How To End a Frozen Program Quickly

When a computer program you are using suddenly freezes, you can no longer continue using the program. In many cases—especially in environments that run Microsoft Windows—the whole operating system also freezes. Program freezes are caused by many factors, some of which are operating system-related, others are program-related, others are virus- or malware-related, and others are hardware-related. Whatever is causing the program to freeze, you would want to end it quickly so that you won’t lose time or your productivity. This article teaches you some tips on how to end a frozen program quickly if you are using Microsoft Windows.

  1. Try closing the program using the Close button. The button is located at the top-right corner of the program window and is depicted as an X inside a box. Pressing the Close button works in most cases.
  2. Choose to end the program now. Especially if the program is unresponsive anymore, an End Program dialog box usually appears automatically or when you press the Close button. In this case, you can quickly end the frozen program by pressing End Now button in the End Program dialog. Take note that all the data you created using the program will not be saved if you choose the End Now button.
  3. Terminate the program manually. You can do this easily by opening the Windows Task Manager. On Windows XP, you can open the Task Manager by pressing the keyboard combination CTRL+ALT+DEL. This will bring up the Windows Task Manager window. On Windows Vista, you can bring up the Task Manager by right-clicking on the Task Bar and selecting “Task Manager.” The Task Manager window has a row of tabs right below the menu bar. Choose the Applications tab, select the name of the frozen program, and press the End Task button at the bottom of the window.
  4. Kill the process. If terminating the program through the Applications tab does not work, try killing the process on the Processes tab. The Processes tab lists all of the processes running on your system, including the amount of memory each process is using, as well as a brief description of each process. If you are suspecting that the irritating program is freezing because it is hogging your system’s memory, you can easily find out which processes are consuming the most amount of memory. Scroll through the list of processes, select the frozen process, and press the End Process button at the bottom of the Task Manager window. So, for example, if Internet Explorer has frozen, look for “iexplore.exe” on the list, click it, and then press the End Process button at the bottom. That should kill all instances of “iexplore.exe” and restore your system to normal.
  5. Try logging out. Sometimes, a frozen program causes other programs to freeze along with it. You can try logging out of your user account to forcefully close all applications opened by your user account. Then, log back in. If that still doesn’t solve your problem, try the brute force method described in the last tip below.
  6. Shutdown and restart your system. You know how to do this, don’t you?

Programs that freeze without any warning are very annoying. Yet, they happen occasionally. To avoid feeling helpless during such moments, try the tips described in this article.


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