How to force quit frozen or unresponsive programs on your Windows-based PC

frustrated man computer not working


If your PC is frozen, don't worry - you may just need to force quit unresponsive programs or windows.

  • You may need to use the "force quit" option on your PC if your system becomes unresponsive.
  • Force quit allows you to exit a frozen or unresponsive program when you can't manually quit the program.
  • Force quitting a frozen program will likely free up valuable memory on your PC, allowing it to function better.
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While computers are generally quick and efficient when it comes to performing the varied tasks we give them on a daily basis, sometimes things can get a bit sluggish and you may even find that your PC stalls or freezes altogether.

Sometimes exiting your windows can help, but that isn't always an option when your operating system comes to a complete standstill.

When all else fails, you may need to utilize the force quit option.

While technically speaking, "force quit" is a term applied to Apple's Mac computers, the same premise applies to Windows-based PCs.

Utilizing the Windows Task Manager, you can force your computer to shut down unresponsive programs so you can get back to work as soon as possible. Here's how to do it.

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How to force quit on a PC

1. When your computer isn't responding to conventional methods of exiting programs, locate and simultaneously press the control + alt + delete buttons on your keyboard to launch a blue screen of user options. Note that if your system is completely frozen, it may take a few moments for this screen to launch.

2. From the list of menu options, look for Task Manager and click to open it.

3. In the Processes tab, look under the Apps heading for the program which is unresponsive. If you don't already know which app is causing the problem, you will see it listed as "Not responding" under the Status column.

4. Click on the program you wish to quit and click End Task at the bottom right-hand corner of the Task Manager. The program will then quit.


Jennifer Still/Business Insider

Highlight a program and click End Task.

Note that force quitting a program will cause you to lose any unsaved changes.

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