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How to End Task in Windows 10

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There may be plenty of applications that run in the background. This will increase the CPU and memory usage, thereby affecting the performance of the system. In such cases, you can close a program or any application with the help of the Task Manager. But, if you face a Task manager not responding error, you will have to look for the answers for how to force close a program without Task Manager. We bring a perfect guide that will help you learn how to end task in Windows 10 with and without Task Manager. So, read below!

How to End Task in Windows 10

End Task in Windows 10 With or Without Task Manager

Method 1: Using Task Manager

Here’s how to end task in Windows 10 using Task Manager:

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together to open Task Manager.

2. In the Processes tab, search and select the unnecessary tasks that are running in the background e.g. Discord, Steam on Skype.

Note: Prefer selecting a third-party program or application and avoid selecting Windows and Microsoft services.

End Task of Discord.How to End Task in Windows 10

3. Finally, click on End Task and reboot the PC.

Now, you have optimized your system by closing all background applications and programs.

When the Task Manager is not responding or opening on your Windows PC, you will need to force close the program, as discussed in subsequent sections.

Also Read: Kill Resource Intensive Processes with Windows Task Manager (GUIDE)

Method 2: Using Keyboard Shortcut

This is the easiest and the quickest method to shut down a program without Task Manager. Follow the given steps to force quit unresponsive programs using keyboard shortcut keys:

1. Press and hold the Alt + F4 keys together.

Press and hold the Alt and F4 keys simultaneously.

2. The crashing/freezing application or the program will be closed.

Method 3: Using Command Prompt

You can also use the Taskkill commands in Command Prompt to do the same. Here’s how to force close a program without Task Manager:

1. Launch Command Prompt by typing cmd in the search menu.

2. Click on Run as administrator from the right pane, as shown.

You are advised to launch Command Prompt as an administrator

3. Type tasklist and hit Enter. A list of running applications and programs will be displayed on the screen.

Enter the following command and hit Enter: tasklist .How to End Task in Windows 10

4A. Close a single program: by using the name or process ID, as follows:

Note: As an example, we will close a Word document with PID = 5560.

Taskkill /WINWORD.exe /F  Or, Taskkill /5560 /F

4B. Close multiple programs: by listing all the PID numbers with appropriate spaces, as shown below.

Taskkill /PID 1312 1368 1396 /F

5. Press Enter and wait for the program or application to close.

6. Once done, reboot your computer.

Also Read: Fix 100% Disk Usage In Task Manager In Windows 10

Method 4: Using Process Explorer

The best alternative to Task Manager is Process Explorer. It is a first-party Microsoft tool where you can learn and implement how to force close a program without Task Manager with a single click.

1. Navigate to Microsoft’s official website and click on Download Process Explorer, as shown.

Click on the link attached here and download Process Explorer from the official website of Microsoft

2. Go to My downloads and extract the downloaded ZIP file to your desktop.

Navigate to My downloads and extract the ZIP file to your desktop. How to End Task in Windows 10

3. Right-click on the Process Explorer and click on Run as administrator.

Right-click on the Process Explorer and click on Run as administrator. How to end task in Windows 10

4. When you open the Process Explorer, the list of unresponsive programs and applications will be displayed on the screen. Right-click on any unresponsive program and select Kill Process option, as depicted below.

Right-click on any program and select the Kill Process option. How to end task in Windows 10

Method 5: Using AutoHotkey

This method will teach you how to force close a program without Task Manager. All you need to do is download AutoHotkey to create a basic AutoHotkey script to shut down any program. Here’s how to end task in Windows 10 using this tool:

1. Download AutoHotkey and develop a script with the following line:

 #!Q::WinKill,A

2. Now, transfer the script file to your Startup folder.

3. Find the Startup folder by typing shell:startup in the address bar of File Explorer, as illustrated below. After doing so, the script file will run every time when you log on to your computer.

You can find the Startup folder by typing shell:startup in the address bar of File Explorer. How to end task in Windows 10

4. Finally, press Windows + Alt + Q keys together, if and when you want to kill unresponsive programs.

Additional Info: The Windows Startup folder is that folder in your system the contents of which will run automatically every time you log into your computer. There are two startup folders in your system.

  • Personal startup folder: It is located in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ Programs\ Startup
  • User Folder: It is located in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp and for every user who logs into the computer.

Also Read: Fix Unable to change process priority in Task Manager

Method 6: Using End Task Shortcut

If you do not want to end the task in Windows 10 using Command Prompt or Process Explorer, you can use the end task shortcut instead. It will let you force quit the program in three simple steps.

Step I: Create End Task Shortcut

1. Right-click on the empty area on the Desktop screen.

2. Click on New > Shortcut as depicted below.

Here, select Shortcut | How to End Task in Windows 10

3. Now, paste the given command in the Type the location of the item field and click on Next.

taskkill /f /fi "status eq not responding" 

Now, paste the below command in the Type the location of the item field.

4. Then, type a name for this shortcut and click Finish.

Then, type a name for this shortcut and click Finish to create the shortcut

Now, the shortcut will be displayed on the desktop screen.

Step II: Rename End Task Shortcut

Steps 5 to 9 are optional. If you want to change the display icon, you can proceed on. Else, you have completed the steps to create an end task shortcut in your system. Skip to Step 10.

5. Right-click on the Taskkill Shortcut and click on Properties.

Now, the shortcut will be displayed on the desktop screen,Right-click on it. How to End Task in Windows 10

6. Switch to the Shortcut tab and click on Change Icon…, as depicted below.

Here, click on Change Icon…

7. Now, click on OK in the confirmation prompt.

Now, if you receive any prompt as depicted below, click on OK and proceed

8. Select an icon from the list and click on OK.

Select an icon from the list and click on OK. How to end task in Windows 10

9. Now, click on Apply > OK to apply the desired icon to the shortcut.

Step III: Use End Task Shortcut

Your icon for the shortcut will be updated on the screen

10. Double-click on taskkill shortcut to end tasks in Windows 10.

Method 7: Using Third-Party Applications

If none of the methods in this article have helped you, you can go for third-party applications to force close a program. Here, SuperF4 is a better option since you may enjoy the application with its ability to force close any program after a specific time interval.

Pro Tip: If nothing works, then you can shut down your computer by long-pressing the Power button. However, this is not recommended way since you may lose unsaved work in your system.

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to end task in Windows 10 with or without Task Manager. Let us know which method worked for you the best. Also, if you have any queries/suggestions regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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