In this guide, I have highlighted various ways to force quit an app or game on Windows PC. You may be using an app or playing a game and suddenly, the app freezes. Whatever key you press to undo the situation, it won’t budge.

An app or game may freeze due to various reasons, such as bugs on the app, a cache containing junk data, or some random system error. Along with that app, the whole system becomes inoperative.

To get back to normal functioning and regain control of your PC, it is necessary to force quit the concerned app or game that became stuck.

Best Ways to Force Quit an App or Game on Windows PC

You can force quit an app using a keyboard shortcut, by accessing the Task Manager, or by using the command prompt. All three methods are easy to use and I have explained them in detail. So, let’s get started.

Do note that when you force quit an app or game, it will result in losing all the progress in the work unless you have saved your progress before the app got stuck.

1. Use Task Manager to Force Quit Apps

  1. To launch Task Manager, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Del hotkeys on the keyboard.
  2. Under the Processes tab, navigate to the app or game, that you want to terminate
  3. Right-click on the app or game and from the menu select the option End task.
    force quit an app on Windows using Task Manager
  4. After a few seconds, launch the app again and it should work fine.

2. Using the hotkeys Alt + F4

This method needs no introduction or detailing as anyone who has been using a PC knows the instant way to quit an app is to press Alt + F4 keys. All PC and laptop keyboards come with Function keys denoted as F1, F2, F3, F4, and so on.

Sometimes users have reported that using Alt + F4 didn’t work in force quitting an app. In such a case, I suggest using the previous method. Use the Task Manager to close an app.

3. Force Quit App or Game Using Command Prompt

You can also use the Windows command prompt to access the active task list. Then using a command, you can force quit any app easily. Here are the steps for you.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run box.
  2. Enter the term “cmd” and press enter to launch the Command Prompt.
    open command prompt on Windows OS
  3. Now, enter the command written below to view the list of active tasks.
  4. To force quit any app from the task list, enter the command blow.
    taskkill /im [ProgramName.exe] /t /f

Replace the term “ProgramName” with the actual application name which you want to close. Let me show you an example for simplification in understanding.

If I want to close the Microsoft Windows Store app, here is how I’m going to enter the command.

taskkill /im /t /f

force quit an app or game on Windows using command prompt

After you execute the command, you will see a message “SUCCESS: The process with the PID xxx (Child process of PID xxx) has been terminated“.

In the above message, PID refers to the Process ID.

4. Use Virtual Desktop to Force Quit Apps

Using these hotkeys, you can force kill a task on Windows OS from a virtual desktop.

  1. Press Ctrl + Win + D to access the virtual desktop.
  2. Next, access Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  3. From the task manager, close the unresponsive program.
  4. Press the Windows key + Tab to return to the desktop.

5. Bonus Tip: Put Task Manager on Top of Frozen App windows

You may want to force quit an app or game using Task Manager. To your surprise, the Task Manager Window keeps opening behind the frozen app window, making it impossible to access it to close the task.

You have to make a small change in the Task Manager settings. Always enable the option to display Task Manager over app windows.

  1. Launch Task Manager.
  2. Click the gear icon to access the Settings section.
    open task manager settings
  3. Under the Window Management tab, enable the “Always on top” check box.
    enable always on top for task manager

Wrapping Up

I hope these tips were helpful and now you can easily force quit any app or game on Windows PC. Dealing with unresponsive apps gets pretty much easier now.


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