How to Use the Taskkill Command in Windows 10

Tech Ornate

Tech Explained, Windows

Regardless of your computer’s age, chances are, it will encounter some minor problems, such as lags, freeze, random restarts, or shutdown. It even causes Blue Screen of Death. There are times that you will find the program that causes the problem; however, you can’t close it.

There are various reasons why some programs are becoming stubborn, such as viruses or memory problems and rogue processes. Fortunately, a taskkill command can end these programs or processes no matter how determined they are.

What is Taskkill?

The taskkill.exe is a part of Microsoft Corporation’s Microsoft Windows Operating System. You can find it in “C:\Windows\System32” or “C:\Windows\SysWoW64” for the 32-bit version on a 64-bit system. 

Microsoft’s second development step allows the system’s administrator to end a task on local or remote systems, in batch files, or from the command prompt. It is known as the Kill Tool and has an internal description: “Terminates Process.”

This process has several parameters that allow it to process a total remote or local shut down. It can also choose a specific computer or task or both with high precision.

While taskkill.exe is made to replace “tskill.exe,” they still coexist. However, tskill.exe is only a 64-bit program. Moreover, Microsoft has two tskill.exe parameter descriptions that are existing: one from 2009 and another from 2016, both marked with “no longer maintained.” They are replaced with Stop-Process, a PowerShell’s cmdlet.

Furthermore, it is essential to note that many malware use “taskkill.exe” as the debugger’s name in registry keys.

How to Use Taskkill

The program’s instance of being executed is called a process. Each Windows running process has a unique process ID or PID. 

When you start a program, the operating system will create a process for its executable file, its current activity. If the running process reduces the performance of your computer by not responding or hanging, this process uses too much memory or central processing unit (CPU) resources. Thus, you can use the taskkill to end its process.

Multiple running processes or programs on a computer can slow its system or even cause some errors. Usually, most users will force restart their computers to end all these running processes.

However, forcefully restarting or shutting down your computer can lead to system file damage. Here are the methods on how to use the taskkill in Windows 10.

Task Manager

The task manager is the more straightforward way to kill a process:

1. Press Window + X or Ctrl + Alt + Del keys, then click the Task Manager.

2. Click the Process Tab.

3. Choose the process or the program you want to stop. Then you can either: click the delete key, right-click on the task or process, then click End Task, or click the End Task button at the bottom right corner of the window.

Command Prompt (CMD)

CMD is also a quick way on how to use taskkill. Here’s how:

1. Click the search bar and type cmd.

2. Click Open

3. Once the command prompt opens, type tasklist to see all the active processes on your computer.

4. You can kill a process using a Process name or ID.

  • To kill a specific process forcefully, type: taskkill /IM Process name /F. For example, if you want to stop the VLC player, type forcefully: taskkill /IM vlc.exe /F and hit Enter
  • You can also kill multiple processes simultaneously by typing taskkill /IM Process Name /IM Process Name /IM Process name /F.
  • Another way is to use the process ID instead of the name. To do this, type taskkill /PID ID number /F for killing a single process or taskkill /PID ID number /PID ID number /PID ID number /F for multiple PIDs.

Taskkill Important Information

The filename extension .exe indicates an executable file. In some cases, executable files can harm your computer. With this in mind, you must know how to detect if the taskkill.exe on the computer is a virus that must be removed.

The taskkill command is an essential part of Microsoft Windows and doesn’t cause trouble at all. It’s located in a folder C:\Windows\System32. Moreover, its known file size is 77,824 bytes, 74,752 bytes, 76 288 bytes, or 75 776 bytes on Windows XP/7/8/10.

If you find this executable file in a user’s profile folder’s subfolder, this file can be dangerous. If the taskkill.exe you have found has no developer information, no visible window, and 143,872 bytes in size, this is not the core file from Windows.

Some malware hides by using taskkill.exe, such as Trojan.Win32.Agent.amodk and TROJ_GEN.R00UC0DAM15. Hence, you must double-check the file to ensure that it is not a threat.

Final Thoughts

Multiple freezing processes may cause various problems on your computer. Some issues are easy to fix, while others require force stoppage. 

Slow, laggy computers are frustrating, especially if you use the computer for various apps and software for your business and other essential tasks.

By following these methods of using the taskkill command, you can quickly stop any stubborn processes slowing your computer using either the Command Prompt (CMD) or Task Manager.

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