How To Auto Kill Not Responding Programs in Windows 11/10

It’s common for a program to hang in Windows. Sometimes it’s because of a lack of resources. Sometimes it’s just there and becomes inaccessible. While you can kill them using the Task Manager, the Task Manager also doesn’t respond appropriately. In this post, we are looking at multiple ways to kill not responding programs in Windows.

How To Auto Kill Not Responding Programs in Windows 11/10

How To Auto Kill Not Responding Programs in Windows

You can use these methods to kill or auto terminate programs in Windows.

  • Registry Editor
  • Tasklist
  • Close a Program with Tasklist Shortcut

Now let’s talk about these methods in brief one by one and use an admin account to follow all these.

1] Configure Timeout in the Registry Editor

  • Use Win + R to open Run Prompt. Type Regedit, and press the Enter key to open Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to the following registry path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  • Right-click on a white space on the right pane, and then create these strings if not available or change the value. Make sure to choose Select New > String value.
    • WaitToKillAppTimeout=2000
    • AutoEndTasks=1
    • HungAppTimeout=1000
    • LowLevelHooksTimeout =1000
  • Enter the String name as mentioned above. Double click on the string, enter the value and click OK.

Once done, this will ensure Windows auto-terminates the program without much waiting.

Generally, Windows waits about 5 seconds for background services to complete their job and release the resources. However, if you think that the time required is more, then you can set the registry value by following the method below:

  • Open Registry Editor and then navigate to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
  • Find and double-click the WaitToKillServiceTimeout string in the right pane.
  • You can then change the value. Since the time is accepted in milliseconds, make sure to change it accordingly.
  • Click on the Ok button and exit.

Now to help you know more about the registry strings. Here is what they mean:

  • AutoEndTask: Rather than showing you the close application button, this will automatically close any application. It will terminate your application if it becomes stuck. You will not have the chance to save your work. 
  • WaitToKillAppTimeout: While Windows is shutting down, this works. It gives you enough time to save your work with a default time of 20 seconds.
  • HungAppTimeout: A program or application that hasn’t responded for more than five seconds. In this case, the program will be terminated. Nevertheless, you can increase the value to allow the program to work again. That way, you can save your work.

2] Taskkill Command Line Utility

Taskkill is another option. It allows you to end programs and processes using a GUI. It can also be used to kill programs from the command line, and here is how you can do it.

  • Open Run prompt using Win + R. Then Type wt and press shift + enter to launch Windows Terminal.
  • To reveal the complete list of programs, type tasklist and press enter. You will see a list of all the programs and services running on your computer.

  • Note down the program’s name you want to kill and execute the following command. Change the program name as needed: taskkill /IM programmname.exe. It will instantly end the program.

  •   It is possible to force-kill the program if Windows fails to do so.   For this, you have to run the taskkill /F /IM iexplore.exe command.
  •  Additionally, you can force close multiple processes at once. To do this, you need to add the PID numbers of all methods one by one with spaces between them: Taskkill /PID 1412 1279 1398 /F.

3] Create Shortcut to Kill Not Responding Programs

The tasklist method is cumbersome and requires you to open the command prompt repeatedly to terminate programs. A shortcut can be created instead. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on your Desktop and select New > Shortcut.
  • Now a window will popup, over here type down taskkill /f /fi “status eq not responding and click on Next. 

  • Then give your shortcut a name and click on Finish to create a Desktop shortcut.

  • Now every time, a program is not responding. Run the shortcut from your Desktop to close the program immediately.

So that was the answer to your ways to Auto Kill Not Responding Programs in Windows question. These work on all versions of Windows, including Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Is It Safe To Terminate a Running Program?

Usually no. A running program might be busy saving your data, writing into a file, and saving a state of a game. If you forcefully close it, you may end up losing data. However, if the program is not responding for a long time, you can kill it. The chances of data loss still persist, but there is no other choice.

Nayan Roy
Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.


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