How to Auto Terminate or Kill Not Responding Program in Windows 11/10

With Windows, applications or programs getting hung or not responding is common. Suddenly, one of your programs gets frozen, and clicking on the close button doesn’t work. In such a case, killing the program is the last thing you can do. To kill a program, we always use the Task Manager. But even sometimes, Task Manger takes too much time to kill the program. However, there is a little hack that you can try out to auto terminate or kill not responding program in Windows 11/10

Auto Terminate or Kill Not Responding Program

How to Auto Terminate or Kill Not Responding Program in Windows 11/10

There are many ways to terminate or kill not responding programs in Windows. For instance, you can kill programs using the registry editor, use a third-party program, and many more. However, for this tutorial, I will be talking about these below methods:

  1. Registry Editor
  2. Tasklist
  3. Close a Program with Tasklist Shortcut

You will need admin permission for all of these.

1] Registry Editor – Change HungAppTimeOut

How to Auto Terminate or Kill Not Responding Program in Windows 11/10

  • First, backup the Registry in case something goes wrong, and you need to restore it.
  • Next, open the Run prompt by pressing the Win+R key combination.
  • Type down Regedit and press Enter key.
  • Now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
  • Over here, we have to add values to the following strings. So if the below strings are available, then right-click and select Modify. If the strings are not available, create the strings using their exact name.
    • WaitToKillAppTimeout=2000
    • AutoEndTasks=1
    • HungAppTimeout=1000
    • LowLevelHooksTimeout =1000
  • Now right-click on the left and Select New > String value.
  • Enter the String name as mentioned above.
  • Then double-click on the string, add the value and click OK.
  • Now you will need to repeat the same process for all the strings. Then reboot your computer and move to the next steps.

That’s it. Whenever a program gets into the not responding stage, Windows will terminate the program automatically.

Apart from applications, you can also use a registry editor to kill services during shutdown or when they are not responding.

Generally, Windows waits about 5 seconds for background services to complete their job and release the resources. But you can join this, so instead of forcing a shutdown in five seconds, you can make Windows wait for longer.

However, you should only change this if you have a service that takes longer than usual. To change it, you have to follow the below steps:

How to Auto Terminate or Kill Not Responding Program in Windows 11/10

  • In Registry Editor, go to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
  • Now locate the WaitToKillServiceTimeout string in the right pane.
  • Double click on the string to edit it.
  • The value in the string is in milliseconds. So 5 seconds is 5000 milliseconds. So change it accordingly.
  • Finally, click on OK to save the value and exit.

Now to help you know more about the registry strings. Here is what they mean:

  • AutoEndTask: This will automatically close any application instead of showing you the close application button. If your program gets hung, it will automatically terminate it. Even you won’t get the chance to save your work. 
  • WaitToKillAppTimeout: This works during the Windows Shutdown. The default time is 20 seconds, so you get enough time to save your work.
  • HungAppTimeout: If any application or program doesn’t respond for 5 seconds. Then this string will kill the program. However, you can increase the value to let the program return to the working stage. So you can save your work.

2] Taskkill

taskkill foce kill hanged programs

You can also use the built-in Taskkill tool. This program helps in killing programs and processes from GUI using Task Manager. It also kills programs from the command line, and here is how you can use it:

  • First, press Win + X and select Windows Terminal.
  • In Windows Terminal, type down tasklist and press enter. It will list all the running programs and services on your computer.
  • Now to kill a program, run this command: taskkill /IM executablename.exe. It will instantly terminate the program.
  • In case if Windows fails to kill the program, you can force kill it. For this, you have to run the taskkill /F /IM edge.execommand.
  • Moreover, you can force close multiple processes at the same time. You have to add the PID numbers of all processes one by one using space. And the command for this is: Taskkill /PID 1212 1280 1308 /F

3] Close a Program with Tasklist Shortcut

Closing programs using tasklist is lengthy, and you have to open the command prompt again and again to kill programs. However, you can instead create a shortcut for the job. For this, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on your Desktop and select New > Shortcut.
  • Now a window will popup, over here type down taskkill /f /fi "status eq not respondingand click on Next. 
  • Then give your shortcut a name and click on Finish to create a Desktop shortcut.
  • Now every time, a program is not responding. Run the shortcut from your Desktop to close the program immediately. 

How Do I Close a Frozen Program Without Task Manager?

You can close a frozen program without the task manager is by pressing the ALT + F4 key combination. If that doesn’t work, then you can use any third-party app.

How Do I Close a Program Without Task Manager or Alt F4?

If Alt+F4 or Task Manager is not working, you can launch Windows Terminal and type down the task list. It will list down all the running programs and apps. Now to kill a program, you have to run this command: taskkill /IM executablename.exe This will kill the program immediately.

So that was the answer to your how to auto terminate or kill the hanged program in Windows 11/10. I hope the above tutorial did help you to solve your query. In case if you are stuck at anything, comment below.

Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.

8 COMMENTS

  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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