Windows 7 / 10 prevents shutdown / restart (Feb. 2020)

win7[German]Some Windows 7 users (Addendum: and Windows 10) may be surprised to find that the operating system suddenly shuts down or restarts. The operation is rejected because of missing permissions (You do not have permission to shutdown this computer). Addendum: It seems to me, that an Adobe CC update from early Feb. 2020 (or for similar software) is causing this behavior. I’ve rewritten parts of the ‘Adobe service’ section, to make things a bit more clear. And there are signs, that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 may cause also this behavior – hope that helps.


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I had already seen this the night at askwoody.com, but then I was asked by mail (thanks for that) and via Twitter from my German readers if I heard about that. It seems that many Windows 7 users are suddenly affected. First it has been posted at reddit.com here and here.

The error description

The affected users will receive an error message when trying to shut down or restart Windows 7.

You do not have permission to shutdown this computer

You do not have permission to shutdown this computer

Windows 7 refuses the operation. On Twitter someone posted this tweet with a screenshot of it.

In the Microsoft Answers Forum, on February 6, 2020, you can find this thread where someone describes the error. On reddit.com someone describes this as follows:


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Don’t have permission to shutdown

End of day I received a few calls with this error. Don’t see anything in event logs. After log off and reboot same issue. Doing a gpupdate in pc seemed to fix issue for now. Worried end of day Friday I may get a ton off calls

Has anyone else run into this?

If you search for this error on the Internet, there are many of hits – some of them from 2013 and earlier. So this is not a new bug – it’s just odd that it’s appearing right now. And it seems to have hit a number of Windows 7 users.

A few thoughts first about ‘wrong paths’

After I noticed the post at askwoody.com, I begun thinking, why the issue affects only a few users and only for Windows 7 SP1, and only from February 6, 2020? There hasn’t been a Windows update recently (Feb. 2020). The suspicion, that the fix for the black desktop background bug (see Windows 7: Update KB4539601 / KB4539602 fixes black Desktop) may be involved, wasn’t likely, because this patch has been released after we have had the first reports.

In MS Answers there is also the hint, that the crypt32.dll update (to close an information disclosure vulnerability) may be involved– and at askwoody.com this post also mentioned that. However, I consider this update to be less likely the cause (see my post at askwoody), as this update for the cryptography vulnerability has only been distributed to Windows 10 only (see this Microsoft document) – so it could not affect Windows 7.

The colleagues at Bleeping Computer and Catalin Cimpan at ZDnet have mentioned the issue (thanks for that) and posted workarounds (using gpedit.msc). While they write the workarounds in a good faith (at that time, not too much details has been known, users should avoid these steps and use it as a last resort. What all articles not mentions (even the copy cat posts): Tampering with gpedit.msc isn’t available for Windows 7 Home Edition – and the steps to change the UAC GPO described in all articles I found so far, will work only, if the user is a member of the administrator group (see also my Fix #2 below).

Fix #1: Check Adobe Genuine Monitor Service

I then begun to search the internet for a reason, that caused this issue suddenly in Feb. 2020, and I found ‘a smoking gun’. Are you using Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) or do you have (or have had) other Adobe stuff installed on your machine? In this case, the following hint it hot for you. After investigation the case, I have read several times hints, that an Adobe service may be involved. Within this Microsoft Answers forum thread, there has been a hint from TimothyLevine:

In our case, it is definitely being caused by the “Adobe Genuine Monitor Service” that is part Adobe’s Creative Cloud. The exe that the service runs was is dated 2/3/20, so this is from a very recent update.

We’re telling users as a workaround to first logoff their computers then use the “power button” on the Windows 7 login screen to restart.

The interesting part ist, that the .exe used for this service seems to be updated on February 3, 2020 (I read the first posts on February 6, 2020). The advice given to the users in the 2nd paragraph is described below as the shutdown workaround outlined in Fix 3.

Also within this reddit thead user pinball5757 claims that Adobe uses a service ‘Adobe Genuine Monitor Service’ (part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, and probably of other Adobe software to check, if that Adobe stuff is genuine) that is causing the issues.

In my case, Adobe has a service called “Adobe Genuine Monitor Service”, and if I disable it, then restart, I can shut down like I used to from the “Shut Down” button in the Start menu.

(I was always able to shut down from the login screen after I log out of the accounts, all of which are admin accounts, and none of which would shut down without logging out first.)

The 2nd paragraph also mentioned the workaround outlined below in Fix 3. It’s also possible to stop and disable this Adobe service or change the start behavior, using the following steps.

1. Type services.msc within the start menu’s search bar and right click to the entry services.msc shown within the start menu search results.

2. Use the context menu Run as administrator and confirm the UAC prompt to launch the services manager.

3. Search for the service Adobe Genuine Monitor Service and try to change the service status (you can stop or disable the service or set it’s start option).

The most interesting part may be found in pinball5757’s reddit post, as cited below – he set the service to Automatic (Delayed Start):

I don’t care for disabling services, so I tried setting it to “Automatic (Delayed Start)” and I am still able to shut down from the accounts, even after the service starts up, unless I log out, and switch users. Switching users after the service starts up seems to bring the permission issue up again.

[…]

EDIT: It seems, for me, if I log in with any account, before the service starts up, I can shut down from any other account so long as I don’t log out of the account I logged in with first. If I log out of all accounts, then log back in, I lose shut down permission, until restart with it set to Auto(delayed start). I reckon I’ll just disable it for a while, to see if any other issues arise. BTW my son uses Photoshop, and creative cloud with his class work so I may have more info if these start having problems for him.

2nd EDIT: As long as one of the accounts (3 on my machine) is logged in I can log in and out of the other two, and even log out of the first one, if I’m logged into one of the others, and I can shut down without issue, but if I log out of all three accounts, then log back in on any one of them, the Adobe service evidently gets, and locks the permission. I cannot get it back even if I stop the service.

3rd Edit: It turns out that if I do stop the service, log out of everything, then log back in with the service still stopped, I get permission back, without restarting the whole computer. “Adobe Genuine Monitor Service” is the culprit for me. Hope this helps.

So it’s sufficient to stop the service or set it to delayed start and log in, to gain the right back to shutdown Windows 7. Disabling the service may be a bad idea – from what I read, the service is used from Adobe to check, whether Adobe products installed are genuine.

Addendum 1: After writing this article, I found this comments at Bleeping Computer. It proves my theory, that the Adobe Service is causing the culprit.

Addenum 2: See also the comment from Julia below, pointing out a 3rd place in MS Answers, where a user affected confirms the Adobe CC service as a root cause.

Addendum 3: Bleeping Computer mentions in the (now) updated article also “Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service”, and “Adobe Update”, but I’m not sure, whether both services need to be disabled.

Addendum 4: And I have had some feedback on Twitter, that Adobe CC has been installed on affected systems.

It that helps, feel free to drop a comment – and you should contact Adobe claiming for an update of their software. I’ve also informed Microsoft’s WindowsSupport and MicrosoftHelps via twitter about the above findings.

Addendum 5: At Bleeping Computer this user claims, that BitDefender Total Security 2020 is causing this symptoms. An update has been pushed at Feb. 6, 2020, that may cause this issue. Somebody can confirm that?

Other Workarounds and Fixes

If the hints, given above, didn’t work, or if tampering with Adobe Genuine Monitor Service is having side effects, here are a few hints, what you can do else, if you are affected. But note: Use it as a last resort.

Fix #2: Check Group Policy Settings

In case the ‘Adobe thing’ didn’t fit, the next thing you could check, are group policy settings. Under Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise, you should try the following steps:

1. Type the command ggpedit.msc  in the search box of the Start menu and then start the Group Policy Editor via the the Start menu entry shown using the context menu command Run as administrator and confirm the execution using User Account Control.

2. In group policy editor navigate within the left pane to Computer Settings > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options.

3. Search in the right pane the policy User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin approval, double click and activate it.

Afterwards, an administrative command prompt window can be invoked. Enter the command gpupdate /force to force the adoption of the policy change (since a restart is not possible). The above approach is described in a similar form in this article, at Bleeping Computer, and is referenced on reddit.com.

Note: Group Policy Editor isn’t available on Windows 7 Home Edition. Also the advice given in many articles to use Windows+R to launch the Run dialog box has some caveats. It just works, if someone is using an administrator account (bad idea to work with an administrator account). Otherwise, UAC credentials are missing and gpedit.msc fails. Use the steps I outlined above to gain administrative credentials via UAC.

For users of Windows 7 Home and Starter, you can use the registry editor to make adjustments. The key is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Set the DWORD value EnableLUA to 1. This is described here.

Fix #3: Try Ctrl+Alt+Del to shutdown

There are users, see here, who specify to press the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Del. In the Lock Computer page that appears, there is a button in the lower right corner to shut down Windows 7. Try that to see if that still works.

Computer sperren

The colleagues at Bleeping Computer have mentioned another workaround here in the form of deleting accounts and profiles. The same can be found from Catalin Cimpan at ZDnet. But I guess that the above mentioned Adobe service is the bad guy. Any of you affected who can tell us more?

Windows 10 also affected!

Addendum: I received in the meantime a feedback at Twitter, showing, that Windows 10 is also affected.

Adobe’s Creative Suite (CC) is causing the issue also under Windows 10.


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9 Responses to Windows 7 / 10 prevents shutdown / restart (Feb. 2020)

  1. Julia says:

    FYI: Another user confirmed having Adobe Creative Cloud in this thread: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/you-do-not-have-permission-to-shut-down-on-windows/c08d3cee-1f87-498b-b8b8-7fb06a20755d

    =====
    And… You have small grammar error: ” It poofs my theory, that the Adobe Service is causing the culprit.”
    Should be: It proves….
    ;)

    • guenni says:

      Thx, I have amended the typo. And I’ve rewritten parts of the Adobe service section, to make a few more details more clear.

  2. Kevin says:

    We are having the same issue with no shutdown or reboot and found that it’s the Adobe Creative Cloud update that was released recently. We still have many windows 7 users and was confused that only certain users had this issue. After seeing this post we did an audit and all the users having problems had Adobe CC installed. Following your instructions and disabling the Adobe services fixes the issue. This update also caused many of our users to lose access to Ost files in outlook. Once the adobe services were disabled outlook was back working fine. We found if you install Adobe CC v4.9.0.515 you can reboot with out and issues. As soon as you log into Adobe CC it updates itself and then you can no longer restart or shutdown. With have also logged an incident with Adobe support as we are an enterprise customer. Thanks for the fix which has help many of our users get their outlook working again, cheers keep up the good work :)

    • Drew says:

      Kevin, I’m curious if you have heard back from Adobe Support team yet about that issue?

    • guenni says:

      I got now a feedback on Twitter (see my addendum above), that Adobe CC is causing the same issue also on Windows 10.

      I’ve reached out to Adobe’s press department for a statement.

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  5. Will says:

    There is an easy (short term way around it to shutdown without having to change users etc.). The issue is trying to shutdown down via the start menu.
    Open your command prompt (type cmd in search bar) and type in :
    shutdown -s (to shutdown) or
    shutdown -r (to restart) or
    shutdown -l (to log off) or
    shutdown -h (to hybernate)

  6. Cole Chilton says:

    It seem pretty clear that Adobe CC is responsible for the problem. So what, if anything are they doing about it? What have they said?

    • guenni says:

      Allow me a couple of hours – like to recherche whether .NET Framework could also have an effect. But now it’s patchday, that have priority.

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