The TASKKILL command is a utility in Windows Command Prompt that allows users to terminate tasks or processes either by process ID (PID) or by image name. It is particularly useful in scripting, for system administration, and in situations where a program has become unresponsive or is undesirably consuming system resources.


The basic syntax for the TASKKILL command is as follows:

TASKKILL [options]


  • To terminate tasks by process ID (PID):
    TASKKILL /PID processid [/PID processid...]
  • To terminate tasks by image name:
    TASKKILL /IM imagename [/IM imagename...]
  • Use filters to specify which tasks to kill:
    TASKKILL /FI filter [/FI filter...]


  • /S system – Specifies the remote system to connect to.
  • /U [domain\]user – Runs the command with the permissions of the specified user account.
  • /P [password] – Specifies the password for the user account.
  • /F – Forces the termination of the process.
  • /PID processid – Specifies the PID of the process to be terminated. Can be specified multiple times.
  • /IM imagename – Specifies the name of the image to be terminated. Wildcards (e.g., *) can be used.
  • /T – Terminates the specified process and any child processes which were started by it.
  • /FI filter – Applies a filter to select a set of tasks. Allows for wildcard usage in the filter string.
  • /M modules – Specifies the module name to be used with a /FI filter. Modules can be DLLs or other loaded modules.
  • /? – Displays help documentation and exits.


  1. Terminate a process by PID:
    TASKKILL /PID 1230
  2. Forcefully terminate a specific application by name:
    TASKKILL /IM notepad.exe /F
  3. Terminate all instances of processes that start with ‘note’:
    TASKKILL /IM note* /F
  4. Terminate a process and its child processes:
    TASKKILL /PID 1240 /T

Common Issues

  • Permission Errors: Users might encounter permission errors if they try to kill a process without sufficient privileges. Running the command prompt as an administrator or using the /U and /P options may resolve this.
  • Invalid PID or Image Name: Errors occur when the specified PID or image name does not exist. Double-check the PID or image names before running the command.
  • Processes Not Terminating: Some processes may not terminate if they’re critical to the system or if they ignore the termination signal. Using the /F option may help but use it cautiously.


TASKKILL can be integrated with other commands like TASKLIST for advanced process management. For example, to find and kill a specific application:

TASKLIST /FI "IMAGENAME eq problematic_app.exe" /FO TABLE /NH | FOR /F "tokens=2" %i IN ('MORE') DO TASKKILL /PID %i /F

This script lists processes, filters for the problematic application, and terminates it.

  • TASKLIST – Displays a list of currently running processes.
  • WMIC – Windows Management Instrumentation Command tool, for more advanced system management.

For further details, refer to Microsoft’s official documentation.