How to Delete Programs Running in the Background

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When a computer runs programs in the background it can slow down computing speed. The more processes a computer runs at the same time, the slower the computer's performance is likely to be. Eliminating background processes by shutting them down or deleting the programs that cause them can help improve computing speed. It is often best to simply end background processes rather than fully uninstall the programs that cause them, but in some cases you may wish to eliminate unused programs that waste processing power.

Ending Background Processes

Step 1

Hold down the "Control," "Alt" and "Delete" keys at the same time to call up the task manager.

Step 2

Click on the "Processes" tab.

Step 3

Search through the processes list, highlight any entry for unnecessary programs by left clicking on it, and then click "End Process." Typically processes designated "System" are ones that you should not end as they are required to make your computer run properly. Only end processes for programs that you know you do not need.

Step 4

Make a list of the programs associated with the processes that you end so that you can delete the underlying programs later on. Check the "Description" column for more detailed information about processes.

Uninstalling Programs

Step 1

Click "Start," "Control Panel," and then "Add/Remove Programs."

Step 2

Refer to the list you created in step 4 of section 1 and find the programs in the Add/Remove programs list.

Step 3

Right click on any program in the list and select "Uninstall," to delete it from your computer. It is best only to remove programs that you no longer use. For others, simply ending the processes they run will be adequate to reduce their impact on computing speed while reserving the ability to run the program later on if you need it.


Some programs create icons on the taskbar when they run and can be shut down by right clicking on the task bar icon.