How to force quit apps on windows

How to Force Quit Apps on Windows

Often a program on your Windows 10 PC stops responding. Experiencing a crashing or unresponsive program on the screen is annoying enough; it may also freeze the Windows explorer, making other programs unresponsive.

Although you can manually turn off your PC to get rid of the problem, it is not recommended. Luckily, there are three different ways to force quit apps/programs on Windows.

This blog aims to explain to you how to force quit apps on windows using each method step-by-step.

What is an Unresponsive Program?

When you open a program, Windows asks the program to perform a specific request. Yet, the program fails to acknowledge and follow the request. The program that stops acknowledging windows requests is known as an unresponsive program/app.

What Causes a Program/App to be Unresponsive?

Corrupt system files, viruses, malware, and software bugs often freeze or stop a windows program. Also, any clash between the program and computer hardware can also make the program unresponsive.

How to Force Quit Apps on Windows

If you want to force an unresponsive program to close back to the screen, there are three different ways for that.

  • Keyboard shortcut.
  • Windows Task Manager.
  • Command Prompt.

How to Force Quit Apps/Program on Windows Using Keyboard Shortcut

  • Select the frozen application.
  • Now, simultaneously press Alt + F4 keys.

How to Force Quit Apps/Program on Windows Using Windows Task Manager

Task manager is a windows component responsible for viewing programs running in the background. It can be used for closing programs that are unresponsive.

  • Press Control + Alt + Delete.
  • Select “Task Manager”.
  • Click on the program you want to force stop. If you can’t find your desired program, click more details in the windows bottom-left corner.
  • Click End Task to quit the program.

How to Force Quit an Application using Command Prompt

You can also use the command prompt to find and close unresponsive tasks. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press Windows key + R.
  • In the Run window, type tasklist and press Enter. This will get you the list of all the running programs on your computer.
  • Type taskkill/im [name_of_program].exe. For instance, if you want to close chrome, enter taskkill/im chrome.exe.
  • Press Enter and wait to see the confirmation message that says you’ve successfully forced quit the unresponsive program.

How to Force Quit Running Programs on Other Platforms

Chrome OS

  • Open Task Manager using Shift + Esc.
  • Select the program you want to force stop.
  • Click the End process button at the bottom-right of the screen.

iPad and iPhone

  • Double-tap Home button
  • Find the program you want to force quit
  • Swipe the program up on your device.

On a Mac

Go to the Apple menu and simply select the Force Quit option. You can also try Command + Option + Escape key combination to prompt up a Force Quit Applications window.

In Linux

  • Open the Terminal Window.
  • Type xkill.
  • Click the program and press Enter to force stop it.


If you often experience system crashing or unresponsive programs, don’t forget to check system updates. Install the latest software update to improve the overall stability of the system. However, if your programs occasionally get stuck, you can use this blog as your guide to force quit apps on Windows and other OS.

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