How to kill a windows process from command prompt
Once I had an issue during a windows update and the solution to it was to restart the Windows Update Service. But when I went ahead and tried to restart the windows service it put me into another problem. The Windows Update service resisted a restart and was stuck at “Stopping the service” in services window. The only option to this was to kill the service process and start it again. This is where I came across the taskkill command that can be used to kill a windows process. In order to kill the process I needed the PID of the process so I went straight to the Task Manager. But to add to my unlucky day there wasn’t any process called “Windows Update” in the processes tab.
Windows update service is also known a wuauserv. You can get the short name of any service using below command(Open command prompt as administrator):
Getting short name of a windows service:
sc GetKeyName <Service Name>
C:\Windows\system32>sc GetKeyName "Windows Update" [SC] GetServiceKeyName SUCCESS Name = wuauserv
Now that I had the short name of the service I used the “sc queryex” command to find the PID of the Windows Update Service(wuauserv) which is as follows:
Finding PID of a windows service:
sc queryex <Service Short Name>
C:\Windows\system32>sc queryex wuauserv SERVICE_NAME: wuauserv TYPE : 20 WIN32_SHARE_PROCESS STATE : 4 RUNNING (STOPPABLE, NOT_PAUSABLE, ACCEPTS_PRESHUTDOWN) WIN32_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0) SERVICE_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0) CHECKPOINT : 0x0 WAIT_HINT : 0x0 PID : 1116 FLAGS :
Or we can also look for the wuauserv service in the Services tab of the Task Manager and get the PID of the process.
So now that we have the PID of the process we want to kill, we can use the below taskkill command to kill the process
Killing a Windows Process
taskkill /F /PID <PID>
In the above command /F means forcefully terminate the process if it tries to resist.
C:\Windows\system32>taskkill /F /PID 1116 SUCCESS: The process with PID 1116 has been terminated.
Dannng..!! Now we can start the stuck service and get back to work… 🙂
We can also use taskkill to kill a process by Image name (by using /IM <Image Name>.)
C:\>taskkill /F /IM notepad.exe SUCCESS: The process "notepad.exe" with PID 13088 has been terminated.
We can also use taskkill to kill processes on a remote computer. To learn more about taskkill command type
Also note that taskkill is a very powerful command so always be very careful while executing it.
Hope this blog helped you.. Let me know how and your experience with taskkill in the comments below.