I get "Access denied" when trying to end a process on Windows 8.

From Kill process (windows 8) issues on Stack Overflow, I've read:

The process may have a thread active in kernel mode that is not exiting. Best way to diagnose that is by using Task Manager, Details tab, right-click one of the column headers and choose "Select Columns". Tick "Handles". Look at the displayed value for the process. If you see a non-zero value then the process is very likely to have a handle opened and is waiting for a device driver to perform an I/O request. And that device driver is otherwise impervious to Windows asking it to cancel the request. Narrowing down the troublemaker is not that easy, you have to know more about exactly what kind of I/O requests your process performs. Follow up on this by asking a question about it at superuser.com*

So yeah... this problem has accured to the following programs:

  • Spotify
  • Skype
  • Battlefield 3

I've checked that I have full permission on everything. Even added "Everyone" with full access.

The other solution involved something with C++ which I have no clue about.

I have tried asking support on Microsoft sites but they only told me to go to Security and add everyone with full access.

  • I restart computer, start skype. It opens but stops answering. Same with spotify, i get to play 1 song, when it ends, the program stops responding.
    – PxGrim
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 15:04
  • Just played a round of bf3, when i ended it it did not close properly. I have a feeling that this might be a bigger part of my problem.
    – PxGrim
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 15:33
  • Still looking for an answer!
    – PxGrim
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 2:25
  • I think there must be something that does'nt make these programs start properly, and i am unsure of what these 3 programs have in common.
    – PxGrim
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 7:49
  • So skype started working again suddenly. Dont know how or why, i just noticed. Spotify is still broken.
    – PxGrim
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:09

5 Answers 5


The shortest way:

Use Sysinternals' PsExec tool to get SYSTEM user privileges (download it here).
Then run command line as administrator and write:

psexec -s taskkill /im ExeNameToKill.exe /f

The longest way:

Use this method to get SYSTEM user privileges.
Then use taskkill /im ExeNameToKill.exe /f to end those processes.

Note: Be careful while working with SYSTEM privilege. It's easy to damage the OS if you play with it.

  • 1
    ... Yes. And remember to restore that sethc.exe (or others, which you have used to do this method) after all.
    – Searush
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 17:11

Please do try..

  1. Right Clicking the application in the Task Manager
  2. Click on "Go to details" you will be redirected to "Details" tab with an application selected. "End Task" it or "End Task Tree" it. If that still doesnot work, follow the next step.
  3. Right Click the selected app in the "Details" tab and click on "Go to service(s)". You will be directed to "Services" Tab with a selected service... Either stop it or restart it.

Hopw that would end the task successfully..:)

  • So much better than all the other alternatives! Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 15:29

I have noticed others with this issue work around it by disabling ICS (Internet Connection Sharing); at least those that had ICS enabled to begin with.

Certainly seems to pertain to a kernel mode driver or something. I suggest uninstalling your network drivers for wireless/LAN completely and reinstall the latest drivers from the manufacturer, and not windows update.

That is a long-shot suggestion, but it seems like there is nothing that can be done, other than wiping the whole system, unless you know how to debug the kernel-mode memory. :)

  • I had this problem & I turned off ICS because it seems insecure. In my case, though, it was just really slow & stopped eventually.
    – trysis
    Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 7:17

In windows 8- I have bitter experience with skype, I searched skype community forum but they suggested a way that totally futile to me. So, i just downloaded LOCK HUNTER and went to "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Skype" and renamed it using lockhunter. Then opened skype ( that created new user data)


Ensure that your user account has Administrative rights. If that's not sufficient, right-click the program executable in question and change its owner to your account.

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