Thursday, June 6, 2013

How To Forcefully Shutdown a Windows 7/8 Program

I had a question from a customer yesterday on how to shutdown a non-responsive application. Of course, the best way to do it is to close it the normal way, but what do you do if nothing happens?

In Windows 7/8, I recommend these steps:

  1. Open a command prompt by going to your Start button and typing cmd
  2. In the command prompt window type: taskview
    This will list all the processes running on your computer.
  3. Find your application, such as "explorer.exe" in the following image. To the right of the file name is the PID -- such as 1532 in the below example.
  4. Next try this command: killtask /PID NumberFromStep2. For example:
    killtask /PID 1532
    This command will try to gracefully shutdown the process. This probably won't work if just clicking "close" in the application doesn't work. However, its a good thing to try first.
  5. If the application still doesn't shutdown, it's time to use some force: killtask /F /PID NumberFromStep 2. For example:
    killtask /F /PID 1532

At this point one way or the other, that application is not running. If it still shows up when you type taskview, then there is a dependency problem with something else running. A reboot is in order.

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