How to Kill a Process if Your Access Is Denied

By Thomas King

If you attempt to "end" or "kill" a process using the Windows Task Manager, you may receive a message stating that "The operation could not be completed. Access is denied." This is because the process does not run under the same security context as the logged-on user. Fortunately, you can still kill the process. However, you must do so using the Windows Command Prompt rather than the Windows Task Manager.

Step 1

Click "Start," then "All Programs," and then "Accessories." Right-click "Command Prompt" and select "Run as Administrator." Type your administrator password, if prompted. The Elevated Command Prompt opens.

Step 2

Type the following command into the Elevated Command Prompt and press "Enter." Note that "process.exe" should be replaced with the name of the process you want to kill. taskkill process.exe

Step 3

Type "exit" and press "Enter" to close the Elevated Command Prompt.