How to Force Close Programs on Windows

Welcome to our guide on how to force close programs on Windows. We’ve all been there – trying to close a program, but it just won’t respond. It’s frustrating and can even slow down your computer. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll take you through the 12 steps to force close on Windows, as well as some tips and tricks to avoid this problem in the future. So, let’s get started.

Step-by-Step Guide to Force Close on Windows

Step 1: Try Normal Closing First

Before you force close a program, it’s always best to try closing it normally first. This is done by clicking on the X in the top right corner of the program window. If that doesn’t work, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Press Alt + F4

If the program is not responding to the X button, try pressing the Alt + F4 key combination. This should bring up the “Close Program” window and allow you to close it normally. If that doesn’t work, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Use Task Manager

If both the X button and Alt + F4 fail to close the program, you’ll need to use Task Manager. To open Task Manager, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. This will bring up the Task Manager window.

Step 4: Find the Program

In the Task Manager window, find the program you want to force close under the “Processes” tab. You can sort the list by name or by CPU usage by clicking on the appropriate column header.

Step 5: Select the Program

Once you’ve found the program, select it by clicking on it. This should highlight the program in blue.

Step 6: Click End Task

After selecting the program, click on the “End Task” button at the bottom right of the window. This will attempt to close the program normally.

Step 7: Wait for Program to Close

Give the program a few seconds to close normally. If it doesn’t close within a few seconds, move on to the next step.

Step 8: Use End Process

If the program still hasn’t closed, right-click on the program in the Task Manager and click on “End Process”. This will force close the program.

Step 9: Confirm End Process

A warning message will appear, asking if you’re sure you want to end the process. Click on “End Process” to confirm.

Step 10: Wait for Process to End

Give the computer a few seconds to end the process. This may take a little longer than closing the program normally.

Step 11: Check if Program is Closed

Check if the program has been closed by going back to the desktop or opening the program list.

Step 12: Restart Computer (if necessary)

If the program still won’t close, you may need to restart your computer to close it completely. This should only be done as a last resort.

Now that you know how to force close programs on Windows, you can solve this issue quickly and easily.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Save Your Work Regularly

Saving your work regularly can help prevent the need to force close programs. If the program does freeze, you can restart it and still have your work saved.

Tip 2: Check for Updates

Updating your programs and Windows regularly can help prevent freezing and crashing.

Tip 3: Close Programs Properly

Closing programs properly by clicking on the X button or using Alt + F4 can help prevent programs from freezing.

Tip 4: Remove Unnecessary Programs

Removing unnecessary or old programs can help keep your computer running smoothly and prevent freezing.

Tip 5: Use Antivirus Software

Using antivirus software can help prevent malware and viruses from causing freezing and crashing.

Tip 6: Use Task Manager Regularly

Checking Task Manager regularly for programs that are using too much CPU usage can help prevent freezing.

Tip 7: Keep Your Computer Clean

Keeping your computer physically and digitally clean can help prevent freezing and crashing.

Tip 8: Check for Hardware Issues

Hardware issues can cause freezing and crashing. Checking your hardware regularly can help prevent this issue.

Tip 9: Close Unnecessary Tabs and Windows

Closing unnecessary tabs and windows can help reduce the strain on your computer’s resources.

Tip 10: Restart Your Computer Regularly

Restarting your computer regularly can help clear the memory and prevent freezing and crashing.

Following these tips and tricks, along with knowing how to force close on Windows, can help keep your computer running smoothly and efficiently.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Forcing Close on Windows


1. Saves time: If an application is not responding or frozen, then forcing close can save a lot of time rather than waiting for it to respond.

2. Can help to recover from crashes: Forcing close can help to recover from a crash caused by a non-responsive application or program.

3. Prevents system hang-ups: It ensures that the system does not hang-up due to non-responsive applications, allowing users to continue with their work.

4. Easy access: The process of force closing is easy, and can be done by anyone without any technical knowledge.

5. Helps to protect data: It helps to prevent data loss due to freeze or crashes, as unsaved data can be saved before force closing.

6. Can improve system performance: Force closing of unnecessary programs can help to improve system performance by reducing the load on the system.

7. Prevents errors: By force closing the applications that are not responding, it can prevent system errors and crashes.

8. Can increase productivity: Force closing can help to increase productivity by preventing delays caused by non-responsive applications or programs.

9. Useful for troubleshooting: Force closing is a useful tool for troubleshooting system problems caused by non-responsive applications or programs.

10. Can help to reduce frustration: By force closing non-responsive applications, it can help to reduce frustration caused by delays.


1. Possibility of data loss: If the unsaved data is not saved before force closing, data loss is possible.

2. Can cause system instability: Force closing can cause system instability and lead to system crashes or errors.

3. Can leave processes running: Force closing can cause processes to run in the background, leading to system slowdowns and performance issues.

4. Can damage applications: Force closing can damage applications and cause them to malfunction or fail to start in the future.

5. Can cause file corruption: Force closing can cause file corruption, resulting in data loss or system instability.

6. Can cause unpredictable results: Force closing can cause unpredictable results, leading to system crashes or errors.

7. Can lead to hardware damage: Force closing can lead to hardware damage, such as overheating of the system due to processes running in the background.

8. Can reduce system reliability: Frequent or unnecessary force-closing can reduce system reliability and cause system crashes or errors.

9. Can cause application conflicts: Force closing can cause conflicts between different applications, leading to system slowdowns or crashes.

10. Can cause a loss of unsaved changes: If the unsaved data is not saved before force closing, it can lead to a loss of unsaved changes.

FAQ – How to Force Close on Windows

1. What does it mean to force close an application?

Force closing an application means to abruptly terminate it without properly shutting it down. It is usually done when an application becomes unresponsive or is causing issues with the computer.

2. How do I force close an application using Task Manager?

Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager. Find the application you want to close under the Processes tab, right-click on it and select End task.

3. Can I force close an application without using Task Manager?

Yes, you can force close an application by pressing Alt + F4 while it is in focus. This will bring up the Close Program dialog, where you can select the application and click End task.

4. What is the difference between ending a task and ending a process?

Ending a task is a more gentle way of closing an application, as it allows it to save any unsaved work and shut down properly. Ending a process, on the other hand, is a more forceful method which can cause data loss and potential issues with the computer.

5. How do I force close a frozen program?

First, try to end the task using Task Manager. If that doesn’t work, try ending the process instead. If all else fails, you may need to restart your computer.

6. Can force closing an application damage my computer?

Force closing an application can potentially cause data loss or corruption, but it is unlikely to cause any permanent damage to your computer.

7. What should I do if I accidentally force close an important application?

Try reopening the application and see if any unsaved work was lost. If necessary, restore from a backup if one is available.

8. How can I prevent the need to force close applications?

Regularly saving your work and closing applications properly can help prevent the need to force close them. Also, keeping your computer updated and running smoothly can help prevent issues with applications.

9. Is it safe to force close a system process?

No, force closing a system process can cause serious issues with your computer. Always use caution when ending processes and make sure you know what they do before ending them.

10. Why won’t an application close even after I’ve tried to force close it?

There may be a problem with the application or the operating system. Try restarting your computer and see if the problem persists.

11. Can I recover unsaved work after force closing an application?

It is unlikely, but some applications may have an autosave function that can recover some unsaved work. It is always best to save your work frequently to prevent loss in the first place.

12. Is there a keyboard shortcut to force close an application?

Yes, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to bring up Task Manager and then follow the same steps as in question 2.

13. Can I force close multiple applications at once?

Yes, you can select multiple applications in Task Manager and then click End task to force close them all at once.

How to force close on Windows


In conclusion, sometimes an application or program on our Windows computer may become unresponsive and we may need to force close it. There are several methods to perform this action, but we must be careful and use it only when it is necessary. Force closing an application can lead to loss of unsaved data and may cause problems in the future.

Using the Task Manager is the easiest and quickest method to force close an unresponsive application. Simply right-click on the application in the Task Manager and select “End Task”. If the Task Manager is also unresponsive, we can use the Command Prompt or PowerShell to force close the application.

If none of the above methods work, we can shutdown or restart our computer. This will close all running applications and processes and should resolve the issue. However, we must remember to save all our work before shutting down or restarting.


Thank you for reading this article on how to force close on Windows. We hope that this guide has helped you to resolve any issues with unresponsive applications. Remember to use this action only when necessary and to always save our work before performing a force close.

Until next time, take care and happy computing!