6 Ways to Kill Multiple Windows Processes at Once

Whenever you want to view or kill a running process or task in Windows, the obvious thing to do is open up Windows Task Manager, look for what you want to kill and then click End Process or End Task. Even if you are not a fan of the Windows version, there are plenty of alternative task management utilities around that can do the basics while offering more features and more advanced functionality

A limitation with Windows Task Manager is its inability to kill more than one process at the same time. This is sometimes required if there are malicious or potentially unwanted programs on the system because often they consist of more than one process. If you kill one process, another related process will relaunch it again soon afterwards. It’s also similar when trying to kill processes that are controlled by services because the background service can simply re-launch the program.

By terminating all processes that are causing the issue at once, it doesn’t give anything the chance to respawn and hopefully stops things running that you don’t want running. As Windows Task Manager can’t do it, you will need another method, here are six for you to try out.

1. Multi-Process Killer

As far as ease of use goes, Multi-Process Killer is about as simple as you could wish for. Although it’s a portable executable the Java Runtime Environment is required for Multi-Process Killer to work so it will need to be downloaded and installed separately if not already on your system.

multi process killer

Run the program, select the processes that you would like to terminate by ticking their boxes, then click the Kill Selected Processes button. After a confirmation box everything you asked for should be terminated. The only option to speak of is changing the refresh rate of the process list from the default 1.5 seconds.

Download Multi-Process Killer

2. Ultimate Process Killer

Like Multi-Process Killer above, Ultimate Process Killer is a standalone portable program that shows you all running processes and allows you kill them in batches. This program however, doesn’t require Java Runtimes to function and is only 153KB in size.

ultimate process killer

Simply run the program or refresh the list if it’s already open, tick the process boxes you want to kill and then press Kill Checked Process, the procedure is immediate and has no confirmation dialogs. To kill a single process click on it and press Kill Selected Process, an option is also available to terminate any single process on double click. A useful function is the simple logging with “Show Detail after Termination” which tells you how the procedure went in the Detail and Options tab.

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3. KillProcess

This program is a little different because in addition to being a simple task manager, KillProcess can also make use of predefined process lists. The Kill Lists can then be loaded on your own or any other computer and all the running processes in the list will be killed (or inverted and not killed) at the click of a button. Sadly the lists provided by the author are outdated and stopped at Windows 7, you can easily make your own though.

kill process

To create a list for batch killing processes, go to File > New Kill List, give it a name and location. Then click on any process in the list and press the Insert key (or right click and “Add to list”), and when you are ready press the bottom left button to execute the list and kill the selected processes. Alternatively add other executable files to the list manually in the edit list window. Kill Lists can be inverted and turned into lists of processes to keep by using the tick box in Edit Kill List > List Information.

A useful feature worth mentioning is the ability for KillProcess to sit in the tray actively watching the running process list and killing specific processes in the Kill List as soon as they run. To do that select the process while editing the list and tick the Scan for process box. As soon as the program appears in the list of running processes, KillProcess will automatically kill it again.

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4. MiTec Task Manager Deluxe

There are several task managers around but not all of them can multi select processes for batch termination. For instance, probably the most popular task manager Process Explorer can only select one process at a time. We’ve chosen to look at MiTec Task Manager Deluxe because it’s one of the easiest to perform batch process kills in addition to being portable and having the ability to replace Windows Task Manager if you want.

mitec task manager deluxe

Like other programs, MiTec Task Manager has a simple selection method of ticking the boxes for each process to kill and then clicking the Terminate checked processes button at the bottom. Something useful is the dropdown at the top that can hide system processes and show only non system processes which is where you’ll find running malicious or third party programs that you’re more inclined to want to kill. Separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available.

Download MiTec Task Manager Deluxe

Additional: Although it does not use boxes to select the processes for termination, another popular task manager that can multi kill is Process Hacker. Selecting what to kill is very much like Windows Explorer, Shift+click, Ctrl+click or click and drag to select the processes, then press the Del key.

5. Auto Kill Any Process

Auto Kill Any Process is similar to KillProcess by having the ability to create lists which can then be used to batch terminate processes, although this time they are call Hitlists. Unlike KillProcess, it is still in active development and listed as being compatible up to Windows 8.1, but unless you use Universal Extractor to unpack the MSI installer, it will have to be installed.

auto kill any process

Running processes can be added to a Hitlist and batch terminated every time you execute the list or killed immediately. To do either go to the Add Running Processes tab, tick each process to be killed from the running list and then click Save to Hitlist or Kill Now! You can of course create, edit and run custom Hitlists when you like. Another useful option in Other Settings is the timer which will execute the chosen Hitlists every set number of minutes from the system tray.

Download Auto Kill Any Process

6. Kill Multiple Processes From Command Line or Scripts

In addition to Task Manager, Windows has a built in command line tool that is able to kill running processes from a Command Prompt window or script file. Taskkill is available on all recent versions of Windows (excluding XP Home) and can easily kill several different processes at once by either supplying their image name or process identifier (PID), both can be found in Task Manager. The syntax is quite simple:

Taskkill /T /F /IM Firefox.exe /IM Iexplore.exe /IM Chrome.exe [/IM processname.exe]

With the addition of /F the above command will force kill all instances of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome using the image names given. Use /PID {number} instead of /IM {name} if you wish to kill a process by PID. Using PID will not kill multiple process instances with the same name, for example all Chrome.exe’s, because each process will have a different PID.

taskkill multiple tasks

You can also add a command similar to the above in the location box when creating a desktop shortcut, this will automatically kill all selected processes with a double click.

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