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Whenever a program freezes, it takes the task manager a very long time to end the task. I never understood why this should happen on a multiprocessor machine; shouldn't one processor be able to save the other?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Windows tries to end the task gracefully before killing it.

For an application that's behaving properly, you'll notice that Task Manager can end it promptly. As an experiment, open up Windows Notepad then use Task Manager to end it -- it should close without any delay because Windows' first attempts (through Task Manager) to end it gracefully are successful.

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As Randolf says "End Task" tries to end it gracefully. To expand on that, it will also let you send an error report if it has to kill it (which you should send because MS does look at them).

If you really want to kill it right away, you can right click the task, click "Go to Process," and then kill the process. That will be instant but you won't get the other benefits I described.

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I didn't know you could kill processes that way. Thanks! –  Phineas Mar 1 '11 at 22:19
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