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If you notice a running process task (ex: app) is reducing your computer's performance because it's hung, not responding, uses a high percentage of CPU resources, or uses a large amount of RAM, then you can end the process to stop and close it.
This tutorial will show you how to quickly end a process as needed in Vista and Windows 7.
Be careful when ending processes. If you end a process associated with an open program, such as a word-processing program, that program will also close and you will lose any unsaved data. If you end a process associated with a system service, some part of the system might not function properly.
To End a Process in Task Manager
1. Open Task Manager (taskmgr.exe, CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, or CTRL+ALT+DEL), and do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.
2. To End Task in Applications tab of Task Manager
The Applications tab will show you a list of all apps that are currently running under only your user account.
2A) Click on the Applications tab, do step 2B, 2C, or 2D below, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
2B) Right click on a task (ex: Libraries), and click on End Task.
2C) Click on a task (ex: Libraries), and click on the End Task button.
2D) Click on a task (ex: Libraries), and press the Delete key.
If you like, you can use Switch To or Bring To Front to determine which window belongs to the task.
Switch To = Minimizes Task Manager, and brings to front the window of the selected task as the active window.
Bring To Front = Has the window of the selected task as the active window displaying up front and on top of any other windows.
3. To End Process in Processes tab of Task Manager
The Processes tab will show you a list of all the processes that are currently running under only your user account and a description of each process.
To view all of the processes currently running on the computer, click Show processes from all users. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
3A) Click on the Processes tab, do step 3B, 3C, or 3D below. (see screenshot below)
3B) Right click on an image name (ex: iexplore.exe *32), click on End Process (only this parent process) or End Process Tree (this parent process and all child processes), and go to step 3E.
3C) Click on an image name (ex: iexplore.exe *32), click on the End Process button, and go to step 3E.
3D) Click on an image name (ex: iexplore.exe *32), press the Delete key, and go to step 3E.
3E) Click on End process to confirm, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
4. The process/task will now be ended. Sometimes it may take a moment, and sometimes you may need to end the process again before it will actually end. If the process will not end, then you could use OPTION TWO below to forcefully end the process.