Windows: How to Quit or Exit a Frozen, Locked-Up, Nonresponding Program

Posted May 26, 2005 by MickeyMouse in Windows

Okay, this is a little newbie. However, I need to get my recipe numbers up. I want one of those free t-shirts too! This walks a user through stopping a program that has crashed or locked up.

If a program has locked up, your data in that program is toast. Toast. Bye-bye. Gone. You can sit there and stare at it for a while to make sure… if you wish. However, you are probably hosed.

This will walk you through the steps to shut down a program that has locked up. Any data in that program that you have not previously saved will be losted.


    1. Press these three keys at the same time:
    2. A security box or the taskmanager will be appear
    (If the security box opens, press the Task Manager button)
    3. Press the Applications Tab
    4. Single left-click on the task that is not responding to select it
    5. Press the End Task button
    6. A message box will appear that says:
    Program is not responding. End task?
    7. Click End Task
    8. The program will close after a few seconds


    1. CTRL-ALT-Delete is called the “three-fingered shuffle.” So when you hear geeks talk, you’ll now know what that means.
    2. Hitting CTRL-ALT-Delete repeatedly or when the task manager is open will causing the computer to shut down and restart

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.