How many times have you been installing or removing an application on your Windows XP PC when you are prompted with a dialog box asking you to close every application you have open at that time? Or have you tried to start a resource intensive process on your system only to have valuable processing power shared with other useless applications and services? If you answer “Yes” to either one of these, SmartClose might be the perfect tool for you.
What is SmartClose?
SmartClose is a software application designed by BM Productions for Windows machines (currently excluding Vista) that will automate the process of closing of all running programs, disabling of your screen saver and also stopping selected processes from interrupting your tasks.
Say you have finished the task that required you to stop the running programs, you might need to resume what you were doing and reopen these programs or re-enable the stopped services. Part of SmartClose’s arsenal is that before it closes or disables anything, it will take a snapshot of your system, allowing you to return your computer to the state it was before you undertook your resource intensive task. Think of it as a Windows XP Restore Point but for system processes or any open applications.
After downloading and installing SmartClose, running the application will present you with a number of options, pertaining to the task you wish to undertake. Selecting “Create a system snapshot and close all programs” will take you into the Close Programs Wizard, listing the tasks which you can select to be performed by SmartClose.
Navigating to the next screen in the wizard, you will be able to select which programs you wish to be protected from SmartClose (therefore not being closed). Notable entries in this list would be applications such as your Firewall or your Anti-Virus, although these may be already protected as a design feature of the software itself.
The next stage will ask you to select where you wish the settings to be saved. It is recommended that you use the default location so that you do not need to change any other settings, although if you wish to, you are able to save settings to a custom file or under a custom name. The final screen will give you a summary of what SmartClose is about to process, allowing you to edit your settings before you close your selected applications and processes.
SmartClose will attempt to process all of your selected options, leaving you with a system free of any potential resource hogs. You will be able to, for example, run your defragmentation software or install a particularly big file. As soon as you have finished what you need to, simply re-open or select SmartClose from your taskbar, click on the option to “Restore a previously taken system snapshot”, and return your system back to the state it once was, it’s that easy.
BM Productions have an useful FAQ page, detailling any problems you may encounter using this software. Future versions of the software will look to incorporate the ability to automatically protect certain programs like Anti-Virus or Firewall software, taking the hassle out of deciding what applications you will need to add to the Protected lists.