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Closing a Frozen or Badly-Behaved Application

Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 and later have an ability to close applications which are frozen (unresponsive), or badly-behaved (such as consuming too much memory) without affecting the rest of the system. The procedure is:

  1. Press CTRL-SHIFT-ESCAPE.

    The Task Manager appears:

  2. Click the Applications tab.

    This lists all the applications currently open. If the application is frozen, or busy, the Status column will show “Not Responding”.

    Note that an application that is not responding may simply mean it is busy. An application can easily appear in Task Manager as “Running” then “Not Responding” and back again depending on what it is doing.

  3. Click the application you wish to end, and click End Task.

    Windows may take a few seconds to respond, and may ask you to confirm.

Note that, although in principle, it should be possible to continue working and re-open the application, some applications do not respond well to being shut down in this way, and it may be necessary to reboot the system to obtain a clean startup.

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