Learning: Using CMD to Kill a Process

In this learning path I will go into all of the options the Command Prompt in Windows has to offer. I know it looks like DOS has returned to life but it has a lot of great options and can be incredibly powerful when used correctly. In this part I will go into the option you have to kill a process. Great for when your Task Manager gets stuck or unresponsive thanks to bad scripting by the developer. 

Be aware that this method can kill system related process that would render your system unusable till restart or automatically force your system to shut down. Please be very sure which processes you kill.

Kill Processes using the Command Prompt (CMD)

For us to kill a process using CMD there are two command we need to know. The first will be Tasklist and the other one would be Taskkill. Tasklist displays a list of applications and services with their Process ID (PID) for all tasks running on either a local or a remote computer. And Taskkill ends one or more tasks or processes. Processes can be killed by process ID or image name.

Syntax Tasklist


Syntax Taskkill


Now that we know how all the command work, it’s time to start using them. Since it isn’t that complicated to use, I will just give one preview of the syntax uses. After that it’s up to you to use them!

Syntax uses

Let’s start by running the Command Prompt in Administrator mode.

Command Prompt as Admin

Running CMD as Admin

Enter the Tasklist command and see it showing a list of all the processes running at the moment.

Using CMD to show the tasklist command

CMD Tasklist

Now to kill InternetExplorer I would use

Using the Command Prompt to kill IE.exe

CMD kill InternetExplorer

That’s all there is to it! If you need any help, feel free to commend. suggestions for new ‘CMD learnings’ can also be left in the commend. I will be happy to help with whatever problem you might be having.

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About The Author
Pepijn van Gastel
Pepijn has always been passionate about technology, but found his vocation in medicine. As of today he has focused it's experience on his new startup company PuurHost.nl and is therefore not an active participator of WindowsInstructed anymore.

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