Freeware application SmartClose automatically closes all of your running Windows programs with the click of a button, and can restore them at a later time.
If you don’t have a computer that’s dedicated only to recording and/or live performance, you can close all of your applications and kill all of those pesky background services in one fell swoop using this little tool. Once it’s run it’s course (which may take a minute or two) you’ll be ready to record or play knowing that you have 99% of your CPU’s power available for music making. Note that you’ll need to shutdown your firewall program manually. (Firewall programs are protected against remote programs turning them off.)