How to force quit apps in Windows 10 or Windows 11 

Shaant Minhas

windows laptop

Have you been stuck on the same screen in your app for a while now? It might be possible that the app you were using crashed, and now you’re left hanging in a stuck up system.

While random crashes are nothing new in Windows computers, frozen apps are a tedious nonevent for Windows users. No matter the app, whether you want to force quit from a game, or terminate a hanged creative tool, in this article, we’ve laid down different ways to force quit your apps in Windows computers. Let’s get started.

1. Use the Task Manager

If you’ve dabbled with gaming on a Windows PC, you probably must’ve encountered the Task Manager already. In fact, for most Windows gamers, that’s the only use of Task Manager: to terminate or force quit frozen Windows apps.

But it does much more than that. Briefly, the Task Manger is a free system monitor program which gives you the information on different apps, programs, and services running on your PC. But we digress. So let’s stick with the goal. Here’s how you can utilize it to force quit apps on your PC:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key on your keyboard and the Task Manager will be launched. Alternatively, right-click on the Taskbar and select the Task Manager.
  2. On the Task Manger, select the task you want to close and then force quit it by clicking on End task.  

windows task manager

The frozen app will be terminated right away.

2. Alt + F4 Shortcut

Windows has a host of shortcuts that helps you do things in a matter of seconds. One such shortcut is Alt + F4 shortcut. Using this, you can force quit frozen Windows apps without any hassles.

Here’s how. Press the Alt + F4 keys together, and a new dialog box will pop open, asking you to choose an option. You have three options to pick from: Shut down, Restart, and Sleep. Now you don’t have to do much from here. Just by launching this menu, your system should be out of its frozen state.

3. Command Prompt

Another out of the ordinary way is to force quit Windows app, is through the help of Windows Command prompt.

The Command prompt, also called cmd.exe, is a command line interpreter that helps you interact with your PC through keyboard inputs. Interestingly, you can also use it to force quit frozen apps on your Windows. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘cmd,’ and select the Best match.
  2. From there, type in ‘tasklist’ in the Command prompt and hit Enter.

As soon as you do this, the Command prompt will give you a list of programs and tasks that are running on your PC. Now choose the program you’d like to force quit from, and type in the following command in the cmd:

taskkill /im <program>.exe

Replace the <program> from above with the name of the task you want to terminate. So, for example, if you wish to force quit the Notepad app in Windows, the command will be:

taskkill /im notepad.exe

command prompt

You’ll be shown a success message, and the program will be forcefully terminated.

Force quitting apps in Windows 10 or Windows 11

And these are all different methods in our toolkit, folks. Hopefully, one of the methods did the trick for you, and you’re now out of your frozen app. Although random crashes and system hangs are nothing to be wary about if they are once in a while affair. But if you believe these to be more of a regular occurrence, then appropriate steps need to be taken. We suggest a thorough scan with an antivirus to rule any malware involvement, or even factory reset to start everything from a clean slate.