How to Force Quit an App on Windows 10

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It is not uncommon for an application to stop responding in Windows 10. When this happens, you can force the application to shut down, effectively freeing that application. Here’s how to force quit an app in Windows 10.

Try a keyboard shortcut

It’s frustrating when an app you’re using suddenly freezes. We’ve all done it – maddeningly clicking the “X” button at least 20 times to close the frozen program. There is a better way.

With the frozen app in focus, press Alt + F4 on your keyboard to close it. If the Windows desktop is focused instead, you will see a “Shut Down Windows” prompt instead.

It won’t always work. Some blocked apps will simply not respond.

Alt F4 keyboard shortcut window

Force stop using Task Manager

As the name suggests, Task Manager is a tool that shows which applications are running (along with other information such as resource usage and process statistics) and allows you to manage them appropriately.

AT open task manager, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard or right-click on the Windows taskbar and select “Task Manager” from the menu.

Task Manager option in the taskbar menu

With Task Manager open, select the task you want to force quit, then select “End Task”.

If you don’t see the application name listed here, click “More Details” and find it in the list on the Processes tab.

Complete the task manager task

The frozen program will now close.

RELATED: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

Force quit an app using the command prompt

You can find and force quit tasks from the command prompt. Open Command Prompt by typing “cmd” into the Windows search bar, then selecting the “Command Prompt” application from the search results.

Command Prompt application in Windows search bar

In the command prompt, type task list and press “Enter.” Once executed, the Command Prompt will display a list of running programs, services, and tasks.

tasklist command in command prompt

The list can be a bit overwhelming, admittedly, so don’t forget to add .exe at the end of the program name. Once you’re ready to force quit the program, run this command:

taskkill / im .EXE

So if I wanted to force quit Notepad, I would run this command:

taskkill / im notepad.exe

taskkill command

A success message will be returned, informing you that you have successfully forced the problematic application to quit.

Of course, you can always restart or shut down your PC to close an app that’s really stuck.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Open Command Prompt In Windows 10

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