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Windows is generally not known for its stability. Among other things there are frequent “Not Responding” applications. The reasons may vary from less RAM to Viruses to poorly designed applications. So what do you do when an application hangs up?

I bet you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del or fire up the task manager in some other way, reach for the application and choose “End Task”. Now there is nothing wrong with this approach, in fact as long as it gets the job done it doesn’t matter how you do it. However, ever had the situation where the task manager itself takes ages to load up? Of course it can happen because task manager does a lot of other things besides just ending tasks so it requires that much more resources. Apart from that, how about ending the hung applications with just a single click?

Yeah! you can do so. Its simple to achieve. Just follow along:

  • Right click on the desktop and choose New > Shortcut
  • In the dialog box that appears just type the following:

    taskkill.exe /f /fi “status eq not responding”

  • Give it a name of your choice
  • Now just wait for something to start “Not Responding” and let loose your Task Killer!
    • So what did we do exactly? We just created a shortcut to run a command. The command being taskkill. Whenever you double click the shortcut you will invoke the said command which takes care of the rest. In particular the command we use says that kill all taskes whose status is equal to “not responding” and kill them forcefully (/f).

      The /fi switch is used to filter and pinpoint the application to kill. We are using the Program’s status to filter the applications that are not responding and then kill them. You can filter(and thus kill) by memory usage (equal to, greater than, less than or not equal to), cpu time, window title and others.

      In case you are wondering that its still not quite “the single click situation”, you can enable single click from within Folder Options, or better still – right click on the shortcut you just created, choose properties and assign it a shortcut key!

      Do you know of some similar neat tricks?

      1. Hayk
        July 29, 2016 at 5:36 am


      2. elGiblet
        March 26, 2016 at 2:13 pm

        I stopped reading at the statement, 'Windows is generally not known for its stability'. No point in reading an article written by somebody who has no experience in pc platforms.

        • Vincenzo
          June 3, 2016 at 5:18 am

          Um, this was written when VISTA was Microsoft's newest OS. Windows has had its fair share of buggy releases.

        • jojo
          August 21, 2016 at 12:04 am

          No point in being a faggot either but here you are.

      3. lel916
        January 23, 2016 at 9:29 am

        u can use cmd for it

      4. Anon
        May 11, 2015 at 10:30 pm

        Very helpful!

      5. Anonymous
        April 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm

        same here james

      6. James
        January 28, 2015 at 11:57 pm

        The thing is is that I can't even click the screen because an invisible application is blocking access! I can only click the bottom task bar but not close anything or move windows around.

      7. chad herrella
        February 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

        i have windows xp home on my netbook. copied the taskkill.exe file from my win xp pro desktop to my netbook in the windows/system32 folder and it works now.

        here is the taskkill.exe file download link -->

      8. Matt
        August 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm

        Always having trouble with Vista making unresponsive programs which Task Manager cant shut down for whatever reason. But this fuckin worked! MINT!

      9. em josefsberg
        June 25, 2009 at 8:09 pm

        i, too, could not find taskkill.exe but i did find tskill (no extension) under \system 32. altering the command, you get: %windir%\system32\tskill.exe /f /fi “status eq not responding”, which shortcut i was permitted by xp home to create. have no idea if it will work until i get another responsive app, tho.

      10. Derek
        June 3, 2009 at 12:59 pm

        Another way to make it single-click would be to drag the shortcut to the QuickLaunch bar. That would also solve the problem of having to view the desktop before clicking on it.

      11. BB
        May 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm

        Windows IS pretty dang stable unless you are still using 3.1. How is "less RAM to Viruses to poorly designed applications" ANY fault of Windows. I can't remember the last time Windows crashed and it was not the fault of hardware, an application or some driver.

        May 25, 2009 at 8:13 am

        thank u
        its a great tool for vista specially:P

      13. Mike
        May 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm

        So, is it possible to create the file taskkill.exe?

        For example, can I copy it from XP Pro and paste it into a folder on my XP computer?

        • youthworker
          May 16, 2009 at 6:52 am

          I've browsed a few other forums and, yes, it does appear that you can download it or copy it from various websites and it will work on XP home etc. Google it and you'll find various places to download it. I'm no expert, so i wasn't sure where to put it, so I had to change the shortcut to include the full path eg c:\taskkill.exe /f /fi “status eq not responding”. There was probably a better way of doing this.

      14. Transcontinental
        May 15, 2009 at 10:52 am

        It would be nice if authors checked their literature before making people lose their time : XP Pro only, is it?
        Mama mia...

      15. Juscelino M. Acevedo
        May 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

        I like how you guys always find great uses for very uncommon things that are very useful. What that means is that I know about and how to use Taskkill, but I never thought about creating a simple shortcut to use it. Great job...

      16. quickroute
        May 15, 2009 at 7:06 am

        taskkill.exe is for XP Pro only - pity the author didn't mention that :-(

        • Eric
          June 22, 2009 at 5:18 am

          You can download the taskkill.exe aplication and put it in your windows directory and it should work fine

      17. mymytri
        May 15, 2009 at 6:52 am

        Interesting one.But task manager has one advantage.You can end non responsive tasks without minimizing the program window you are running just clicking on the taskbar.

        • david
          July 31, 2009 at 11:28 am

          well then what you can do is add this shortcut in your taskbar :-b

      18. tj
        May 15, 2009 at 6:11 am

        that was great. i got the "unable to find" error message, too, but when I added spaces worked fine.

        • youthworker
          May 15, 2009 at 7:17 am

          Can you give some clues as to where we put the spaces? I cut and pasted it from the description and get the message others have received.

      19. tipat
        May 15, 2009 at 1:08 am

        Dude thats come cool stuff, very useful thanks

      20. wayne
        May 14, 2009 at 11:39 pm

        this would be handy , if it worked for me.
        win XP SP3, i get taskkill.exe file cannot be found error

      21. Anurag
        May 14, 2009 at 11:04 pm

        Great Tweak,It is very helpful for users like me.

      22. Mike
        May 14, 2009 at 9:42 pm

        Thanks for the great tip.

        However, When I click after "taskkill.exe..." it says, "unable to find file taskkill.exe"

        Do I have to create a file as well as the shortcut?


        • Terenas
          May 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm

          Valid for XP Professional, not Home

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