How to Easily Kill an Unresponsive Application in Ubuntu

There are times when an application goes haywire and become unresponsive and it doesn’t close even when you click the Close button. To kill an unresponive app in Ubuntu, there are a few ways that you can go about doing it:

Using the System Monitor

1. Open the System Monitor app. In the Processes tab, scroll down the list until you find the unresponsive app.

Use the system monitor to kill an unresponsive application in ubuntu

2. Right click on it and select “Kill Process”.

Once confirmed, this will kill the unresponsive application.

Using a keyboard shortcut

You can assign a custom keyboard shortcut to kill an application when it becomes unresponsive.

1. Go to “Settings -> Keyboard” and click on the “Shortcuts” tab.

2. Select the “Custom Shortcuts” on the left pane, and click the “+” button.

Create a custom keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu

3. Enter “xkill” for both the name and command. Click “Apply”.

Setup a new xkill command in ubuntu

4. Click the “Disabled” field to assign a keyboard shortcut (say “Ctrl + alt + k”) to this command.

Assign keyboard shortcut to xkill

Now, whenever an become unresponsive, you can just press the shortcut key “ctrl + alt + k” and your cursor will become a “X”. Click the “X” on the unresponsive app and it will kill the application.

That’s it.


  1. Excellent. Thanks for this…. I used to have a panel app that did this in the Gnome 2 days.

  2. System monitor method is more useful than the xkill method.

  3. Why these links to… ebay?

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