How to Kill the Task Manager With the Windows Command Line

By Gareth Downes-Powell

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.

Tips & Warnings

  • 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.