How To Force An App To Close On Windows

Sometimes when your computer is running slow you can struggle to close an app, with these simple steps you can force quit any app in Windows.

How to force an app to close on Windows

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One of the most frustrating things when using Windows is when you get an unresponsive message on an app or on the internet.

In this situation you may actually struggle to close the app or window at all, your mouse may not be moving, and your whole operating system may even be frozen.

In these situations there are emergency tools you can use to close the app or window and stop them running so you can regain control of your computer’s processing power.

There are some easy steps you can do this, as well as some more complex steps for when you are really in a pickle.

Keep reading to learn how to force quit on an app or on the internet with Windows.


Force Quit With Keyboard Shortcuts

We’ve all heard of Ctrl + Alt + Del, right? What about Alt + F4? Don’t press it now, before we get a chance to explain! But if you’re in a stitch, and you need to close a window down- we’ve got you covered.



Alt + F4

Many people don’t realize that Alt + F4, so long as your keyboard and computer are equipped with function keys, they are on the top row of the keyboard and often go from 1 – 12, this won’t work on a Mac for example or there will be other commands that complete the same thing, will force close whatever you are in right now.

Maybe don’t practice this until you hit the end of the article, but if you simply press Alt + F4 once you are done reading your internet window will close automatically, this works within an app as well and is a common Windows function.


Force Quit Using Task Master

We all must have heard about Ctrl + Alt + Del at some point in this modern generation.

The keyboard command has become so common that it has gained its own colloquial meaning in English that can be used in normal conversation without even mentioning a computer.

But some people still might not know how to use it properly, or its actual function within Windows, which is to force stop apps.



Ctrl + Alt + Del

If you hit Ctrl + Alt + Del now, it won’t force quit anything, it will send you to a ‘service screen’ whereby you can complete many functions as well as using Task Master.

You can do many things with this service screen, it gives you access to switch users, lock your computer in emergencies, as well as accessing the relevant power functions.

More relevant for us, is the Task Manager option. This is a smaller window that shows you the apps which are running at the time and their status, essentially if they are working or not.

Through this you can locate the app which has become unresponsive and you can hit the ‘End Task’ button which will force quit the app.


Force Quit Using A Command Prompt

This requires you to open the administrator view which can freak a few people out, but is totally fine if you don’t have access to Task Manager.



Open Command Window

Hit the Windows key + R this sends you to a run screen, simply type ‘cmd’ into this search box and your Command window will open.



Type ‘tasklist’

Now you are messing with source code, so be careful you can do anything here which involves programming and computing.

Simply type ‘tasklist’ and you will see a list of all the apps as well which ones are running.



Force Close App

Simply identify which isn’t running and fill out this piece of code:

‘taskkill/im [name of programme].exe.’ e.g. ‘taskkill/im spotify.exe.’

Final Thoughts

It’s clear there are many ways to force quit an app on WIndows. One of these steps should resolve your issue.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.