Windows 10 Task Manager icon hero

If you need to force a frozen or buggy application to close in Windows 10, you can end a task easily using Windows’ built-in Task Manager utility. Here’s how to do it.

First, open Task Manager. To do so, right-click the taskbar and select “Task Manager” from the pop-up menu. Alternately, you can press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it, or press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select “Task Manager” from the screen that appears.

RELATED: Seven Ways to Open the Windows Task Manager

Right-click on the taskbar and select "Task Manager."

If Task Manager opens in simple mode and you see the name of the task you’d like to end listed, simply select the app name from the list and click the “End Task” button.

Warning: If you end a task without first saving your work you could lose data. It’s best to close the application normally, if possible.

In the simple Task Manager view, select the app you'd like to close, then click "End Task."

The task will end. If the task isn’t listed in simple mode or if you’d like to take a deeper look at what’s going on first, click the “More details” button.

RELATED: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

In Task Manager, click "More details."

After expanding Task Manager to show more details, you’ll see a list of processes (programs running on your computer) with information about how much CPU, memory, disk activity, and network bandwidth they are using.

In the list of processes, select the task you’d like to force to quit, then click the “End Task” button in the lower-right corner of the window.

Warning: You could lose unsaved work in an application if you end the task without saving your work. Additionally, you can use this window to end important operating system tasks. If you do, Windows may behave unusually until you reboot it.

Select the process in Task Manager and click "End Task" in Windows 10.

After that, the program will close. If you find yourself frequently ending the task of a particularly troublesome app, consider updating the app or Windows itself, both of which might solve an underlying bug that is causing the problem. Good luck!

RELATED: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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