How to Force Quit on Windows

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 19 Jun 2021    📁 FIX

It is very frustrating when you get an error message and problem from the application or OS like"The application is not responding", "The program has stopped working", mouse loading problem when trying to close the application, white screen of death problem (ie. white color overlay the application), etc. For some applications this problem does not last long and will automatically start working normally as usual and sometimes they may have hours of unresponsiveness, frozen, and stuck. If such problems occur you may not be able to close the application or do any other task and we finally turn off your PC by hitting the power button. If you are facing a similar problem, then we are here to teach you how to force quit the application without shutting down your pc.

What is Force Quit?

Force Quit is a sequence of processes performed to closed unresponsive computer programs. This helps quit out unresponsive programs and errors easily. It is an emergency tactic for troubleshooting above mention problem.

Is it Safe to Force Quit?

Actually, there is a difference between normal quit and force quit the application. When we closed/quits the app normally, then it shutdown routines, saves any unsaved task left in the application, frees up system resources like RAM, CPU, network assign to it. But in force Quit, it does not bother with shutdown procedures. Also may not save the unsaved task, stop the execution of programs and free up memory. So, it's not much good and safe force quit. But if we do not have an option we will do it.

Cause of Force Quit

There can be various reasons for force quit. Some of them are as follows:

  • Lack of System Resources like RAM, HDD, CPU, network, etc.
  • Software Bugs.
  • Missing Files.
  • Corrupted File.
  • System Interrupts.
  • Bad Device Drivers.
  • Hardware Problems.
  • Malware Injection.
  • Too many processes running.
  • Windows Update Issues.

So, the best and simple way to troubleshoot such an issue is to update your operating system. Check if you have any updates for OS, as well as installed software. Update hardware drivers. Install antivirus and antispyware and keep it up to date etc.

Also Read: Find crashes and error logs in windows 10 

Ways of Force Quit

There are various ways we can force quit /close applications. Some of them are as follows:

Force Quit using Keyboard Shortcut (Alt + F4)

On your working window, if you have an application that you want to force quit, then 

  • Press ALT + F4 keyboard combination and do not release it.
  • A dialog box may appear like do you want to close the program. Press Yes to close.

Force Quit using Task Manager

1 Press CTRL + Alt + Delete or to open task manager.

2 Click on "Task Manager" From the List.

3 Goto Process tab and find the desired application.

4 Right-click on the application and "Go to details"

5 Click on End Task.

Force Quit using Command Prompt

1 Press Win + R and type "cmd.exe" without a quote and press Enter.
This will open a command prompt.

2 Type tasklist
This will display all the running tasks and programs on your system.

3 Type below command

taskkill /im /F {application_name}.exe


taskkill.exe /F /FI "imagename eq application_name.exe"

Replace the application_name with the desired task to stop


  • /F indicates force terminate process.
  • /im indicates the executable(image) name of the application to be terminated.

4 Press Enter
You must be a success message showing force quit successfully.

If you want to force quit all child processes as well you can do like this:

taskkill /im /F /t {application_name}.exe 

If you want to force quit all processes which are not responding then try the below command.

taskkill.exe /F /FI "status eq NOT RESPONDING"

You can also terminate the application if you know the PID(process ID) of the application. The command is as follow:

taskkill /F /PID {application_pid}

If you want to know more about taskkill command, type the below command in the command prompt.

taskkill /?

Force Quit using Powershell

Powershell has a special command stop-process, which is used to terminate any running process.

1 Press Win + R and type "cmd.exe" without a quote and press Enter.
This will open a command prompt.

2 Type "get-process" or "tasklist"  to list all the processes running.

Find a specific processname you want to terminate.

Suppose I want to terminate notepad.

4 Then type below command:

stop-process -Name {application_name}

eg. stop-process -Name notepad

The advantage of using Powershell to kill the process is we can create a script via programming to perform the termination action automatically.

Also Read: How to split-screen in windows 10?

Force quit Windows 10 application using Windows Shortcut

Desktop Shortcut is a folder icon or specific softwaer icon  created on desktop.When you clicked on it, then it will open the program associated with it.

Goto Desktop and Right click on empty area on your desktop.

Choose New > Shortcut

Next, It will ask you location for the shortcut So just paste below command in it.

taskkill.exe  "status eq NOT RESPONDING" /F /FI

Click on Next.

Give the name for the shortcut and click on Finish 

Icon will be created on your desktop as shown below.

If any of your windows 10 application unrespond then click on the icon to close notresponding task.

Note. You can run that shortcut by creating your own short.

Force quit the application using a Third-party application

There is much application which you can use to force quit application. Some of them are as follows:

  • SuperF4
  • Task Killer
  • Process Assassin
  • ProcessKO

If non of the above solutions works then just restart your PC.

On the next startup perform the following action
1) Virus Scan
2) Look for Missing Files
3)Update drivers
4) Update Windows
5) Update Driver
6) Upgrade Hardware like CPU, RAM, and HDD, etc.
7) View Running Application
8) Clear Temporary Files
9) Use the Windows Troubleshoot feature

If there is no problem related to System Resource, Viruses, drivers issues, etc then do Clean Boot PC.

So, we can successfully explain the following questions:

How do you force quit an application that is not responding?
How do I force quit Windows 10 application without task manager?
How to close a frozen program in Windows 10?
How to close a program on windows with a keyboard shortcut?

It might help you...

Thank you