Why Can’t I End Processes in Task Manager?

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Users of Windows operating systems can monitor and manage active processes, services, and programs using Task Manager, a robust tool. 

However, there are times when users may struggle to terminate programs using the Task Manager. 

This post will examine the potential barriers to terminating a process via the Task Manager. Users can troubleshoot problems and, if necessary, identify alternate solutions by being aware of their causes.

Why Can’t I End Processes in Task Manager?

It is because of system processes, insufficient administrative privileges, hung or unresponsive processes, dependent processes, kernel mode processes, and antivirus or security applications. But if any other application is not ending, it is stuck in the directory. 

System processes sometimes get potential bugs due to various errors and misconfigurations. This Task Manager issue is also an example of such a bug. Here we have listed all the possible reasons why your Task Manager is not working and you are unable to end any process:

System Critical Processes

The fact that certain processes are essential for the stability and functionality of the operating system is one of the main reasons they cannot be stopped in the Task Manager. The abrupt termination of these activities could cause system instability or even crashes because they are crucial for the fundamental operations of the system. 

Windows forbids users from killing crucial programs using the Task Manager to preserve the system’s integrity.

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Insufficient User Privileges

Sometimes, the user account trying to terminate a process might not have the appropriate rights. Some processes and programs demand administrator rights be terminated, particularly those connected to system-level functions or services. Users won’t be able to terminate these processes through the Task Manager without the necessary rights.

Hung or Unresponsive Processes

Sometimes, a process could “hang” or cease responding, preventing it from working properly. Users may attempt to end the process in such circumstances to reclaim control of their system. 

However, the process might not react to requests for termination if it is in an unending loop or has certain other problems. The Task Manager is unable to force-terminate the process in such circumstances.

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Dependency on Other Processes

Some Task Manager processes are dependent on or connected to other processes or services. System instability or mistakes may result from the termination of one operation if unanticipated implications for other connected processes follow. 

Windows forbids users from terminating programs that depend on other essential components to protect system integrity.

Kernel Mode Processes

Some processes are active in the kernel, the part of the operating system that controls how hardware and software interact. The Task Manager cannot be used to end certain processes since they are necessary for the system’s stabilityKernel mode processes are guarded against user involvement since doing so could jeopardize the integrity and security of the operating system.

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Confliction of Antivirus or Security Software

Antivirus or security software frequently includes real-time protection capabilities that actively monitor processes and system activity to find and stop possible threats. The Task Manager may not be allowed to end specific processes connected to antivirus or security software to guarantee these security measures’ efficacy. It avoids unintentional termination and possibly security-measure bypasses.

How To Fix Process Not Ending In Task Manager?

You can fix this by changing user account controls, running Task Manager with administrative privileges, using Process Explorer through command prompt commands, restarting the PC in safe mode, updating or reinstalling the problematic application, and scanning and removing the virus. 

Check and Change User Account Control (UAC) Settings

The first step is ensuring your User Account Control (UAC) settings are not blocking you from terminating processes. Windows has a security feature called UAC that has the power to limit specific actions.

To open the Run dialogue box, use the Windows key + R. To open the System Configuration window, enter “msconfig” and press Enter. Scroll in the “Tools” menu until you see “Change UAC Settings.” Just click on it and then press “Launch.”

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Verify that the slider is set to “Never notify” or “Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer.” You might be unable to halt processes if they are set to the highest level.

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Run Task Manager as Administrator

Run Task Manager as an administrator if you cannot terminate a process with normal permissions. Use the context menu to choose “Task Manager,” then right-click on the taskbar.

Click “More details” at the bottom of Task Manager’s streamlined view is shown. Select “File” in the top-left corner of the extended Task Manager window to open a file. From the drop-down menu, select “Run a new task.” Activate the checkbox next to “Create this task with administrative privileges.” Enter “taskmgr” into the input field.

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Use Process Explorer To Kill Process

If the techniques mentioned above weren’t successful, you could try utilizing Process Explorer, a third-party application that offers more sophisticated process management features. Visit the Microsoft website to download Process Explorer. 

Open Process Explorer, then choose the target process you want to kill. Click on the process, choose “Kill Process” from the context menu, or hit the Del key on your keyboard. When prompted, confirm the termination.

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Utilize Command Prompt To Exit Program

Using the Command Prompt is another approach to end a process forcibly. To open the Run dialogue box, use the Windows key + R. To open an elevated Command Prompt, enter “cmd” and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter. 

Put the name of the process you wish to end in place of “process_name” in the Command Prompt window and type “taskkill /f /im process_name.exe” without quotation marks. To carry out the order and abruptly finish the procedure, press Enter.

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Restart in Safe Mode To End the Process

You can try rebooting your computer in Safe Mode if none of the solutions work. Only necessary drivers and services are loaded in this mode, which may enable you to stop the problematic operation.

To enter the Settings app, press the “Windows key + I.” Go to “Update & Security.” Choose “Recovery” from the left-hand option under “Update & Security” on the web page. Go to “Advanced startup” and select “Restart now.”

Once the computer has restarted, choose “Troubleshoot,” then “Advanced options,” and lastly, “Startup Settings.” After clicking the “Restart” button, select the “Safe Mode” option using the corresponding number key.

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Update or Reinstall Problematic Applications

Task Managers may occasionally have problems, making it impossible for you to terminate processes. In some circumstances, reinstalling or upgrading the offending application may fix the issue. To ensure you have the most recent version installed, go to the app’s official website or use the built-in update option.

Scan for Malware

Infections with malware can obstruct system functions and prevent them from finishing. A thorough scan should be performed using dependable antivirus or anti-malware software to find and eliminate any possible malware. Do a comprehensive system scan and ensure your security software is current.

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How Do I Close An Application That Won’t Close?

You can do it by using the end process function of Task Manager, force close the taskbar, ending the process tree, using specific commands in the command prompt or PowerShell, or restarting your computer. Some of these methods could lead to the loss of unsaved files, so be cautious. 

Use the Task Manager To Close the App

You can control and keep track of active processes using the Task Manager, a feature of Windows. You may open it by holding down the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at once or by right-clicking the taskbar and choosing “Task Manager.”

Depending on your version of Windows, select the “Processes” or “Details” tab when the Task Manager has opened. Search the list of processes for the program that is not responding or won’t shut down. Simply perform right-click on it and select “End Task” or “End Process.” If any prompts appear, confirm them, and the program should be terminated abruptly.

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Force-close The App from the Taskbar

You can sometimes forcefully close an application right from the taskbar. If a context menu displays after performing a right-click on the taskbar icon for the application, search for a choice to “Close,” “Exit,” or “End Task.” If the application responds to this command, select it; otherwise, it will close normally.

Use the Alt + F4 keyboard shortcut if the application’s window is the one that is the focus. This key combination can sometimes bypass unresponsiveness and is a universal method for closing open windows. If the application supports this command, closing it should happen when you press Alt and F4 at the same time.

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End Application’s Process Tree

Try ending the entire process tree if the application’s process is still active despite your efforts to stop it. Right-click the application’s process in the “Processes” or “Details” tab of the Task Manager and select “End Process Tree.” The primary process of the application and any linked child processes will end as a result of this action.

Use Command Prompt or PowerShell To End Process

If none of those mentioned above approaches work, you can force-quit an application using PowerShell or the Command Prompt. You can launch the Command Prompt or PowerShell by typing “cmd” or “PowerShell” into the Start menu. When it opens, enter the command you just typed in:

The command “taskkill /f /im application_name.exe” The real name of the application’s executable file, should be used in place of “application_name.exe.” For example, “taskkill /f /im chrome.exe.”

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Forcefully Restart your Computer To Exit the Stuck App

Restarting your computer is your final resort if none of the solutions mentioned above work or you can’t reach the Task Manager. All currently active processes, including the unresponsive program, will end. 

You should be able to reopen the application or address any problems causing it to hang after the restart. It’s important to remember that if you have unsaved work, abruptly quitting an application could result in data loss.


There are several reasons why Task Managers cannot terminate processes. System crucial processes are safeguarded and cannot be terminated to maintain the operating system’s stability. Additionally, some processes that need administrative access to be terminated may be unable to do so due to insufficient user privileges. 

Hanging or unresponsive processes might not react to requests for termination, whereas processes relying on other parts are protected to prevent system instability. Kernel mode processes, which are in charge of maintaining the security and stability of the system, cannot be terminated. 

Antivirus or security software may also stop terminating particular processes to ensure efficient protection. User Account Control (UAC) settings can be changed, Task Manager can be launched with administrative rights, Process Explorer or Command Prompt can be used, and a complete malware and virus scan can be done. 

If an application doesn’t shut down, it can be ended by selecting it in Task Manager and selecting “End Task” or “End Process.” Alternatively, users can use keyboard shortcuts like Alt + F4 to force-quit a program from the taskbar.

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