5 Ways To Kill Not Responding/Frozen Windows Apps

ARKMS who owns a Spanish blog suggested me an app for killing the frozen and not responding Windows apps easily. I thought I’d better compile all my inventory of tools with similar functions.

A program or software may stop responding due to several reasons including but not limited to hardware conflicts, lack of resources or bugs in the software itself. Generally the approach taken to kill/close the processes that are not responding is to go to task manager and “End Task” the frozen app. But if this happens frequently, then it’s better to try out one or all of the ways that I am mentioning here.

1- Kill

Kill is a little app written with AutoHotkeys which does the work as its name suggests. It can kill any process or application with only one click. If the application stops responding, just double click the Kill app and then click on the window that you want to terminate.

Download:

Kill (208.2 KiB, 11,144 hits)

2- xKill

xKill is a similar app to Kill but it’s more advanced in the sense that it can run in the system tray and has a shortcut to activate kill mode. So if an application is not responding, just press Ctrl – Alt – BackSpace. This will activate the kill mode and clicking on any window will terminate that process. To deactivate the kill mode without killing any app, just press Esc.

Download:

xKill (17.9 KiB, 7,668 hits)

3- Registry hack

Windows has an Auto End Task timer which means that after a specified time interval, the not responding applications will be terminated automatically. Setting this Auto End Task timer to 0 seconds will terminate the not responding apps instantaneously.

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To alter the registry setting for this timer:

Go to Start –> Run –> regedit

Go to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

In the right hand pane, find the key called “WaitToKillAppTimeout”, double click it and set the time to wait for not responding applications to come back to normal. The time is in milliseconds. If you want to end the task immediately, give the value as 0 but this will not be wise.

4- Taskkill batch file/Command Line

There’s a Windows command called Taskkill which is used to terminate processes. Simply create a shortcut with the following command:

taskkill.exe /f /fi “status eq not responding”

You can also download this shortcut from the following location and use it from wherever you want.

Task Kill Shortcut (77.0 KiB, 4,683 hits)

5- Process Assassin

Process Assassin is a software utility that can terminate the not responding applications. If any application is not responding, just select it from the Process Assassin menu and terminate it. Process Assassin also includes a predefined set of famous applications that can be terminated easily.

Download:

Process Assassin 1.1 (314.2 KiB, 11,887 hits)

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13 thoughts on “5 Ways To Kill Not Responding/Frozen Windows Apps

  1. billf

    This tip is a godsend. I’m so sick and tired of waiting endlessly for a hung application to terminate. This works nicely. Thanks.

  2. dragondeathlord

    This first time here but I felt needed to post as the problem is a merely a symptom , of a larger trend. The fact of the matter is Administration rights you can not end a process that has System rights only.

    that is to say if a register key was to have System rights only and was being affected by turned off a system process/program it will not allow it even if Explorer or Firefox or what ever was meant to be controlled by the user. Example would be a flash plugin. I find it annoying as Administrator was meant to be a super user with system rights but in it’s arrogance MS has limited Administration powers to a point were there little more than a glorified User with just above normal access. Check the default on your registry security you will find many setting set to system(group) only. Now why you can change the security settings programs and plugins will still be able to install with default system(group)access only to read or and write only till you track em down and change them your self to include Administrator(group).

    I personally go threw and change as many security settings as I can so Administrator has full power. Fixes 90% of my problems involving Killing a program or deleting a file or ending a stubborn process.

    Again to summarize if taskmaster will not let you kill a process 90% of the time it’s a security rights on a process that your not allowed to affect as you are not really a Administrator with Administrator full Administrator rights. In a normal OS like Linux a Super User will have ultimate power by default and should always have final say but in windos7 and Vista and to a lesser extent XP System will have full control and special permission by default. Hence all the head aches. Heck lot Virus makers count on this wonderful security.

    Personally I alway felt MS OS’s Should have a Guest who can not write to system drive , User(as we see it now), Administrator (as we see it now) and a Super Administrator (that strangely enough would have full control/permission. That is to say anything system can access a administrator should be able to access and be all inclusive like GOD.)

    OK You Can All Flame me now and say it’s nonsense or/and explain why a Administrator should not have as default full Administrator rights. Witch is supposed to be the point of being Administrator.

    PS My eye sight sucks so there by dose my spelling live with it.

  3. Sprawl

    Great tip!
    Taskkill does exactly what I needed – I can lauch a program from Flash, then this lets me kill it when I want to.

  4. JMontes

    I simply use windows task manager to kill processes and if it still dont kill then I reboot my computer. hehehe

    now I have something to use to kill them. thanks

  5. enrico

    believe me, sometimes the only solution to kill a hanging program or process is to restart windows. others metods or programs don’t work. tested.
    i have windows 7 x64 ultimate.

  6. Sanix Post author

    @enrico You’re absolutely right. Sometimes nothing works. We just need to restart Windows in order to get things going. And sometimes this also doesn’t work. Re-installing Windows is the only solution. It’s just the worst case scenario 🙂

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