How to Force Quit Apps on Window 10.
When an application on your Windows PC stops responding, there is only one thing left: you will need to force close it. Windows has several ways to do this. If running software crashes and won’t close, Windows can fix the problem by itself, giving you a safe option to close or restart the application.
If you want to know how to force a shutdown in Windows, especially for applications that do not close automatically, you need to follow these steps.
Wait for Windows to Terminate a Non-Responsive App
When an app stops responding in Windows 10, wait a few seconds. If the application is truly unresponsive, Windows automatically responds, giving the application a chance to recover. You will notice that an unresponsive tag appears in the title bar of the application window, which indicates that Windows is starting a countdown to shut down the application.
Windows doesn’t have a specific time for this, but it usually tries to fix the problem with a running application within a few seconds. This could mean that the application will automatically close (in the event of a complete application crash), or if it takes longer to respond or if the application is likely to recover, Windows will let you choose the next steps.
This includes the ability to force quit and restart the app, close it, and leave it closed, or give the app more time to recover. You can choose the second option if the application uses a lot of system memory and you are sure that it will recover in a few seconds.
Once you’ve made your choice, Windows should follow your decision. If you decide to force quit an application in Windows and it still isn’t responding, you will need to take more drastic measures (such as those listed below).
Use Your Keyboard
Before rushing into force quitting the application using other methods, such as through the task manager, you might want to try your keyboard. Windows has long had keyboard shortcuts that help you quickly perform system tasks, such as closing a running program.
You can try the Alt + F4 keyboard shortcut. The Alt and F4 key combination instructs Windows to try to close the currently active window. If you use this command from the keyboard and the application is still not responding, the steps listed in the section above should be activated, giving you the option to restart, force quit, or give you more time.
However, the Alt-F4 keyboard shortcut is not suitable for applications that do not actually respond. In this case, you will have to try a different method.
Force Quit an App Using the Task Manager
Every program, application, or system service running on your Windows PC will appear in the Windows Task Manager. You can view the system resource usage for each program that is running, which helps you troubleshoot applications that are not responding.
For example, if an application is using 100% CPU, that would mean that it is probably working too hard for your PC hardware. Fortunately, the Task Manager isn’t just for information. You can use it to force close applications that are not responding.
- To do this, right-click the taskbar and select the Task Manager option.
- In the Task Manager window, find the application that you want to force close. Right-click it, then select End Task to force quit. The app should be closed immediately, but if it doesn’t, repeat the process again.
Force Quit an App Using a Powershell Terminal
The Task Manager is the best way to force a crashing application to shut down when it stops responding completely, but there are alternatives. If you are familiar with Windows PowerShell Terminal, you can use it to force quit applications on Windows using the task kill command. You can also use the old Windows Command Prompt to run this command if you like.
- To open a PowerShell terminal, right-click the Start menu and select the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.
- In a PowerShell terminal window, enter the task list to see a list of all running processes. You will need to find the application by matching it to the name of the executable file (e.g. yourphone.exe or conhost.exe).
- After you find the application name, enter taskkill / im process.exe, replacing process.exe with the name of the executable file of the application you want to force terminate (for example, taskkill / im notepad .exe).
- The taskkill command should force the application to close (except for some protected Windows services). If so, a success message should appear in the terminal window. Otherwise, you will have to repeat the process to force termination of it (or other related processes).
Using Third-Party Apps to Force Quit Apps
Like the methods above show, Windows includes many methods to force quit applications. However, if you want a faster way to force close apps, you should turn to third-party solutions.
One of the best and easiest third-party apps for this purpose is SuperF4. This application has a simple purpose: you can quickly force close any application using a keyboard shortcut (in this case, Ctrl + Alt + F4).
This mimics the effect of the task kill command used in the PowerShell terminal, making it a more robust command than the Alt-F4 keyboard shortcut included with Windows.
- To use SuperF4, download and install first (or download and unzip the portable version of the application instead). After installation, run the SuperF4 application (or the SuperF4.exe file in the portable directory) to get started.
- SuperF4 runs in the background, but you can test it by checking the icons in the notification area on the taskbar. If you want it to start automatically, right-click the SuperF4 icon in the taskbar and choose Options> AutoPlay.
- By default, SuperF4 will not start with administrator privileges. If this setting is disabled, SuperF4 will not be able to force close all applications (especially some system applications). If you want to give him this option, right-click on the SuperF4 icon in the taskbar and select Raise. To turn this on automatically, choose Options> Raise On AutoPlay afterward.
- To force close an application using SuperF4, make sure the application window is active. In the active window, press Ctrl + ALT + F4 on your keyboard to close the application.
Fixing Non-Responsive Windows Apps
Now you know how to force a shutdown in Windows. And in the future, you can quickly fix issues with unresponsive applications. Most applications should exit automatically. But if Windows does not close them, you can use Task Manager. PowerShell, or a third-party application like SuperF4 instead.
If an installed program is causing problems, it is best to uninstall it. There are several ways to uninstall software in Windows 10, although the process for removing apps from the Microsoft Store is slightly different. If you don’t know what exactly you have installed, you can create a list of installed software to check first.
How to Force Quit Apps on Window 10
How to Force Quit Apps on Window 10