Kill, Terminate or Stop a Windows Unresponsive, Hanged or Frozen Application or Process
There are a lot of buggy and error prone programs and applications for Windows operating system that may cause your system, desktop or application itself to behave strangely. Beside, the program may be not responding too. Sometimes in worse case, an application may have memory leak where used memory are not released to other purpose, and uses up all available CPU or system resource, causing system to unresponsive or freeze, and simply hang up on you. In this situation, it's possible to stop or end the not responding application or process by using Windows Task Manager.
Use Windows Task Manager To kill, terminate, stop or end an unresponsive or hanged application:
Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys simultaneously in Windows XP or Ctrl-Alt-Esc in Windows Vista, and then click on Task Manager.
Alternatively, right click on taskbar and select Task Manager. You can also start Task Manager by manually starting "taskmgr" from Run command in Start Menu.
In the Windows Task Manager window, locate and select (highlight) the application or program that's not responding.
If your system is crawling and extremely slow in responding, you may also check out for services or processes that using too much CPU resources or memory resources.
Click on End Task.
A Task Manager Warning dialog saying "Terminating a process can cause undesired results including loss of data and system instability. The process will not be given the chance to save its state or data before it is terminated. Are you sure you want to terminate the process?" will appear. Confirm the process by clicking on OK or End Now.
It's advised not to stop a system process. Stopping a system process can cause the computer to hang or freeze up.
How to use Task Manager Help
Everything that you might want to know about Task Manager is included in the Task Manager Help file. Some of the help topics are intended for a general audience. Other topics are intended for a more advanced audience. To view the Task Manager Help file, follow these steps:
Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then click Task Manager.
In Task Manager, click Help, and then click Task Manager Help Topics.
In the "Task Manager overview" topic, you can read about the features and uses of Task Manager by clicking the following topics and reading the topic and all related topics:
Programs that are running
Processes that are running
How to monitor your computer's performance
Click the Performance tab to view a dynamic overview of the performance of your computer. This includes the following measures:
Graphs for CPU and memory usage
The total number of handles, threads, and processes that are running
Handles are unique identifiers that allow a program to access system resources such as files, registry keys, fonts, and bitmaps. Threads are objects within processes that run program instructions.
The total number of kilobytes (KB) that are used for physical, kernel, and commit memory
Note Your system administrator may have implemented a local policy on your computer to disable Task Manager. In this scenario, you should contact the system administrator or your help desk if you need local process control or the ability to monitor the computer's performance.
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