How to kill a process in Windows 10/8/7

If a Program is not responding, it means that a problem has occurred in the program and it is, therefore, interacting more slowly than usual with Windows. You can choose to wait for it to start working automatically or you can kill or terminate the non-responding program.

Kill a process in Windows

To kill non-responding or hung or frozen applications in Windows, normally one opens the Task Manager, and right-clicks on the process and selects End Task. You may also try Alt+F4 to close the application, but it may not help if the process is frozen.

To terminate or kill hung, frozen, non-responding programs, in Windows 10/8/7 you can also use the Taskill command in CMD, use Taskill to create a shortcut, or use a third-party freeware like Task Killer or Process Assassin.

Kill a process using command line

You can kill Processes using the Command Prompt.

Kill a process in Windows

Open an elevated command prompt window, type tasklist and hit Enter. You will see the list of running tasks and the PID numbers.

Now to kill a process use the following syntax:

Taskkill /IM <Image Name> /F

or

Taskkill /PID <Number> /F

For example, if you want to kill fontdrhost, use fontdrvhost.exe in place of <Image Name>, and 1184 in place of <Number>.

The /F flag kills the process forcefully.

Using TaskKill shortcut to terminate a process

To create a shortcut to kill non-responding programs in Windows instantly, right-click on an empty area on your desktop.

Select New > Shortcut. In the first box of the Create Shortcut Wizard, type:

taskkill.exe /f /fi "status eq not responding"

Click Next.

Name the shortcut: TaskKiller. Click Finish. Then select an appropriate icon for it!

The shortcut uses the Taskkill command to identify and terminate application/s that are Not Responding.

Alternatively, you could create a .bat file (right-click desktop > New > Notepad) with the following matter:

@echo off
taskkill.exe /f /fi “status eq not responding”
exit

Save it as a .bat file.

Killing a process using freeware

1] Process Assassin: You can also use a 3rd-party tool, like freeware Process Assassin. This tool enables the user to select a Not Responding application and terminate it immediately without calling any other external programs. There are options available too.

ProcessAssassin

2] Task KillerThis tool offers a neat way to unload frozen applications, processes or services. It shows the tasks, windows, and services in a pop-up menu.

3] One Click App Killer: This tool doesn’t have an interface. Once you run it, your cursor gets transformed into a small round target. You basically have to click anywhere on the frozen application’s interface to terminate it instantly. This utility is a Windows clone of Xkill, from the Unix world.

Check this post if you want to find out how you can terminate ALL running applications instantly.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.