Ending a program using Windows Task Manager

Using Windows Task manager.

If you would like to end a program that is not responding or crashed. This can be easily be done using the Windows Task Manager. In most cases these methods will work, but on occasion won't be loadable due to restrictions on the computer, usually on public computers & work computers.

Note: We take no resposiblity for any harm that could be caused by using the task manager, please proceed with caution.

Loading the Task Manager

Main method for loading the task manager


  • In Windows 2K, XP & Vista you can access the task manager by simply pressing the Control + Alt + Del keys simultaneously on your keyboard. The task manager will either load straight away, or you will be taken to a screen where you can run the task manager Windows 2K - XP(fig.1)  & Windows Vista & 7 (fig.2)


Windows XP Ctrl Alt Delete

fig.1 Windows 2K & XP Control Alt Delete options

  • In Windows 2k & XP after pressing the Control+Alt+Delete keys, the above menu appears select "Task Manager"

Windows Vista 7 Ctrl Alt Delete

fig.2 Windows Vista & Windows 7 Control Alt Delete options

  • In Windows Vista & Windows 7 after pressing the Control+Alt+Delete keys, the above menu appears select "Start Task Manager"


Alternate way to load the Task Manager

  • The second way of getting to the task menu in Windows 2K, XP, Vista & 7 is by right clicking an empty area on the task bar with your mouse and selecting "Task Manager" from the popup menu (fig.3). (This way may not always be accessible if the system has crashed the explorer shell)

Task manager from Task bar

fig.3 Accessing Task Manager from the Task Bar.


  • During the time that the task manager is running, a small icon will be shown in the system tray that displays the current load of the CPU. If the computer is in a bad state before loading the Task manager, this icon will offten appear long before the complete interface loads for the Task manager.

Task manager in tray

fig.4 Task manager running in System tray


Using the Windows Task Manager

Applications tab

  • Ok so we now have the Windows Task manager loaded, below (fig.5) is from the task manager from Windows Vista, you will see that there are some tabs at the top of the task manager, and the one we have selected is Applications (fig.5).

Task manager -Applications

fig.5 Applications tab in Task Manager

  • We can see in the list under the Applications tab, that there are a few programs that are running, (if the program you want to stop is not listed under Applications; then please proceed to the section below on the "Process tab")
  • Below (fig.6) shows that if we right click on the listed application (in this case Microsoft Word) a drop down menu gives the option to "End Task" by clicking on end task the program will start to terminate.

Applications end task

fig.6 Ending a task within the Applications tab.

  • The other option that comes up that might be useful too, is the "Go To Process" under the dropdown menu (fig.7).

Go to Process Windows Task Manager

fig.7 Go To Process within the Applications tab.

  • If the Go To Process is click it will automatically take you to the "Processes" tab covered in the next section.

Processes tab

Below (fig.8) under the process tab, we can see the process "winword.exe" which is Microsoft Word running, and how much RAM it is using and some other information.


Task manager - Processes

fig.8 Processes running under the Processes tab.


  • To end a process or an application that is only under the process tab, simply right click on its "Image name" in this case again "WINWORD.EXE" and click End Process (fig.9) and the program will start to terminate.

Task manager - Processes

fig.9 Ending a processes or program from the process tab under the Task Manager.


We hope this tutorial has been useful.


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