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

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.!!!


About Ashish Mohta

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.