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A process is an instance of a program that is being executed. Each process running in Windows is assigned a unique decimal number called the process ID, or PID.

If you notice a running process is reducing your computer's performance because it's hung, not responding, using a high percentage of CPU and/or memory resources, then you can kill the process to end it.

This tutorial will show you different ways on how to kill a process in Windows 10.

CONTENTS:





Kill a Process in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Kill a Process in Windows 10
To Kill a Process in Task Manager Processes Tab

Note   Note
The Processes tab in Task Manager will show you a list of all apps, background processes, and Windows processes that are currently running under only your account.

1. Open Task Manager in more details view.

2. Do step 3 (parent) or step 4 (child) below for which process your want to kill.


 3. To Kill Parent Process and its Child Processes

Note   Note
For example, to kill Google Chrome and all of its opened tabs and windows.

A) Click/tap on the Processes tab. (see screenshots below)

B) Select a parent process you want to kill, and perform one of the actions below:
  • Press the Delete key.
  • Click/tap on the End task button. Explorer will have a Restart button instead.
  • Right click or press and hold on the process, and click/tap on End task.

C) When finished, go to step 5 below.

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 4. To Kill Only a Child Process

Note   Note
For example, to only kill a subprocess (ex: opened drive) instead of all "Windows Explorer" processes.

A) Click/tap on the Processes tab. (see screenshot below)

B) Expand open the parent process (ex: "Windows Explorer) of the child process (ex: "MyBook F:") you want to kill.

C) Select the child process you want to kill, and perform one of the actions below:
  • Press the Delete key.
  • Click/tap on the End task button.
  • Right click or press and hold on the process, and click/tap on End task.

D) When finished, go to step 5 below.

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5. You can now close Task Manager if you like.






Kill a Process in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Kill a Process in Windows 10
To Kill a Process in Task Manager Details Tab

Note   Note
If you are signed in as a standard user, the Details tab in Task Manager will show you a list of all processes currently running under only your account and a description of each process.

If you are signed in as an administrator, the Details tab in Task Manager will also show you a list of all processes currently running on the computer from all users.

1. Open Task Manager in more details view.

2. Click/tap on the Details tab, select a process you want to kill, and perform one of the actions below: (see screenshot below)
  • Press the Delete key.
  • Click/tap on the End task button.
  • Right click or press and hold on the process, and click/tap on End task.

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3. Click/tap on End process to confirm. (see screenshot below)
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4. When finished, you can now close Task Manager if you like.






Kill a Process in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Kill a Process in Windows 10
To Kill a Process in Command Prompt

1. Open a command prompt or an elevated command prompt.

2. Type tasklist into the command prompt, and press Enter to see a list of all currently running processes. Make note of the Image Name and PID of the process (ex: OneDrive) you want to kill. (see screenshots below)
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3. Do step 4 (Image Name) or step 5 (PID) below for how you want to kill the process.


 4. To Kill Process using Image Name

A) Type the command below you want to use into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(To forcefully kill only this process)
taskkill /IM Image Name /F

OR

(To forcefully kill this process and any child processes started by it)
taskkill /IM Image Name /T /F

Note   Note
Substitute Image Name in the command above with the actual Image Name (ex: "OneDrive.exe") from step 2 above for the process you want to kill.

For example: taskkill /IM OneDrive.exe /F
Tip   Tip
If you would like to kill multiple processes at once in one command line, then you would just add an additional /IM Image Name for each process.

For example:

(Two processes)
taskkill /IM Image Name /IM Image Name /F

(Three processes)
taskkill /IM Image Name /IM Image Name /IM Image Name /F
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 5. To Kill Process using PID

A) Type the command below you want to use into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(To forcefully kill only this process)
taskkill /PID PID /F

OR

(To forcefully kill this process and any child processes started by it)
taskkill /PID PID /T /F

Note   Note
Substitute PID in the command above with the actual PID (ex: "5228") from step 2 above for the process you want to kill.

For example: taskkill /PID 5228 /F
Tip   Tip
If you would like to kill multiple processes at once in one command line, then you would just add an additional /PID PID for each process.

For example:

(Two processes)
taskkill /PID PID /PID PID /F

(Three processes)
taskkill /PID PID /PID PID /PID PID /F
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6. When finished, you can close the command prompt if you like.
Note   Note
If you get an Access is denied error message, then it means you will need to run the command in an elevated command prompt instead.






Kill a Process in Windows 10 OPTION FOUR Kill a Process in Windows 10
To Kill a Process in PowerShell

Note   Note
To see more usage options for the Stop-Process command, see: Stop-Process | Microsoft Docs

1. Open PowerShell or an elevated PowerShell.

2. Type Get-Process into PowerShell, and press Enter to see a list of all currently running processes. Make note of the ProcessName and Id (PID) of the process (ex: OneDrive) you want to kill. (see screenshot below)
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3. Do step 4 (Name) or step 5 (ID) below for how you want to kill the process.


 4. To Kill Process using Name

A) Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

Stop-Process -Name "ProcessName" -Force

Note   Note
Substitute ProcessName in the command above with the actual ProcessName (ex: "OneDrive") from step 2 above for the process you want to kill.

For example: Stop-Process -Name "OneDrive" -Force
Tip   Tip
If you would like to kill multiple processes at once in one command line, then you would just add an additional "ProcessName" separated by a comma for each process.

For example:

(Two processes)
Stop-Process -Name "ProcessName","ProcessName" -Force

(Three processes)
Stop-Process -Name "ProcessName","ProcessName","ProcessName" -Force
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 5. To Kill Process using ID (PID)

A) Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

Stop-Process -ID PID -Force

Note   Note
Substitute PID in the command above with the actual Id (ex: "11312") from step 2 above for the process you want to kill.

For example: Stop-Process -ID 11312 -Force
Tip   Tip
If you would like to kill multiple processes at once in one command line, then you would just add an additional PID separated by a comma for each process.

For example:

(Two processes)
Stop-Process -ID PID,PID -Force

(Three processes)
Stop-Process -ID PID,PID,PID -Force
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6. When finished, you can close PowerShell if you like.
Note   Note
If you get an Access is denied error message, then it means you will need to run the command in an elevated PowerShell instead.


That's it,
Shawn