How to Quickly Shut Down a Hung or Unresponsive Application

Sometimes a Windows program or file will hang and just sit there frozen with none of the menus or functions responding to the mouse or keyboard. There are several ways to close down a hung process but the command prompt provides a very quick and easy one with  “taskkill”. The appropriate command is:

   taskkill /f /fi "status eq not responding"

This command can be entered into the command prompt directly or used to create a one-line batch file. To make the batch file, copy and paste the command given above into a blank Notepad file and save as kill-task.bat. Make sure to save as type “All Files” and with extension .bat, not as a text document. Save the file someplace convenient and simply double-click it if you need to close a hung process. Note that this is a one-step process and does not require that you know the name of whatever is hung up. The command closes anything that is not responding.

Does not apply to Windows XP Home, which lacks the Taskkill command.


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