A great improvement is coming to Windows 11. In addition to the ability to close an app normally from the taskbar right-click menu, it will soon allow you to force-terminate the process.
Windows 11 Build 25300 includes a hidden option in the context menu of the app button in the taskbar simply called "End tasks". It is intended to kill the app without waiting for response from the app process. It is similar to the
taskkill /IM processname.exe /F command.
The addition will be pretty useful every time an app hangs and stops responding. Earlier, you had to use Task Manager to terminate it, or issue the above mentioned taskkill command. The new feature saves you a lot of time.
As of this writing, it is a work in progress. The new item does nothing here, so the context menu command is just a stub. Anyway, you can make it visible right now.
Traditionally, you need to use ViVeTool for that. Do the following.
- Download ViveTool from its official GitHub page.
- Extract its files from the ZIP archive to the c:\vivetool folder.
- Press Win + X on the keyboard and select Terminal(Admin).
- In either PowerShell or Command Prompt tab, run the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:42592269,42105254.
- Restart the operating system.
- Open the Settings app (Win + I), and go to System > For developers. You will spot a new option, "End task", which is tied to the Developer mode.
- First enable the Developer mode, then enable End task.
- Run some app and right-click its button in the taskbar. Voila, the new item appears in the menu.
You are done!
However, if you are not happy to keep the Developer mode on just for having the "End task" item in the taskbar menu, there is an alternative solution.
- Open Terminal as Admin, and execute the ViveTool command to unlock the context menu item:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:42592269,42105254
- Now, open one more Terminal, but not as Administrator. Press Win + X and select the regular Terminal entry.
- Run the following command:
reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeveloperSettings /v TaskbarEndTask /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
- Finally restart the computer. You will have the Dev mode disabled, but the End Task item will be available in the taskbar right-click menu.
Undo the changes
The undo command that hides the new End Task item is as follows:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:42592269,42105254
Don't forget to run it as Administrator and restart the OS.
Optionally, you can undo the Registry tweak by using the following command (run it in a regular non-elevated Terminal window):
reg delete HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeveloperSettings /v TaskbarEndTask /f
It is worth noting that the Dev channel build 24366 includes several more hidden features that you can enable with ViVeTool. There is a new File Explorer design, the ability to ungroup taskbar buttons and show their text labels, and much more. Check out this post to learn how to enable them.
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