Occasionally, I have a program that freezes, and then refuses to give the screen to me so I can use the normal task manager to kill it, and no amount of alt-tabbing or ctrl-alt-deleting can get rid of it.

In old versions of windows, this was a situation where I said goodbye to any unsaved work and hit the power button. However, with windows 8, I have found that I can still access the start screen - and this gives me a significant amount of hope that there is a way to kill a program from the start screen.

Unfortunately, my searches for task managing apps on the windows 8 app store are fruitless, because as you might or might not expect, todo list making apps are all that come up (people really spend more time organising their todo lists than killing unresponsive programs??). Also a search for a start screen based command line turned up nothing but command line dictionaries.

Is there a way, through a specific app or other wise, that I can kill a program that is running on my computer solely using the start screen?

  • So the problem is actually that Task Manager is not coming on top, but it stays behind the program and that is why you can't kill the program, right ? How about a 3rd party program that will force the Task Manager when it is opened to be on top ? This might solve the poblem. I am not sure but Dexpot might help. – Devid Jan 10 '14 at 23:58

No you can not, however you can easily launch task manager with "CTRL" + "SHIFT" + "ESC" (faster than CTRL ALT DEL to bring up; no menus). Also, you can right click in the lower left corner of your screen and hit "Task Manager". Once you're there, just right click on the betraying program and hit "Go to details" and right click again and click on the end task button. Sometimes I have seen with Java applications it will go to "explore.exe" if it is listed multiple times. DO NOT close this; it will close out of your desktop and taskbar. You'll have to shut it down with task manager or another trick like shortcuts (or open it back up with task manager. EDIT: If you do this out of stupidity, to shut down, you'll have to do WIN + L to lock the account which gives you the option to shut down. I did this just to see how to do this but...

It is one easy way to get rid of metro :D)

Task manager

  • That is a shame, it seems like an opportunity missed to me. I will hold out for at least a little while longer. The biggest problem isn't getting to task manager, it is the fact that I cant get the program that I was using before to get out of the way to let me use it – jcw Jan 10 '14 at 23:07
  • @jcw It may sound like your computer is low on RAM and when the task freezes it may be too much for your computer to handle. RAM is fairly cheap if your motherboard supports it (assuming it's a laptop). Also I emphasize not closing explore.exe, I just did that stupidly to try to tell you how to fix it if you close it, but it doesn't work in Windows 8.1. Rebooting my computer in a second... :D The reason this might happen is Start has more "urgency" than task manager I believe so that's why it always happens. – Anonymous Penguin Jan 10 '14 at 23:12
  • I hope a lack of ram is the cause of this, but it seems unlikely - my laptop already has 8gb of ram, and the desktop doesn't completely freeze, just the program(I can still see the bar along the bottom with the time, running programs etc.) and obviously the windows button works fine to take me to the menu. – jcw Jan 10 '14 at 23:25
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    @jcw When it's not frozen open up task manager and see if something is taking up a lot of RAM and the % used. Although I doubt with 8GB RAM, there might be so many things (Skype, etc.) that take RAM and CPU, and with the game it might be laggish. Can you open up your browser when it's frozen? I'm trying to see if it's just a general problem or if it is just task manager. Also, post your system specs in the question: RAM, CPU, and graphics (go to device manager → click on the "graphics adapter" to see what you have). I don't know enough about what is happening to help you. – Anonymous Penguin Jan 11 '14 at 2:14

If you open task manager , Under the option tab there is the option to be always on top if u check that task manager will always be on top!

I hope that helps you solve the issue


have you tried searching on your computer? at the start screen, just type "task manager" it should show up. Although when you launch it, you may just end right back up at the desktop.

Have you tried waiting for the process to finish? How long?

  • I have opened task manager several times - the program just runs over top of it. As for waiting for the program to finish, it stopped about 15 minutes before I asked this question. – jcw Jan 10 '14 at 22:47
  • sounds like a poor program, Might I ask which one it is? – Oxymoron Jan 10 '14 at 22:49
  • Sure - Medieval II total war - I suspect it is more a problem of an old game on a new OS and hardware rather than the software -- It was rare to have problems like this on my old computer – jcw Jan 10 '14 at 22:52
  • Look into your event logs on your computer to find the root of why it's hanging. – Oxymoron Jan 10 '14 at 22:55
  • @Oxymoron It would have the same problem that it wouldn't load right away. Task manager is ran as a different task than Start is. [Confirmation needed] – Anonymous Penguin Jan 10 '14 at 23:22

It is possible it just happened to me where my program stopped running properly and wouldn't let me close it or use task manager but my task bar stil worked so what I did was I ran cmd and it still let me type on it so I highlighted it in the task bar so I can see it and typed "taskkill /f /im RocketLeague.exe" just replace RocketLeague.exe with the name of the exe used to launch your program

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