Unable to terminate process, The operation could not be completed

At times, you may find that you are not able to kill a particular process using the Windows Task Manager, and when you try to do so, you receive a message – Unable to terminate process, The operation could not be completed, Access is denied. If you receive such a message, here are a few options you may want to try.

Unable to terminate process, The operation could not be completed, Access is denied.

Unable to terminate process in Windows

Before you proceed, restart your computer and see if you are now able to kill the process. If you cannot, then try the following suggestions.

1] Using Taskkill

From the WinX Menu, open Command Prompt (Admin).

In the CMD window, run the following command:

taskkill /IM "processname" /T /F
  • processname : This is the name of the process which you can find from the Details tab of the Task Manager
  • /IM : It specifies the image name of the process, which follows, that is to be terminated
  • /T : Kills the main as well as the child process
  • /F : Forcefully terminates the process

2] Using WMIC

From the WinX Menu, open Command Prompt (Admin).

In the CMD window, execute the following command:

wmic process where name='processname.exe' delete

Here replace processname.exe with the name of the process which you can find from the Details tab of the Task Manager

3] Using PowerShell

Open an elevated PowerShell prompt and execute the following command:

kill -id pid

Here pid is the Process ID number of the process to be terminated.

To get this number, you can open the Details tab of the Task Manager and see the number against the process you want to kill.

You can also run the following command in the PowerShell prompt that you have opened to get the process ID number.

Get-Process

Unable to terminate process ps
For instance, 5364 is the PID for DimScreen.exe which is the process that I have chosen to terminate.

So to kill this process, I use:

kill -id 5364

Hope this helps!

Read next: How to kill a Not Responding process in Windows.

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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.