How to Shutdown a Program Without Task Manager in Windows 10

If the Task Manager is not helping you in closing unresponsive programs, here’s a way to shutdown any program without task manager.

In Windows, the Task Manager is one of the most useful and versatile tools. It shows a lot of information and gives you great control over the running applications and services. When there is an unresponsive application, you can use the Task Manager to quickly end the target program with just a few clicks. When you end a program using the Task Manager, it force closes the said program so that it doesn’t freeze the entire system or your work.

As good as it is, there might be times when the task manager doesn’t work. For instance, the other day I’ve seen a program freeze and no matter what I did, the task manager did not open. Simply put, there is no obvious way for me to close the unresponsive program. In those kinds of situations, there are few ways you can follow to shut down a program with the task manager.

So, without further ado, let me show how you can close unresponsive programs without task manager in Windows 10.

Note: The below methods can also be followed in Windows 7 and 8 too.

1] Command to Force Close Unresponsive Programs (Command Prompt)

When there is an unresponsive program, you can use a simple command to kill that program. Just follow the steps as is and you will be good.

1. First, open an elevated Command Prompt window. You can do that by searching for “cmd” in the start menu, right-clicking on it and selecting the “Run as administrator” option.

2. Every running program in Windows is automatically assigned a Process ID. We can use that ID to end the task. So, execute the below command to list all the programs. After that, find the unresponsive app and copy the corresponding PID (Process ID).


3. Once you have the Process ID (PID), execute the below command while replacing “<processID>” with the actual process ID.

taskkill /PID  <processID>

As soon as you execute the command, you will see a “Success: Sent termination signal to the process with ID <processID>” message and the target program will be force closed.

2] Create Taskkill Shortcut

If executing a command each and every time is too much for you, you can create a shortcut. When you execute the shortcut, it will shutdown a program without Task Manager.

1. First, right-click on the desktop and select the “New → Shortcut” option. In the location field, copy and paste the below command and click on the Next button.

taskkill /f /fi "status eq not responding"

When a program is not responding, that specific program window will have “Not Responding” in the window title. The above command will detect the windows that have “Not Responding” in the title window and force closes them.


2. Name the shortcut and click on the “Next” button.

From now on, whenever there is an unresponsive program, double-click on the shortcut you just created and it will shut down the program without opening the task manager.

3] Use Process Explorer

Process Explorer is the first-party Microsoft tool that is a perfect and powerful alternative to the Task Manager. Using Process Explorer, you can kill any application with just a single click. Let me show you how.

1. First, download Process Explorer from Microsoft’s official website. Once downloaded, open the ZIP file and extract the application to your desktop. Next, right-click on it and select the “Run as administrator” option.


2. The user interface may overwhelm you at first but it is pretty easy to use. From the list, find the unresponsive program, right-click on it and select “Kill Process” option.


3. As soon as you select the option, the application will be killed forcefully.

That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

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