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How can I kill processes on a Windows machine? Ctrl + Alt + Del only works for the whole system, but I need it for a single process.

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migrated from Jan 13 '11 at 16:06

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Sounds more like an admin question rather than a programming question. For a user logged in, use the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL will give you a menu that lets you choose this option) – winwaed Jan 13 '11 at 16:05

For Windows XP, Vista, 7:

Basic options overview:

If you know the name:

taskkill /IM (program).exe

If you know the PID:

taskkill /PID ###

Kill all processes by one user (Quinn in this instance):

taskkill /FI "USERNAME eq Quinn"

Taskkill options:

  • /F - force kill with no confirmation
  • /IM - by program name
  • /PID - by process ID number
  • /FI - by filter:

    Filter Name     Valid Operators     Valid Value(s)
    -----------     ---------------     --------------
    STATUS          eq ne               RUNNING | NOT RESPONDING
    IMAGENAME       eq ne               Image name
    PID             eq ne gt lt ge le   PID value
    SESSION         eq ne gt lt ge le   Session number
    CPUTIME         eq ne gt lt ge le   CPU time in the format of hh:mm:ss.
    MEMUSAGE        eq ne gt lt ge le   Memory usage in KB
    USERNAME        eq ne               User name in [domain\]user format
    MODULES         eq ne               DLL name
    SERVICES        eq ne               Service name
    WINDOWTITLE     eq ne               Window title


  • eq: equals
  • ne: not equal
  • gt: greater than
  • lt: less than
  • gt: greater than or equal
  • le: less than or equal
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The official full usage information can be easily obtained by just typing taskkill /? at a command prompt. – martineau Jan 13 '11 at 16:41
True :) Then again, it can also be found with a quick Google Search. :) – Stanley Williams Jan 13 '11 at 16:44

Open task manager, go to the process Tab, highlight the process, hit "end process" button.

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Besides the Windows Task Manager already suggested here,
I'll recommend keeping Process Explorer by Mark Russinovich handy.

It is more elegant as described in this How-To-Geek article.

it gives you so much more information than the default task manager, including a tree view of all the processes so you can see which processes launched other processes. You can look at pretty much every piece of data concerning a process, including associated registry key handles, open files, dlls. There’s even a search function.

Also see the Wikipedia page, Process Explorer.
I always wonder why Microsoft has not yet replaced the default Task Manager with this yet.

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Note the process ID of the process you wish to kill. From the command line type:


Or use Ctrl + Alt + Del and select it from the list.

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Select it from the list in the "processes" tab, then you can end the process via the button. – tj111 Jan 13 '11 at 16:22

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