How To Kill Unresponsive Programs without The Task Manager

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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).

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      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?

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Comments (24)
  • Anon

    Very helpful!

  • Anonymous

    same here james

  • James

    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.

  • chad herrella

    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 –> http://ifile.it/0tzfqha

  • Matt

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

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.