Two Quick Ways to Close a Frozen App

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated August 16, 2021)


A frustrating issue that arises when using a computer, from time to time, is when a computer app freezes. An app can freeze for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason, it can be frustrating for a user. For many, the go to "fix" is to press and hold the power button until the computer restarts. The reason this method is used by many is that it is simple.

What they don't realize, though, is that this "solution" is potentially worse than the original problem. The simple act of holding down the power button for a frozen app can lead to corruption of data or lost files. There are safer ways to close a frozen app. Two of them can be done by using simple shortcuts.

When you experience an app freezing, try one of these safer methods, which is easy and doesn't require restarting your machine.

Use Task Manager

We have talked about the Task Manager before and even have an article talking about Ending a Process with Task Manager. To pull up the Task Manager, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. From there, select the process (the app) you wish to end and press the End Task button. To better understand the Task Manager or how to end a process using Task Manager, read either of the previously listed articles.

Use Alt+F4

When an app you're using freezes, press Alt+F4. The application that is currently selected or has "focus" will close. After pressing the keyboard shortcut, some programs might display a pop-up window asking if you want to close the program. If you see this pop-up, click "OK," and Windows should close the app.

Either option will allow you to close a frozen app quicker and safer than pressing and holding the power button.

 This tip (1298) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


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What is five more than 7?

2021-08-16 10:41:21

Dan A. Peters

Good advice! I have found that if the only way to exit an app is to press and hold the power button, the very first thing I always do is once the computer is powered back I perform a restart. I have noticed over the years this seems to help the system clear most all issues from the forced shut down.

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