How to close a program that’s not responding

Not sure what to do when your computer program becomes unresponsive? These steps show you.

20 Aug 2018

How to close a program that’s not responding

It’s not unusual to experience an unresponsive computer program or application from time to time. If your program just stops responding, freezes or hangs, the easiest way to solve this issue is to completely close the program. Be aware with this action that any work you haven’t already saved is likely to be lost.

You can completely close a computer program by using Windows Task Manager.


  1. Open Windows Task Manager
  2. Press Ctrl, Shift, Escape on your keyboard.

a. If you can’t see the Task Manager window, press Alt & Tab on your keyboard, the window might be hidden behind the unresponsive program.


Press Ctrl, Shift, Escape on your keyboard.

b. If you can’t see a list of the applications you have open, click ‘more details’ to reveal them.

click ‘more details’ to reveal them a list of the applications you have open


3. Click on the unresponsive program, it will usually show as “not responding”

4. Click “End Task”.

Click “End Task”

What if Ctrl Alt Esc didn’t open Windows Task Manager?

The steps above are for Windows 10 and steps can vary slightly between versions of Windows.

An alternative way to open the Windows Task Manager is by using the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys. This should present you with a menu, where you can choose ‘Task Manager’.

What if a specific program continues to not respond?

If a specific program keeps freezing on you, it could be a sign that something's wrong. Programs or freezing or hanging can be due to a number of issues, like software bugs or hardware driver issues, and this can make troubleshooting tricky.

A great place to start is to make sure your operating system is up to date, check if there are any updates for your software and hardware drivers, and make sure you have your anti-virus running and it’s up to date too.

How do I check if my Windows is up to date?

Windows 10 does periodically and automatically check for updates. When an update is available, it’s automatically downloaded and installed, to keep your device up to date with the latest features.

If you want to check for updates now, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Start button

  2. Go to Settings

  3. Update & Security

  4. Windows Update

  5. Select Check for updates.

If Windows Update says your device is up to date, you have all the updates that are currently available.


We’re here to help

Need some help with unresponsive programs?

Contact us to get in touch with the experts at Telstra Platinum.


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