Windows – How to kill tasks in Windows 7 when even Task Manager won’t open or respond

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Occasionally one of my computers will get so bogged down that everything locks up, Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't work, Task Manager won't open, or they work, but are opening so slowly that it will take hours or days to shut down other processes and regain control of the computer, etc.

Is there a way to, for instance, force Task Manager to be highest priority so it always opens immediately with Ctrl+Shift+Esc even when some other process/driver is hogging the CPU? Is there some other program that can run in the background and open immediately like this?

This question isn't about fixing "underlying problems". No matter how much memory you have, it's still possible for a rogue process to eat it all up and lock up the computer in page fault thrashing, hog the CPU, etc. This question is about how to take back control of the computer when that happens.

Basically when these kind of lock-ups happen, I want to open some kind of task manager that pauses every other process and allows me to kill one of them, and then let everything resume so I can save my work, etc. Otherwise my only option is to hold down the power button.

Antifreeze is supposed to do exactly what i want, pausing all other applications and starting a task manager to kill the offender, but in my testing, it actually does neither.

Best Answer

You can kill tasks using command prompt.

1) Windows Key + R (Run)

2) Type 'cmd' and hit enter

3) Type the command tasklist , press enter. you can see all tasks running in your system.

4) Kill particular task/application by taskkill /f /im taskname

Eg: If you want to kill notepad, type taskkill /f /im notepad.exe


If you know the application name, then you can issue the taskkill command directly in the run text field.