Windows familiarity does not doubt as compared to other platforms. Well, Windows combined with such flexibility and command lines powers up even Linux. I am referring here to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). WSL is a feature built into Windows 10 and 11 that lets you run a genuine Linux environment directly from Windows.

WSL appears to be the best option, as here you don’t need any specific virtual machine or dual boot setup for Linux access. Resulting in the fact that Windows users can run Linux tools and applications. Even this program makes your entire experience efficient. But there are some reasons, like saving battery, for which users want to shut down WSL. So, here we will explain to you how to do it.

Methods for shutting down WSL

There are numerous options through which you can shut down WSL and make your Windows-running experience better. However, not all the methods are best suited for everyone, but of course, you can choose the option that you find best. Among the different options here, we will discuss shutting down WSL through the WSL exit command and Task Manager. So, let’s understand each of the ways.

Using the WSL exit command

In this method, you need to write a command through which WSL will be shut down. We made it a priority option because, here, you need to do only three steps. So, without any further delay, let’s have a look at the instructions to do it.

Note: If you have multiple WSLs running, then while doing step 4, specify the WSL name before the exit word.

  1. Firstly, press the Windows + R key.
  2. Type cmd or wsl and press enter.
  3. Following this, a command prompt will open on your screen.
  4. Now type the command “WSL exit” without inverted commas and press enter.
  5. At the next moment, a prompt message appears confirming that WSL has shut down.
  6. That’s it; in this way, WSL will shut down.

Using the Task Manager

Windows has an in-built program called Task Manager, where we can manage tasks running on the PC. I mean, here WSL is running, and to get it to showdown, we can take the task manager’s help. I agree that, compared to the WSL exit command method, this method might be somewhere longer. But for those who don’t want to do anything, the CD prefers this way. So, these are instructions to shut down WSL using Task Manager.

  1. Simply right-click over the taskbar.
  2. Select Task Manager to open it.
  3. Under there, head to the Processes tab.
  4. Find the process named “vmmem” or “WslHost.exe.” (You might see multiple instances of these processes if you have multiple WSLs.)
  5. Do right-click over “vmmem” or “WslHost.exe” and select End task.
  6. Confirm the action, and you are done.

After these steps, WSL will shut down on your PC, but to get satisfied, you can verify it. To verify, you need to open the command prompt and try accessing the WSL distribution. You will find that after these steps, you can’t access the WSL distribution.

The importance of shutting down WSL properly

I am sure you know the importance of shutting down WSL, but to do that, many people do irrelevant practices to shut it down. In between such events, users forget that if they are trying to shut down WSL and if it does not get done properly, then for sure your PC gets harmed. I mean, there is a keen importance to properly shut down the WSL. To understand better, here are the reasons for shutting down WSL properly.

  • Your system performance will be reduced.
  • Running background processes can drain batteries.
  • Data stored on a PC might get corrupted. 
  • Improperly shutting down WSL can invite several security vulnerabilities.
  • You might get strange error behavior on your PC.
  • Files can be stuck between processing stages.

Meanwhile, properly shutting down WSL is essential for maintaining system health, ensuring data integrity, and preventing unexpected issues. Remember, taking those extra few seconds to shut down WSL correctly saves you from potential headaches and performance problems in the long run.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, here we have discussed two major methods for shutting down WSL, each catering to different needs and preferences. Choosing the right method is crucial for smooth workflow and system management. I encourage readers to experiment with these shutdown options and discover the method that aligns best with their requirements. 

However, whether it’s through the command line, a graphical interface, or other techniques, finding your preferred approach ensures a seamless experience with WSL. Take the time to explore, adapt, and optimize your shutdown process to enhance your overall computing experience. I hope this guide remains helpful for every user who wants to shut down WSL in easy steps.