Press Ctrl + Alt + Del. This will open a menu of options, including Lock Computer, Log Off/Sign Out, Switch User, and Task Manager.
- In earlier versions of Windows, no menu will appear and the Task Manager will open immediately.
Select Task Manager. This is the built-in tool for Windows that allows you to monitor your performance and force close any programs that are no longer responding.
Click on the program that you want to end. In the Applications tab, your currently running programs will be listed. Programs that are working will show “Running” in the Status bar, while programs that are frozen will display “Not Responding”.
- In Windows 8, the default Task Manager view will show your running applications. Frozen programs will display “Not Running”.
Click the End Task button. Windows will display a message warning you that any unsaved data will be lost. Click OK to end the task.
Open the Processes view to close stubborn programs. If you are having difficulties closing the program in the Applications tab, you can open the Processes tab to force close the program at the operating system level, which is more likely to work.
- In Windows 8, click the “More details” button at the bottom of the Task Manager to open the Processes tab.
Browse for the program that you want to force close. In the Processes tab, programs are listed by their file names, which can make locating the program you are trying to close a little more difficult. You will see many more options than the Applications tab, because this list includes all of the background processes running on your computer.
- Closing the wrong processes may close essential programs such as antivirus or the Windows Explorer. If you accidentally close the wrong programs, you can restart your computer to restore full functionality.
Click “End Process”. Once you find the process that you want to end, click the “End Process” button to force it to close. It should close immediately.