The great thing about Windows is that it provides several ways to perform a specific task. In this guide, we will be showing multiple ways to close or terminate running apps and programs on your Windows 11/10 PC. We will also show you how to close all the open program windows at once!
How to close running apps on Windows 11/10
You can use different methods to close opened apps and programs on your computer. These methods are as follows:
- Click on the X button in the app window.
- Use the keyboard shortcut to close the app.
- Close an app from the taskbar.
- Close an app from Task Switcher.
- Use Task Manager to close running apps.
- Use the title bar menu of the app.
- Close a program using Command Prompt.
- Close an app using Windows PowerShell.
- Force close an app using Settings.
1] Click on the X button in the app window
The most widely used and convenient method to close a program or application on Windows is to use the X button present in the app window. You can open the app and click on the X (Close) button present at the top-right corner of the window.
2] Use the keyboard shortcut to close the app
Another easy method to close a running application is to use the keyboard shortcut key. You can press the ALT+F4 key combination to quickly close an app. But, first, switch to the app that you want to close and then press this hotkey.
3] Close an app from the taskbar
All your running apps are added to the taskbar. So, you can close them from your taskbar as well. Simply hover your mouse over the application icon that you want to close on your taskbar. After that, go to the extreme right of the app preview and press the X button.
Another way to close an app completely from the taskbar is using the right-click context menu. You can right-click on the app icon on your taskbar and from the appeared context menu, click on the Close all windows or Close window option. If you use Close all windows, it will close all opened windows of an app.
4] Close an app from Task Switcher
Task Switcher is a useful feature to switch between different running apps on your PC. You can use it to close running apps and programs on Windows 11. Press CTRL+ALT+TAB to open Task Switcher. Now, you can repeatedly press TAB to highlight the app which you want to close. After that, hit the ALT+F4 hotkey to close the highlighted app. Or, you can also hover the mouse over an app preview and click on the X button to close it.
5] Use Task Manager to close running apps
If you want to check background apps and close multiple running applications and programs on your PC, Task Manager is the best option. You can open Task Manager using Ctrl+Shift+Esc, select an app that you want to close in the Processes tab, and then click on the End task button.
In case your PC is not performing well and keeps freezing, you can check which app is taking high CPU, Memory, Disk, and other system resource usage using Task Manager and close it.
There are also multiple free Task Manager alternative software that you can use in place of Windows Task Manager.
6] Use the title bar menu of the app
You can also right-click on the title bar of an app and choose the Close option from the appeared context menu. It is another easy and convenient method to terminate a running program.
7] Close a program using Command Prompt
If you like working with Command Prompt or CLI, you can also close a program using Command Prompt. Here are the steps to do that:
First, open Command Prompt using the Windows Search function. Try opening Command Prompt with the administrator rights as some processes need administrator privileges to terminate.
Now, enter the below command to list all the running programs on your computer:
As you enter the above command, you will see all running processes on your PC with respective process names, PIDs, memory usage, and other details.
Now, to close an app, you need to enter the command in the below syntax:
taskkill /im program-name.exe /t /f
For example, if you want to close Task Manager, you can use the below command:
taskkill /im Taskmgr.exe /t /f
It will close the Task Manager app.
Similarly, you can close other running apps using Command Prompt by executing a simple command.
8] Close an app using Windows PowerShell
You can also use another CLI app on Windows which is Windows PowerShell to close a running application on your Windows PC. Here’s how you can do that:
First, open Windows PowerShell as an administrator using Windows Search.
Now, to identify running programs on your PC, you can type & Enter the below command:
It will list down process name and PID of each running process in the window.
Next, you can use the process name to kill a running program:
taskkill /IM ProcessName.exe /F
taskkill /IM cmd.exe /F
You can close a running process using its PID:
taskkill /F /PID <PID>
taskkill /F /PID 4732
So, this is how you can close an app using PowerShell.
9] Force close an app using Settings
If a Windows app is not closing, you can force close it using Windows Settings. To do that, use the below steps:
- First, open the Settings app using Win+I and move to the Apps > Installed apps section.
- Now, locate the Windows app that you want to close and press the three-dot menu button present next to it.
- Next, click on Advanced options and then click on the Terminate button present under the Terminate section.
How to close all Windows Apps at once?
If you want to close multiple Windows apps at once, you can use this free software called Close All Windows. It is third-party software that allows you to close more than one app simultaneously.
You can download Close All Windows from its official website and then install it on your computer. After that, open the app and you will a list of apps running on your PC. You can then select multiple apps that you want to close and then press the OK button.
Do note that the free version of this software lets you close 3 apps at once. To unlock this limitation, you need to purchase this software.
How to see what apps are running in the background Windows 11?
You can easily check which apps are running in the background on your Windows 11/10 PC using Task Manager. Right-click on your taskbar and choose Task Manager to open the app. Go to the Processes tab and it will show all apps and background processes running on your computer. Besides that, you can also use Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell to list all running apps and background processes in Windows 11. You can use the tasklist command for that.
How do I stop apps from running in the background Windows 11?
You can prevent an application from running in the background using Windows Settings. For that, press Win+I to open the Settings app and move to the Apps > Installed apps section. Next, click on the three-dot menu button present next to the target app and select Advanced options. After that, tap on the Let this app run in background drop-down option under Background apps permission and choose the Never option.
Now read: Windows Apps close when minimized in Windows.