Three rare tips for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

By | November 15, 2011
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Taskkill

Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 borrow a feature from Linux. Taskkill allows you to terminate a running process (program) from the command line. Here’s how you use it:

Click Start/Run and type Command. The command utility window opens.

Type Tasklist at the prompt. You’ll see a list of running processes. Next to each process you’ll see a PID number. To kill any running task, type Taskkill /PID xxx (where xxx represents the PID number of the task you want to terminate).

Why would you want to use this? Because you can? Or maybe your computer is frozen and you can’t access Task Manager. Or maybe just for fun?

Edit user accounts using the command line

Click Start/Run. Type “control userpasswords2” (without the quotes) in the command line, and press Enter.

Create a shortcut for easy access to Task Manger

You can access Task Manager by right-clicking on your taskbar and choosing Task Manager, you can user CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, or you can use the three-finger salute (CTRL+ALT+DELETE). Did you know that you can also create a shortcut to Task Manager and leave it on your desktop, drag it to your quick launch toolbar, or taskbar (Windows 7) or put in on your start menu? You can, and it’s easy to do.

Right-click on your desktop and choose “New” “Shortcut” and copy and paste the following (in bold) into the “type location of the item” field:

%windir%\system32\taskmgr.exe

Once you’re created your shortcut, you can drag its icon to your start menu, quick launch bar, taskbar (Windows 7) or simply leave it on your desktop. The next time you need to launch Task Manager, just click your new shortcut.

8 thoughts on “Three rare tips for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

  1. John

    Taskkill Very useful for creating batch scripts to shut down multiple processes at once, but unfortunately it’s only available for Windows XP Pro, not XP Home.

    Reply
  2. Phil

    I tried your Taskkill on a running process but it said I was not authorized.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      You are not an Administrator on your computer then – you need to run an elevated command prompt. To learn how to do that, just type “elevated command prompt” (without the quotes, in the search on this site.

      Reply
  3. Janice

    Hi…I love all your tips/tricks and info. Thank you so much. I have tried over and over again to do as you instructed so I could put a shortcut for Taskmanager on my desktop. When I copy and paste what you wrote, it never stays in BOLD! Then, I click continue and it tells me, that the file CANNOT BE FOUND.

    Please HELP! What am I doing wrong?? Thanks again.

    Reply
  4. Ruebene

    The Tasklist window opens and starts loading the processes and then the window disappears. I tried several times. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      It works. You’re not typing it correctly – it’s %windir%\system32\taskmgr.exe you’re leaving out the backslashes.

      Reply

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