How to Force Quit Programs that Ignore Alt+F4

I remember this was one of the first things that I was taught in computer class. Alt+F4. It’s a command that every user knows, be it an advanced user or just a basic user. This shortcut has always been used to allow users to end programs that they are done using.

It’s quite simple and efficient as well. There are times though that you might encounter that one stubborn program that ignores this command entirely. Programs that crash, hang or refuse to close are normally the culprit. Here are some solutions to this problem.

The Task Manager

The go to method when a program brings trouble is to bring up the task manager. Many do this by clicking the program itself or via the command “Ctrl+Alt+Delete”. The task manager has always proved to be effective. It gives you the list of apps running and its background processes allowing you to completely terminate it.

There are times when the pesky software blocks the view of the task manager. At times like these, the only thing to do is to normally reboot your PC, but this do0esn’t always have to be the case. You can simply open the task manager, go to options and select the always on top option. This way you’ll never have to deal with this problem again.

Command Prompt

The other method you can use is via a utility software that’s pretty useful for a number of things and that’s command prompt. To open command prompt, you have to go to the start menu, type “cmd”, once it pops up, right click and choose “run as administrator”.

Once the program opens, simply type “Tasklist” and press enter. You’ll see a list of executed programs, simply go through the list to find the program that might have crashed. Once you find it, input the command “taskkill /IM taskname /f”. The “taskname” in the command is the name of the program that you’d like to close. Once you do this a message will pop up saying “Success: The process has been terminated”.

Third-Party Apps

There are some third-party apps that you can consider using to help with this. It’s important that you don’t just choose any app as they might affect the overall performance of your PC. Only go for the recommended apps with great reviews. An example of such a software would be Super F4 that creates a new keyboard command to instantly kill the active program. There are others of course, but this is one we can vouch for.


It’s important to understand your PC. You can use these methods to make stubborn programs force quit, but if the problem keeps happening more often than not, then there’s a need for a diagnosis of your PC. There might be an underlying issue that you aren’t aware of.

Kibbs is a passionate tech writer with excellent knowledge in tech stuff.

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