Process control

How to end process on Windows 10

If an app or feature like File Explorer are not responding, you can kill the process in at least four ways – Here's how on Windows 10.

Windows 10 kill process

On Windows 10, there are a lot of processes running in the background to run parts of the operating system as well as applications when they start automatically at startup or manually by the end user.

Although processes are essential, sometimes they can cause problems, such as high processor and memory usage, or they can stop responding or misbehave, preventing you from continue using the device.

If you’re experiencing issues with an app or feature on Windows 10, you can identify the name or Process Identifier (PID) to kill the process to fix the problem using Task Manager, Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Settings.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to terminate app processes on Windows 10.

How to kill process using Task Manager

To kill a Windows 10 process with Task Manager, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Task Manager and select the top result to open the app.

  3. Click the More details button (if applicable).

  4. Click the Processes tab.

  5. Select the problematic process on Windows 10.

  6. Click the End task button.

    Kill process with Task Manager
    Kill process with Task Manager
    Quick tip: You can also right-click the process and select the End task option. Also, with some processes like File Explorer, the option will be Restart, not End task.
  7. (Optional) Click the Details tab.

  8. Select the process name. (Unlike the “Processes” tab, in this tab, you’ll see the process name instead of the app name.)

    End task using Details tab on Task Manager
    End task using Details tab on Task Manager
  9. Click the End task button.

Once you complete the steps, the process will stop running, and you can open it again to continue working with the application.

How to kill process using Command Prompt

To kill a process with Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to list the processes and press Enter:

    tasklist | more

    Tasklist command
    Tasklist command
  4. Confirm the process name and identification number.

  5. Type the following command to kill task by process name and press Enter:

    taskkill /im PROCESS-NAME /f
    Taskkill command on Windows 10
    Taskkill command on Windows 10

    In the command, make sure to replace PROCESS-NAME with the process name and extension of the process you want to terminate.

  6. Type the following command to kill task by process ID and press Enter:

    taskkill /f /pid PID-NUMBER
    Taskkill withTaskkill with PID command on Windows 10PID command on Wnidows 10
    Taskkill with PID command on Windows 10

    In the command, make sure to replace PID-NUMBER with the identifier number of the process you want to terminate.

After you complete the steps, the command will terminate the problematic process, so you can continue working on your device.

How to kill process using PowerShell

To kill a process with PowerShell, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to list the processes and press Enter:

    Get-Process | more

    Get-Process command on PowerShell
    Get-Process command on PowerShell
  4. Confirm the process name and identification number.

  5. Type the following command to kill task by process name and press Enter:

    Stop-Process -Name PROCESS-NAME -Force
    Stop-Process command on PowerShell
    Stop-Process command on PowerShell

    In the command, make sure to replace PROCESS-NAME with the name of the process you want to terminate.

  6. Type the following command to kill task by process ID and press Enter:

    Stop-Process -ID PID-NUMBER -Force
    Stop-Process with PID command on PowerShell
    Stop-Process with PID command on PowerShell

    In the command, make sure to replace PID-NUMBER with the identifier number of the process you want to terminate.

Once you complete the steps, the command will terminate the process that isn’t responding or acting up on Windows 10.

How to kill process using Settings

If you’re having problems with a Microsoft Store app, you can also use the Settings app to terminate the process.

To terminate a Microsoft Store app with Settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click on Apps & features.

  4. Under the “Apps & features” section, select the app that you want to stop.

  5. Click the Advanced options link.

    App settings advanced options link
    App settings advanced options link
  6. Click the Terminate button.

    Windows 10 terminate app using Settings
    Windows 10 terminate app using Settings

After you complete the steps, the action will terminate the app and its related processes.

We’re focusing this guide on Windows 10, but the ability to kill a process has been around for a long time, which means that you can use these instructions (except the Settings steps) on Windows 7 as well as on Windows 8.1.