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

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.

8 Responses to “Windows: How to Quit or Exit a Frozen, Locked-Up, Nonresponding Program”

  1. January 15, 2009 at 2:46 am, Patricia said:

    thank u so much i will use this forever. it helped soooo much


  2. May 13, 2009 at 9:58 pm, Billy said:

    You just saved my life!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. January 04, 2010 at 5:58 am, Anonymous said:

    Cool, thanks!! I’ve been staring at iTunes for 2 days now. lol Thanks again!


  4. December 04, 2010 at 5:29 pm, farzad said:

    where should i star the progeram?


  5. May 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm, maria said:

    diz didnt help me at all


  6. June 10, 2012 at 11:41 am, john neeting said:

    I know this but what I want to do is this -
    1. a window pops up on the screen saying a program is not responding.
    2. I go to task manager to have a look and the damn thing is RUNNING and I DON’T want to close it down because it’s in the middle of something important.
    If I ignore the notice [ push that stupid window out of sight on the screen ] instead of clicking ‘don’t send’ which will end the program [ something I don't want to do] my program happily completes it task and keeps on running. Which means the notice is either bogus or started running again after it poped up.
    NOW- what I want to know is
    Is there anyway I can CANCEL the actual pop up without having the thing close down my program. Seems it doesn’t give you any choice which is stupid if the program recovers.


  7. August 03, 2013 at 9:11 pm, Roscislaw said:

    OK, your answer is well-known standard. But please tell me what to do if “End task”, “End process”, “End process tree” do NOT wark, as well as instruction:
    C:\Windows\System32\taskkill.exe /F /FI “STATUS eq NOT RESPONDING”.

    The processes are “Dashboard.exe” and “Seagate.Dashboard.Uploader.exe” by SEAGATE.


  8. September 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm, Sussana Lee said:

    windows update stuck on 37% for 20min, then shutting down for 12 min. ctrl alt del did not work. hit the power button. waited 8 min. power on. update went from 37% 40 42 50 all the way to my login page. in about 15 seconds. yay! maybe laptop was too warm?


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