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Occasionally when restarting or shutting down (about 1 out of 5 times) the PC takes about 1-2 minutes to restart instead of the usual 2-3 seconds.

This screen appears and keeps loading something until it shuts down after a minute or two. enter image description here

I have no idea what is causing this, initially I thought maybe it's updates that are being finalised. But It happens even when I haven't installed anything and it's hard to pinpoint exactly when it happens.

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    switch to console mode and check where it stops. – Lucky Chingi Sep 19 '16 at 20:02
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In my experience it is because there are applications that have open files. A sure-fire way to test this is for you to close all applications before shutting down and restarting.

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Some other people have found this to be caused by the CUPS software (related to remote printers) here: Slow shutdown on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Stopping thermal daemon/running fit make remote CUPS printers)

If that's what the problem is for you too, the short answer is:

sudo systemctl disable cups-browsed.service

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