Force Quit or Force Close a Program in Windows

(Pocket Ribbon) – When a program hangs in Windows or just gives you some grief, it can be tricky to fix.

One solution is to force quit. With a few clicks, you can make your way back to a happy place where everything functions as it should. Or at least where the problem program no longer bothers you.

There are a few different ways you can force quit or close a program or app in Windows if you need to. So follow these steps to get started solving your woes.

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Force quit with keyboard shortcuts

If you’re in an app, game, or program and it crashes, it can be a real pain. You can sit there and wait for it to fix itself (who has time for that) or you can use keyboard shortcuts to fix your problem.


In Windows, there are common keyboard shortcuts that work in all apps and programs and are perfectly suited for this task.

If you’re having trouble with an app, press CTRL+X on your keyboard. This is the key combination used to close an app. If that doesn’t work, try ALT+F4. These combinations should close a program unless it is particularly problematic.

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Force Quit Task Manager

If there’s a problem with an app or program that can’t be solved with shortcuts or patience, there’s always the power of Task Manager.

Like all good things, you can access the Task Manager with keyboard shortcuts. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL on your keyboard and you will see a number of options appear, including Task Manager. Click on it to open it.

You can also press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to open the Task Manager directly.

With the Task Manager open, you should see a long list of apps that are currently running. You’ll also see the amount of processing power the apps are currently using, including what percentage of CPU, RAM (memory), and GPU power they’re using. You will also see the problem app, probably with (unresponsive) next to it.

To force close a problem app using the Task Manager:

Click on the problematic app Right click and look for the option to “end task” Click this to quit the task and force close the app If that doesn’t work, right click again and click ” go to details” Then right click on the app again and click on “end process” You will then see a warning that this will close everything Click to confirm

Written by Adrian Willings.

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