How to automatically terminate hung program in Windows 7 / Vista / XP

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Many a times, programs like Office, Winamp and others, in Windows , get hung / Not Responding and clicking on close button just doesn’t work. Even the task manager “End program” feature fails or takes too much of time. Here is a small trick which you can use to Auto Kill the programs which it gets hung or goes into status of “Not Responding”.

Steps to set auto kill not responding programs

  • Backup your registry first.
  • Go to Run and enter “Regedit“.
  • Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Windows 7  / Windows Vista

  • In Windows 7 we will need to add the following values :
  • WaitToKillAppTimeout=2000
  • AutoEndTasks=1
  • HungAppTimeout=1000
  • LowLevelHooksTimeout =1000

To add a value follow the steps below :

  • Right click on the left panel as seen in the image
  • Select New > String value.
  • String name should be one of the above.
  • Now double click and add the value and click ok. Repeat this for all.

TImeout App registry settings in Windows 7

Windows XP

  • Here you will find a string called as “Auto End Task“, set its value to “1” by double clicking it. This means any hung program will be killed instantaneously.
  • Now suppose if you want to give some time, as some programs come back to normal in few minutes, Find a key called as “WaitToKillAppTimeout“, change the value to the value you want. You have to enter value in milliseconds though.

See the image for a clear view of what you are going to do.

Auto kill xp hung programs

If anything goes wrong, use your backed up registry to get back to normal.!!!



A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts. You can find Ashish on , and .

10 Comments to How to automatically terminate hung program in Windows 7 / Vista / XP

  1. Hi,

    hi bro i m quite inspired by the way u communicate, its very binding and makes sense to begginers like myself who dont understand such techi terms carry on with ur passion and help others by your knowledge and expertise…..thanks

  2. This is fantastic! I’ve been looking for a way to kill mysqld-nt.exe for months. Simple and concise instructions. Thanks!

  3. This will really help, most of the times programs hang and we no option just to sit and wait for the application to terminate. This happens esp with winamp or windows media player.

  4. Hi.. Is this method works whenever there is a non responsive program or only during the shut down process?
    Tried it on my PC but it doesn’t kill the program when it hung.

  5. You know, when you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL, it brings up the task manager, usually on the applications tab. If you hit the “processes” tab, you can see the filenames of all of your applications being run. If you know the name of it, you can right click, End Process. That works for me every time, even when just highlighting it at the Applications Tab and hitting the “End Process” button doesn’t work. Its done it every time.

  6. hey, on what parameters it kills the process, like performance, not responding for longer time etc.

    thanks,
    Vaibhav

  7. Doesn’t work, sorry to say. Have had these settings done to my XP last year. Task Manager works at times, sometimes need to kill whole process tree. Others need to kill dependent processes independently until main process quits. Wish it were as easy as you say. Have XP with clean install, no viruses, and do defrags, and all that stuff, so it’s not a system problem, It’s a windows problem, and been like that ever since I started using that ‘crap’ ware 20 plus years ago.
    Pete.

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