I have been unsuccessfully trying to kill a process; I have tried taskkill, Stop-Process in powershell, pskill, nircmd, task manager, processexplorer, and deleting the file various ways. The process will not stop. I am using windows 8.1. I have restarted my computer several times; this problem has persisted for over a week now.

As background, I updated Spotify but it told me halfway through that it couldn't. It now refuses to close, open, delete, etc.

Using taskkill /IM spotify.exe gives me the error that "This process can only be terminated forcefully" Using taskkill /IM spotify.exe /F gives me the error that this process can not be terminated because there is no running instance of the task.

Process Explorer gives me access denied error messages when trying to kill it.

The process does not show up in the Processes tab of task manager, only in the details tab. I am given an access denied message there too when I try to end it.

I am running as administrator.

Any ideas or glaring things I missed trying out? The web version of Spotify just doesn't compare. :)

  • That is actually pretty common, I often have processes that I cannot kill. Easiest way to produce that is Explorer.exe, when you access a disconnected network share. You have to wait the full timeout until it dies, no matter what you try. – Aganju Dec 14 '15 at 16:48
  • I have rebooted several times. – Jaci Dec 14 '15 at 16:50
  • then it is not the same process, but a new one every time. It is probably in the startup, and executables can be written so the cannot be killed. You need to find it in the Autostart or startup or Run sections and remove it, so it never even starts after reboot. – Aganju Dec 14 '15 at 16:52
  • Taskmanager startup section doesn't list anything related to Spotify as far as I can tell. Is there somewhere else I can check? – Jaci Dec 14 '15 at 16:58
  • There are several places in the registry, but I cannot name them, sorry. Search for something like "windows startup", or for example here is some help: howtogeek.com/74523/how-to-disable-startup-programs-in-windows – Aganju Dec 14 '15 at 17:02

I had a similar issue on a win 8.1 customer laptop, where multiple instances of a task (different PID) were being kept in memory by Avast!.

Like you described, the tasks resisted reboots, could not be force killed with taskkill and gave me 'access denied' arguments, when trying to terminate them conventionally.

Uninstalling that garbage resolved the issue.

  • I'm running avast too. I did temporarily disable it which didn't work but uninstalling will hopefully have a different outcome. Thank you! – Jaci Dec 14 '15 at 17:12

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