Terminate Stubborn Programs With Process Assassin

If you have ever used a computer, you know how from time to time you get a stubborn application that just won’t close. When you are using a Windows machine, you can summon the Task Manager with Ctrl + Alt +Delete. There are times however, the Task Manager can’t even motivate the application to close.

Sometimes the application may need a little nudge, sometimes it needs to be assassinated. Process Assassin is a tiny little application (368 KB) can be run from just about anywhere.


1. Download the zip file containing the application from Process Assassin’s website.


2. You will need to unzip the file to use the application. You can choose a spot where you want it to extract to. I chose my 4 gb USB drive. There will be a picture, the app and a readme doc.

How it works

When you start Process Assassin, you are greeted by a simply laid out window.


You will see 5 tabs across the top and several buttons in each tab. The buttons are labeled with popular applications such as Microsoft Office programs, web browsers, OS apps and others like Launchy, Nero and Thunderbird.

If the application is not running the button is grayed out. Once you start Firefox for example, the button comes to life and allows you to click it.


Let’s say Launchy is being stubborn and unresponsive. If Process Assassin is not running, open it up and navigate to the Other Applications tab. The Launchy button should be lit up. All you have to do is click the button and Launchy is terminated.

Other apps

What if you the program you need to close is not one of the default buttons? Well, in the top right corner, there is a big button that says Assassinate.


When you click the button, an Explorer style window pops up. You will need to navigate to the folder where the .exe file for the unresponsive program is.


When you find the .exe file, highlight it and click the Open button.


When you pull the proverbial “trigger”, the application is instantly closed.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a big time saver. Process Assassin has two that make killing an application a bit easier.

Ctrl + W – brings the Assassin window to the front of all other open applications. Doing this allows you to click on one if the default application buttons.

Ctrl + A – opens the Assassination explorer window. This is the same as clicking the button in the top right of the Assassin window.


The application does exactly what it says it does. The simplicity of it makes using it a snap. When you are already a bit stressed because you have to close an application and probably redo a some of the work you just did, it is a good thing you have a straightforward app to use.

A similar application was reviewed a while ago here on MTE. Take a look at Kill, it is a remake of a Linux app.

What other applications do you use to kill an unresponsive program?

intro image: kevindooley

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