the operating system informs the user about this problem. Unfortunately there is quite a delay between de application hanging and the moment Windows XP informs you about it. The reason for this is that Windows wants to make sure the application is really not responding anymore.

In many cases we really do not want to wait that long, when the application hangs, it hangs. It will make Windows slow and the performance of other applications will also suffer. There is a way to configure or tweak windows so that it does not wait that long before deciding an application hangs. This way we can speed up windows and prevent a windows freeze by reducing the crash delay.

Follow the next steps if you want to reduce the crash delay in Windows XP:

  1. Start the Registry Editor. From the Windows Start menu, select Run and in the Run box, type regedit and click OK.
  2. In the Registry Editor, locate the following registry key in the left-hand tree view:
    HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop.
  3. Now check if a String Value (SZ) exists with the name HungAppTimeout. If it does, skip the next to steps.
  4. In the Edit menu, select New and pick String Value in the submenu.
  5. Type HungAppTimeout as the name for this new value.
  6. Now double-click the HungAppTimeout value and enter the number of milliseconds Windows XP should wait before deciding an application hangs. E.g. a value of 1000 means 1 second.

Do keep in mind that if you make this crash delay too short, Windows XP will report applications hanging while they are not. So you might want to experiment a little with the value for this Windows XP tweak to optimize the reporting of hanging applications. This way you can minimize the crash delay without the frustration of waiting for Windows XP to report the application hanging.


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