How to Kill/End A Process in Windows?

Sometimes you may find a program on your Windows based computer goes crazy and just hangs. In this case, you would turn to Windows Task Manger and wish to kill the program and fix the problem. However, due to intensive apps your Task Manager gets stuck or unresponsive and it doesn’t always work. If you are not able to kill the particular process by using Task Manager, what should you do? Is there some other way that can terminate the unwanted process immediately like Task Manager? In this post, I’ll take you through several ways to end a process in Windows.

Method1: Kill a process by using Task Manager.

Anyway, Task Manager is a built-in tool for Windows which shows you the programs, processes, and services that are currently running on your computer and allows you to monitor your computer’s performance or to close a program that is not responding. Thus, when you find certain process is hogging the CPU, just open Task Manager and end the process, if it works.

To do this, right-click on the taskbar and then click Task Manager,

locate to task manager

Or you can press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC or CTRL + ALT + DELETE to call up Windows Task Manager.


When the Windows Task Manager window appears, click on Applications tab and you will see your currently running programs as well as their status.

task manager-applications

Note: If you use Windows 8, it is a little bit different. Your currently running programs will be listed in the Apps section.

Select the program you want to terminate and click End task. Windows will display a message warning you that any unsaved data will be lost. Click OK to force the program to close.


If the problematic process that’s lagging your system isn’t displayed under the Applications tab or the Apps category, you can go to Processes tab to search for then end the suspicious process.

Highlight the target process and click on the End Process at the lower right corner or right click on the process and click on End Process.

end process

Note: In Windows 8, you can try clicking More details button at the bottom of the Task Manager to open the list of Processes. Highlight the target process and click End task button.

task manager


Then you will be asked to confirm that you want to end the process. Click on OK button and it should close immediately.

Method2: Kill a process by using Command Prompt

If your Task Manager gets stuck, how can you end the malicious process? Why not try using Command Prompt? If you know the program file name, you can quickly kill it through the Command Prompt.

To do this, please follow the steps below.

Step1. Press Windows key + R to call up Run window.


Step2. Type cmd and click OK.

type cmd

Step3. In the Command Prompt window, type the command tasklist, press enter. All tasks running in your system will be listed.


Step4. To kill a particular task/application, you can use the Taskkill command. For example, to kill Firefox browser, run the command as:

Taskkill /IM firefox.exe /F


You can also terminate any particular process by using it’s ID. In the step3, the tasklist command displays the PID of all tasks running in your computer. For instance, to kill a task of Opera.exe using it’s ID, run the command as:

Taskkill /PID 2352/F

Note: If there is an error saying,

ERROR: The process “process.exe” with PID 1234 could not be terminated.

Reason: Access is denied.

Try running cmd.exe as administrator. Make sure you use admin user or run cmd as Administrator.

Method3: Close an Active Window by using the Force Close shortcut.

You may encounter that a window doesn’t respond for a long time and you can’t close it by click on the close button “X”. Under the circumstances, you can press Alt + F4 to close the active window. The window will be close immediately without asking for your confirmation.



If your computer gets infected by malware and you would like to kill malicious processes, just follow the first two methods in this post to deal with it. But ending the malicious processes is not the ultimate way to kill malware. You need to perform a scan of your system with an advanced antivirus program and remove all malware infections detected. Don’t know which security to choose? Here are two powerful and professional antimalware programs recommended for you:

>> SpyHunter antimalware program <<

>> Malwarebytes antimalware program <<

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