How to Kill the Task Manager With the Windows Command Line

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Server administrators can use the "Taskkill" command to shut down rogue processes in Windows.

Writing scripts to automate tasks is an important skill for Windows administrators, and although Windows is primarily graphics-based, there are still a number of powerful tools available that can be used from the Windows command line. When a process is started by a script, it often needs to be closed before the script can continue. The command line tool "Taskkill" performs this task by forcing a process to shut down. If required, the "Taskkill" command can be used to kill the Task Manager from the command line.

Step 1

Click on the Windows "Start" button, then click "All Programs." Click on the "Accessories" folder to open, and then click on "Command Prompt" to launch the Windows command line.

Step 2

Type "tasklist" to see a list of all the running processes. Task Manager should be displayed as "taskmgr.exe."

Step 3

Type "taskkill /IM taskmgr.exe" to kill the Windows Task Manager. The process will be instantly shut down and a success message displayed.


If a process cannot be killed through the Windows Task Manager, the "Taskkill" command can be used to kill the process from the command line.


Be careful when killing open processes; you will lose any unsaved data open at the time.

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