3 ways to force quit apps or programs on a Windows PC

Business professional using desktop PC at office
The force quit feature helps you exit out of applications when they’re frozen. JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images

When things go wrong, it can feel like time slows down. And when it comes to technology, unexpected issues, like an application freezing up, can bring your day to a halt.

After all, if the problem app won’t close, you have no choice but to deal with it right away. If you have a Windows computer, the force-quit option is a useful tool in that circumstance.

Here are three common methods to force quit on a Windows computer.

How to force quit on Windows using a keyboard shortcut

Be aware that if you don’t complete step one of this method, your computer – rather than the app – will shut down.

1. Click to select the application that has stopped working.

2. Press Alt + F4.

How to force quit on Windows using Task Manager

1. Press Control + Alt + Delete. You’ll then see a Preparing security settings window, along with a list of available options.

2. Choose Task Manager.

3. Select the application that you want to force quit.

4. Click End task.

How to force quit on Windows using Command Prompt

1. Press Windows key + R.

2. Type cmd into the search box and press Enter.

3. Type tasklist into the Command Prompt. You’ll then see a list of tasks and programs running on your computer.

4. Enter taskkill/im [name_of_program].exe. For example, if you want to quit Spotify, you’d enter taskkill/im spotify.exe.

5. Press Enter.

You should see a confirmation message once you’ve completed these steps.

7 easy ways to speed up your Windows 10 computer, from disabling unneeded effects to upgrading your hardwareHow to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode and then exit laterHow to change the admin user on a Windows 10 computer, and add or remove admin accountsHow to install Windows 10 onto a new computer using a USB drive