How to End or Kill a Process in Windows 11

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This content outlines three ways to terminate a process in Windows 11 if it’s disrupting system performance. First one is using the Windows Task Manager. The second method involves using the ‘Taskkill’ command in Command Prompt or PowerShell. The third approach deploys the ‘Stop-Process’ command in PowerShell. Each method requires identifying the process to be…

This post explains the steps users can take to kill or end a process in Windows 11.

If you have a hung or runaway app’s process impacting system performance, you can use Windows Task Manager to kill or end the process.

Windows also provides other means to kill a program’s process using the taskkill command or the Stop-Process command using the Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell.

Learning how to end or kill a process in Windows can be helpful in situations where an application or program is not responding or has become unresponsive, impacting the system’s performance. In such cases, you can use Windows Task Manager to identify and end the problematic process.

Additionally, knowing how to use the command line to end a process can be useful for advanced users or IT professionals who need to automate or manage killing processes remotely. Learning how to end or kill a process in Windows can help improve system stability and performance.

Kill a process using Windows Task Manager

As mentioned above, using Windows Task Manager app, one can use it to monitor and manage programs and processes.

To use Task Manager to kill a process, first open Windows Task Manager. There are multiple ways to open the Task Manager in Windows.

You can press CTRL + SHIFT + Esc to open it or CTRL + ALT + DELETE and select Task Manager from the screen that appears.

Once the Task Manager app opens, click More details to expand it. On the expanded and detailed window, click on the Process tab.

Next, select a parent process (App name) you want to kill and do want of the following:

  • Press the Delete key on your keyboard to kill the process
  • Right-click on the process, select End task or click on the End task button at the top right.
Windows end or kill task in the Task Manager
Windows end or kill task in the Task Manager

If you don’t want to kill the parent process, expand it, then use the steps above to kill the child process without impacting the parent.

When you do that, you will get a pop-up window asking to confirm that you wish to kill or end the process.

Kill process with Taskkill command

Another way to kill or end a process is to use the Command Prompt or the Windows PowerShell app using the Taskkill command.

First, list all the current processes using the tasklist command.

tasklist

The tasklist command will list all Windows processes and provide a list similar to the one below:

Image Name                     PID Session Name        Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ======== ================ =========== ============
System Idle Process              0 Services                   0          8 K
System                           4 Services                   0        144 K
Registry                       108 Services                   0     40,012 K
smss.exe                       408 Services                   0      1,148 K
csrss.exe                      572 Services                   0      6,140 K
wininit.exe                    644 Services                   0      8,624 K
msedge.exe                     652 Console                    1     26,528 K
winlogon.exe                   740 Console                    1     12,280 K

With the list handy, run the taskkill command format below to kill a process.

Kill a process:

taskkill /IM Image Name /F

Kill a process and child processes

taskkill /IM Image Name /T /F

For example, run the commands below to kill the msedge.exe listed under the Image Name column.

taskkill /IM msedge.exe /F

Alternatively, you can kill a process using the process PID. For example, run the commands below to kill the msedge.exe PID.

taskkill /PID 652 /F

Kill a process using the Stop-Process command

Yet another way to kill or end a process is to use the Stop-Process command in the PowerShell app. The Get-Process command will list all running processes, similar to the tasklist command.

Run the command below to list all running processes:

Get-Process

The command above will list all processes and provide a list similar to the one below.

Handles  NPM(K)    PM(K)      WS(K)     CPU(s)     Id  SI ProcessName
-------  ------    -----      -----     ------     --  -- -----------
    140      10     1988      10224              4700   0 AggregatorHost
    245      12     6516      15264       1.19   8312   0 audiodg
    248      12     2808      16096       0.27   4308   1 backgroundTaskHost
    573      21     1948       6120               572   0 csrss
    396      18     2460      26036               652   1 csrss
    466      18     4544      23592       2.25   3440   1 msedge
    313      16     4124      15636              4348   0 dllhost
    283      28     6972      19276       1.25   6688   1 dllhost

With the process list handy, use the Stop-Process command format below to kill a process.

Stop-Process -Name "ProcessName" -Force

For example, to kill msedge process name, run the commands below.

Stop-Process -Name "msedge" -Force

The Stop-Process command can also kill a process using the process ID. You can kill the msedge process using its ID.

Stop-Process -ID 3440 -Force

You can also include multiple processes by adding the process name or ID followed by the next.

Example:

Stop-Process -ID PID,PID,PID -Force
taskkill /PID PID /PID PID /F

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to kill or end a process in Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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