HOWTO: Kill Process Remotely on Windows Operating Systems

Time for a System’s Administrator trick that I’ve found to be extremely useful over the years. Sometimes you’ve got a program that’s stuck on a machine in an office many miles away and you just need to kill process to fix the issue. If all your machines are connected, most of the time you can do that through WMI procedures.
There are several ways to do this. I’ll list two command line methods, and a GUI method here as they are the least obtrusive and easiest to come by.

Method 1. Taskkill. Determine What the Name of the Task Is You Need to Kill

Determine the name or process id which you need to kill. This is usually just the name of the executable of the program you’re trying to terminate, like winword.exe, chrome.exe, notepad.exe, or explorer.exe (don’t, seriously).

To do this open task manager

  • Click the Windows Search button;
  • Enter the Task Manager in the text box;
  • Right click on the appeared Task Manager icon;
  • Select Run as administrator from the context menu;

Step 1 to Kill Process is to open task manager

Open the Command Prompt as Administrator

Open the command prompt in Administrator mode. You do this by opening your start menu, typing cmd, and right clicking the “CMD” or “Command Prompt” icon and clicking “Run as Administrator”.

Open Command line

The Next Step Is to Type Command

In appeared command line window type the following command

taskkill /s remotecomputername /u domainname\username /p password /IM processname

Push Enter button.

It should give you a success message.

Step 3 to Kill Process is to type taskkill command

Method 2. Pstools. Download this Tools

First off all download the tools and extract them to a folder somewhere on your computer or put them on a Thumb Drive.

Note: You can download and get the reference guide for Pstools

Note: You have to hit an “I agree” screen the first time you use them on any computer.

Download PsTools

Determine What the Name of the Task Is You Need to Kill

This is usually just the name of the executable of the program you’re trying to terminate, like winword.exe, chrome.exe, notepad.exe, or explorer.exe (don’t, seriously). See Step 1

Open the Command Prompt and Type Command

Open the command prompt in Administrator mode. You do this by opening your start menu, typing cmd, and right clicking the “CMD” or “Command Prompt” icon and clicking “Run as Administrator”. Then navigate to the folder you placed the PStools in. I typically just put them on the C:\ drive on my machine, in a PSTools folder. So you’d type this:

cd \pstools

Finally Type Command Below

Type this line:

Pskill \\remotecomputername -u username -p password processtokill

The last step to kill process remotely is to use pskill command

Push Enter button.

It will run through a more complex set of steps than Taskkill but the outcome is pretty similar.

Also consider using Action1 to kill process remotely if:

  • - You need to perform this action on multiple (hundreds or even thousands) computers simultaneously.
  • - Some of your endpoints are laptops not connected to corporate network at all times.

Action1 is a cloud-based platform for software deployment, software/hardware inventory, patch management, endpoint configuration and more. It is free with basic functionality.


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