When using the Windows or any other OS, you may face an unresponsive application. An application becomes unresponsive due to several reasons, such as corrupt system files, malware, outdated drives, etc. When an application is unresponsive on Windows OS, you may face disturbance especially while switching to other windows. To avoid this unresponsive application headache, you must forcefully quit it.

To forcefully quit a Windows application, use the Alt + F4 keys, Task Manager, Windows Settings App (Windows 10 only), and the Taskkill command.

This guide explains the methods to force quit applications on Windows.

How to Force Quit Applications on Windows

To force quit applications on Windows, use either of the following methods:

  • Keyboard Combination.
  • Task Manager.
  • Windows 10 Settings App.
  • Taskkill Command.

Let’s explain the above methods.

Method 1: Force Quit Windows Applications Using the Keyboard Combination

To forcefully quit an application on Windows using your keyboard, select the specified application using the mouse or ALT + TAB keys and then press ALT + F4 keys:

Method 2: Force Quit Windows Applications Using the Task Manager

You can use the evergreen Task Manager to forcefully quit the applications in Windows. To forcefully quit an application on Windows, open the Task Manager using the CTRL + Shift + ESC keys, find the unresponsive application, right-click it, and select the End task option:

Method 3: Force Quit Windows Applications Using the Windows 10 Settings App

In Windows 10, you can force quit the applications using the Windows Settings App. To force quit the applications via the Settings app, press the “Windows logo + i keys to open it. From here, navigate to Apps, and click on the specified application. It now shows the Advanced options under it, select it:

Next, use the Terminate button to instantly (forcefully) kill the application:

Method 4: Force Quit Windows Applications Using the Taskkill Command

For command-line or CLI users of Windows, Microsoft offers the Taskkill command to manage/kill the processes. Using the Taskkill command, you can forcefully quit the application’s processes as well. To do that, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt

To execute any command-line operations, you must employ the Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt. You can open them via the Windows Start menu:

Step 2: List Processes

To view a list of processes running on your Windows system, use the Tasklist command as follows and copy the PID or ProcessID of the application you want to quit:


Step 3: Force Quit Application Process

Now when you have the PID of the process you want to quit, run the taskkill command as seen below:

Taskkill /PID 14324

Additionally, you can use the Image Name (.exe or .msi file extension) to forcefully quit a program. For instance, the below command forcefully kills the process of Microsoft Paint:

taskkill /IM mspaint.exe

You can learn more about the Taskkill Command in Windows in our detailed guide.

Pro Tip: If your system is not responding because of an unresponsive application and none of the above methods are working, press and hold the Power button until the system turns off. Doing this may cause you to lose the data, but it does make the system responsive.


To forcefully quit an application in Windows, use the ALT + F4 shortcut keys, Task Manager, or the Taskkill command. In Windows 10, you can also terminate the applications using the Windows Settings App. By forcefully quitting the applications on Windows, the unsaved data is lost and cannot be recovered and you should be careful about it. This guide has discussed the methods to “Force Quit Applications on Windows”.