How to Stop a Running Process

A process, or task, is a program that is being executed. When you start a program, its executable code will load into the computer's memory. If a process, or code, is terminated, the program will not run. Windows Task Manager allows you to terminate almost all processes; however, some can remain on your computer without you knowing its exact location. And other processes come from malicious applications, in this case, you may not be able to stop the program and instead might get an "Access denied" error; an anti-spyware program might be the best approach to solve your problem.


  1. Go to Start and then click on Run.
  2. In the Run command box, type taskmgr.exe, and then click on OK or press, Alt+Ctrl+Delete or Ctrl+Shift+Esc and the Task Manager will appear.
  3. Select the process you want to stop and click on the End Process button to stop it.

In some cases, your Windows Task Manager may be disabled by a parasite, so instead you can use pslist and pskill.

  1. Press the Start button on your Taskbar and choose Run. Type cmd in the field and then press the OK button.
  2. When the Command Prompt window is opened, type the command pslist and press Enter, a list of running programs will appear.
  3. Once you've chosen the process you want to stop, type the command pskill [PROCESS_NAME] and press Enter to terminate the unwanted process.