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Closing a Crashed or Hung Application Using the Windows 8 Task Manager

Task Manager in Windows 8 (less details  view)

Task Manager in Windows 8 (less details view)

Regardless of how much time and money software companies put into writing their programs, we still have application crashes. An application crash is when a program or part of the operating system ceases to function properly. Preventing application crashes is usually difficult since the only way to permanently ensure you never get a crash again is to fix the bug in the software. We may not be able to prevent these crashes from happening but dealing with a crashed application, in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, is easier to deal with than many realize.

If you have a program which has crashed, you can close that program from the Windows Task Manager in Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012.  If you have used Task Manager in previous versions of Windows, you will see significant differences in the new version.  By default, Task Manager displays a minimalist view (called less detail view), which only displays applications running (not processes).

You can access Task Manager by pressing the <CTRL>+<ALT>+<DEL> keys on your keyboard. You will either be brought directly into the Windows Task Manager or to a menu where you can open Task Manager. Once Task Manager has opened, click on the Processes tab. This will display all processes running on your computer. If you do not see any tabs in Task Manager, this is because Task Manager is in its less detail mode.  You can change to the detail mode by simply clicking on the “More Details” button at the bottom of the window.

Task Manager in Windows 8 (more details  view)

Task Manager in Windows 8 (more details view)

To close the process for the hung or crashed application, highlight the appropriate line (for Microsoft Word choose WINWORD.EXE), then click on the End Process button. You will be prompted to make sure you really want to close this program. Click on the End Process button on this confirmation if you are sure. If there are multiple lines for the same program, make sure you highlight each (one at a time) and end that process as well.

About the author

Robert Borges

About Robert...

I have been in the IT industry since 1993 focusing mainly in networking. Though I got an early start as an amateur computer enthusiast, and wrote my first database app at age 12, I started my professional career working in the MIS department of one of the largest liquor distributors in the northeast. I started out there as a systems operator on the company’s two mainframe systems. From there I moved into PC support, and help design and implement the company’s first client-server network… This was back in the days of Win NT 3.51. I also worked on my first migration to NT 4.0 back then.

From there I went on to work with Novell 3.x and 4.x along with Windows domains and active directory environments. Working my way up from technician, to specialist, to administrator, and eventually all the way up to Sr. Engineer. I spent many years working for consulting firms, 9 of which I owned and operated my own firm.
Over the years, I have worked with (at an expert level) various versions of: Windows client and server operating systems (including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2);various virtualization technologies (Hyper-V, Virtual Server, Virtual PC, VMware, etc…); MS-SQL server 6.5- 2008 R2; Exchange 4-2010, and much more.

I am now Director of Information Systems at Bay State Integrated Technology focusing on cloud computing and IT service, with expertise in: IT Infrastructure & Architecture, IT Security, and Cloud Computing platforms & technologies (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS).

I am in a constant state of learning about new products, and new versions of products. Many of which we end up implementing in lab environments and sometimes for our clients. I have a pretty broad range of expertise and experience. It is my goal to share some of this experience on this blog to help enrich the IT community.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.robertborges.us/2013/05/windows/windows-8/closing-a-crashed-or-hung-application-using-the-windows-8-task-manager/