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Killing processes in Windows with a batch script

We’ve all had, at least a few times, some random program that would freeze and that for some reason the Windows Task Manager would fail to terminate in a timely manner. It turns out that I have, at the moment, a couple of repeating offenders in that matter. A freeze a few times a year is slightly annoying, but a couple of freezes each week seriously got on my nerves.

So I searched a little, and eventually found a way to kill a program instantly, skipping any pre-exit confirmation. Simply this:

taskkill /F /IM calc.exe

It will kill all processes from executable calc.exe, immediately. If it’s always the same program causing issue, you can just put it in a batch file (.bat) and run it whenever you need. I did that for 2 programs, one of which doesn’t even freeze, but I wanted to skip the long exit process, as an unclean exit causes no issue for this program.

If you want to keep the pre-exit confirmation, lose the /F:

taskkill /IM calc.exe

You can also kill by process ID. It’s nice when you have multiple instances of a program running, and you just want to kill a particular one (for instance just one browser tab that’s gotten out of control). But the drawback is, as process IDs always change, that you can’t make a batch file that you’ll just have to click: you’ll need to look up the process ID every time. The syntax is:

taskkill /PID [process ID]

Source, plus quite a few more examples / ideas: https://www.windows-commandline.com/taskkill-kill-process/

I tried this on Windows 10, but I assume it already works in Windows 7 / 8, and possibly even XP.

Posted in Windows.


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