How To Force Quit An App On Windows 10

It’s a usual scenario when some app starts responding slowly or becomes unresponsive on a Windows 10 PC. This can happen for various reasons, from slow internet connectivity and piles of junk accumulated on the PC to corrupt installation or configuration app files and other hardware troubles in the hard drive or RAM.

Regardless of the reason, you can always roll back your PC to a better state by force quitting that particular app, program, process, or task. By force quitting the app or process, you can go back to the normal state on your Windows 10 laptop or desktop and restart that app.

Note that it is possible that you’ll have to restart the entire task you’re executing on that particular app or that you may lose any unsaved changes or work upon force quit. However, it’s sometimes better to begin again instead of being stuck on one step because of a bug.

Here are all the ways you can force quit an app on Windows 10 computer:

How to Force Quit Apps on Windows 10 Systems ?

1. Using the “X” Button

Though this is a way not everyone prefers, this is still one of the practices carried out to force quit an unresponsive or slow-responding app on Windows 10 PC.

All you need to do in this case is continuing to Press X Key on your keyboard for twenty times to close that particular frozen app or program. However, users use a more fastened approach to get rid of the unresponsive program.

2. Pressing Shortcut Keys – ALT+F4

Users tend to go for a faster approach than pressing a critical 20 times on a keyboard. Pressing ALT+F4 tends to force shut the app that has been frozen or is being unresponsive. But sometimes this process usually doesn’t work.

If the slow or unresponsive program has caused a severe freeze over the Windows 10 desktop panel, the users will be directly prompted to a total system shutdown rather than force quitting of that particular app.

Thus, even Pressing ALT+F4 doesn’t work or help, if a user wishes to force quit an app on a Windows 10 PC.

3. Using Task Manager

This is the most common method of force quitting an app in case of a system freeze or unresponsive app or program. The Task Manager lists out all the processes and programs currently running on the PC and allows users to End Tasks altogether or one by one.

Step 1: Right-Click on the Windows Start Menu.

Step 2: Click on Task Manager.

Using Task Manager

Step 3: Select the task that is being unresponsive from the list of all tasks.

Step 4: Click on End Task. You’ll be redirected to your desktop or the previously frozen window while that app will be forced to quit.

Click on End Task

Note. You may also seek to End All Tasks to begin the session on your Windows 10 PC afresh and kill all the associated programs running coherently with that unresponsive app.

Read More: Ways To Fix Windows 10 Task Manager Not Responding

4. Using Task Manager Shortcut

In case your mouse cursor has become unresponsive as well, you can use a keyboard shortcut.

Step 1: Press ALT+CTRL+DELETE buttons on the keyboard of your Windows 10 PC.

Step 2: Windows 10 will redirect you to a Security Options window.

Step 3: From the available security options, choose Task Manager.

Using Task Manager Shortcut

Step 4: You’ll be redirected back to the frozen Windows 10 screen. You can once again select all or the concerned unresponsive app or program and click on End Task.

frozen Windows 10 screen

Note. If both your keyboard and mouse become unresponsive, then a forced restart/shutdown remains the last resort; however, the Task Manager option will mostly get you out of the trouble of an unresponsive or slow app and will force quit it without hassle.

5. Using Command Prompt

While this is a method for slightly more tech-savvy individuals; however, it has been proven effective when it comes to force quitting an app on Windows 10 PC.

Step 1: Head to the search bar and type cmd.

Step 2: Run Command Prompt as administrator.

Using Command Prompt

Step 3: In the command prompt, type the command tasklist, and press ENTER. This will list all the currently running programs, apps, tasks, and services.

command tasklist

Step 4: The list might be a long one. Hence the next command will be followed by a .exe extension and the name of the app you wish to force quit.

Step 5: Type the command  tasklist / im <program name>.exe

For example, if I wish to force quit an unresponsive Chrome application, my command will be – tasklist / im Chrome.exe.

Type the command  tasklist

Ensure that you don’t enclose the program name in brackets.

Read More: How to Edit Windows Registry Via Command Prompt

6. Force Shutdown

This is the last resort if all the above options fail. This usually happens when the app in question has caused severe system freeze, and no method can help you force quit it. 

All you need to do is press and hold the Power Button long enough to cause the system to shut down. This will kill all the apps and processes, including the unresponsive ones, and help you restart your system again.

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  • comment_avtar
    Camila Saunders
    Will any one of the above method explained, harm my files and data stored in the system?

    4 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Abhishek Sharma
      Hi Camila. Any of the methods explained won’t harm the system files or your data in any way. However, in case the app you’re trying to force shut have some unsaved changes, then those particular changes might be lost. But there won’t be a total loss of other data or files in your system.

      4 years ago

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