Windows 11 Gets New Way To Kill Stuck Apps

John Lister's picture

The Windows 11 taskbar will soon have a quick option to kill a task or process. It's something users currently need to do by opening Task Manager.

The precise terminology of stopping Windows doing something has changed over the years, with terms including programs, applications, tasks and processes. The actual distinctions don't really matter that much to the average user, but they include whether the issue is with Windows itself or an application.

They also depend on whether the user is trying to stop an entire application or simply one of multiple things it is doing, such as running multiple tabs in a browser. Either way, it's useful to have a simple way to shut down a task or process if it's unresponsive. This should be a last resort as forcibly stopping a task could mean data loss or other problems.

Task Manager No Longer Only Option

Traditionally closing a task or process involves opening Task Manager, finding the relevant entry in in a list, right-clicking and selecting "End task" or a similar option. The forthcoming change to Windows 11 means it will also be available for open applications through the taskbar. That's the set of large icons at the bottom of the screen that, by default, moved from the left the centre with Windows 11.

Right-clicking on any taskbar option will soon bring up an "End task" option along with an icon of a circle with a diagonal line through it. (Source:

Feature Still In Testing

The new feature is built into in the Dev channel version of Windows but not enabled by default. The Dev channel is the earliest stage of public testing (outside of Windows own staff), so it may be a while before it's included and enabled for ordinary users. (Source:

Users have noted that although the new feature will save a few clicks, it does slightly increase the chance of an unwanted outcome. Somebody who right-clicks on the wrong icon by mistake and doesn't notice before clicking "End task" might unintentionally close a task or process and lose unsaved data.

What's Your Opinion?

How often do you need to forcibly close a stuck task, process or application? Do you find the Task Manager simple and quick enough to use for this process? Will you use the new option when it becomes available?

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Average: 4.7 (10 votes)


Unrecognised's picture

I have no experience with Win11, of which I'm suspicious on account of the seemingly runaway trend of increasing surveillance, control and disenfranchisement of the user with each 'upgrade'.

Taskman is cumbersome and at times ineffective, necessitating installation of a more serious task killer. I don't like that once active you can't do anything else unless you dismiss it first, but on the whole it's useful, especially when you want to see what's slowing the machine down and in what way; what's torturing the CPU or why, or the fact the disk drive is running at 9000% and why etc. Not sure there will be a lot of info available to see in the systray.

drobinson_nc_16614's picture

I think that giving easy access to the End Task feature could be dangerous. There could be unintentional interaction, with the End Task icon, which could cause unintentional data loss. I believe that having to go through a number of steps to end a task is a safeguard.

buzzallnight's picture

This is not needed,
they should work on something more useful
like offering older user interfaces as an option.

trh1948_11151's picture

Task Manager is what one should do but the new option is enticing only if one knows the consequences. Maybe put it some other place, but if the computer is unresponsive one will lose what is being worked on anyway. I think they are trying to help them sell more PCs and that a way to make more money. The engineers are under pressure to do more and more and to find a way to offer older interfaces would defeat making more money. They don't want happy customers because they can't figure out how to make money off that idea. They are geeks that don't live in the real world.

ron_weiskopf's picture

I've had cases where the system is so locked up it takes a really long time for task manager to come up, if it ever does. Having this feature will hopefully prevent this issue.

Focused100's picture

Any thing to make it easier to kill a bothersome app