How To Stop Processes in XP / Vista / Windows 7

This guide will detail how to stop a computer process in XP, Vista, or Windows 7. It is essential sometimes to stop a task so that the file can be deleted. This is generally done when the file is a virus. Without stopping the process, the file can’t be deleted since the file is in use.

Caution: Stopping processes can cause damage to your computer if done improperly. Please use caution. It is recommended that you don’t stop any system tasks.

How To Stop Processes in XP
How To Stop Processes in Vista and Windows 7
Task Manager Tips

For Windows XP – Step 1: Open the task manager. This can be done by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and clicking Task Manager or right clicking on the task bar and clicking on Task Manager

step 1

Step 2. Choose the task which you want to end and click End Process

step 2

Step 3: You will get a warning message. Please use your discretion whether the task needs to be stopped. If it is a virus, then generally it needs to be stopped.

step 3

For Windows Vista & Windows 7 - The following steps are designed for Windows Vista & Windows 7. This portion of the guide was created because task manager in Windows Vista & Windows 7 is slightly different from task manager in Windows XP.

Step 1: Open the task manager. This can be done by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and clicking “Start Task Manager” or right clicking on the task bar and clicking on Task Manager.

Step 2. Choose the task which you want to end and click End Process

Step 3: You will get a warning message. Please use your discretion whether the task needs to be stopped. If it is a virus, then generally it needs to be stopped.

Tip For Windows Vista & Windows 7 - In task manager, the user can right click on the process and go to “Open File Location” to find where the file is located. This is useful when it is hard to find the virus in the file manager.

Task Manager Tips – If task manager has been blocked by a virus, try using Process Explorer. Viruses may modify the registry to block the user from using task manager; therefore, use Process Explorer if this has occurred. Process Explorer is an alternate for task manager provided by Microsoft.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post below.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2023 at 2:44 pm and is filed under How-To Guides. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

52 Responses to “How To Stop Processes in XP / Vista / Windows 7”

RICHARD December 16th, 2023 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for the Guide to remove (scan*proantispyware-scanner* com/225/3/)fake scanner, with task manager. It worked, I would say!

Jez January 6th, 2024 at 12:28 am

thank u guys. got rid of the anoying spyware!

Kim January 22nd, 2024 at 9:41 pm

How can I tell which Processes I should stop?

sandy January 28th, 2024 at 9:47 am

hi there,
plz advice. on following the steps on this site i have opened the task manager process and the only prog which seems suspicious to me is rundll32.exe and winlogon.exe but am not sure and dont want to mess up things further in my laptop by ending some usefull process. i want toget rid of this antivirus360 and not much tech. so plz help. as far i can open the system but this pop up keeps coming to buy this 360 n blocks webpage. plz help

erfan February 10th, 2024 at 4:37 pm

hello there
plz help me i cant find that thingy in task manager.plz help me for gods sake. :’(

futcha February 13th, 2024 at 8:14 am

i have that virus and i think i have deleted it
not sure
but i cant open the task manager
it has been disabled in ctrl alt delete
and right clicking the taskbar
plz help

futcha February 13th, 2024 at 8:19 am

wait sorry, i didnt read the other thing and its working now
thanks anyways

AIANA March 1st, 2024 at 8:37 pm

I am trying to uninstall the entire Antiviru360 system from my computer but it will not let me proceed. How can I do it?

dennis March 2nd, 2024 at 6:43 pm

same problem from aiana,im trying uninstall Antivirus360 from my computer,How can i do it?

Dave Maguire March 5th, 2024 at 6:14 pm

I am in a remote area and use a MTNF@stlinkHSDPAModem similar to a cell phone connection. I am unable to stay on the net, sometimes more than a few seconds before I am cut off. It seems as if Sxolpe.exe is doing this because when I end the task in task manager it works for a while but it keeps coming back. I keep the prefetch file open and can see when it re-appears and keep removing it manually. How can I prevent this irritating file from returning and frustrating me?

David March 18th, 2024 at 7:55 pm

This site has been really helpful. I was not able to remove Antivirus 360 from my laptop. It was really annoying and could turn off my laptop anytime. But now through the steps that they have showed me, my laptop is now free! Thanks to all who work to help others

aman June 4th, 2024 at 2:12 am

system security 2009 is not allowing me to open my task manager or install any other antivirus program

Tanya June 11th, 2024 at 6:57 pm

I tried opening Task Manager & this virus keeps closing task manager & doesn’t give me the option to right-click. Please help!!

K.J. June 26th, 2023 at 12:55 pm

I tried opening task manager and it’s not letting me open it is there another way to get it up.

FElipe July 2nd, 2023 at 2:43 pm


dean July 19th, 2023 at 1:54 am

my computer is infected with a virus pretending to be virus scanning software by the name of system security i tried to follow these directions but this virus keep me from open almost all of my files and it doesn’t let open the taskmanager. it says they are infected.

Jay July 25th, 2023 at 3:14 pm

how do I know which one is this virus? There are alot of things in there not sure which one it is?

it started out not letting me open anything really….then went on vacation had the computer off for a week and then I plugged it back in today and I can’t see that supposed program…system security (virus)……

first thing I tried to do was system restore but when I clicked on that it would only bring it up for a second so that i could not click on it….now it allows me to bring it up and even click on it but it will not perform it??? help me please…..I am using my other computer which is a MAC…..but for some reason it will not allow me to check my emails…..just had the hard drive replaced…so having much difficulty here… phone access….using magic jack which I can not getting going since this happened……and cannot check emails either….no communications here driving me crazy!!!

Ruby July 28th, 2023 at 9:41 am

Tôi không biết đã cài phàn mềm hoàn hảo defender 2009, nên máy đã bị nhiễm virus,và toàn bộ các five excel không mở đựoc ra nữa ,và microsoft office cung không thể khởi động được.
Mong đựoc hướng dẫn cách khắc phục.

Sherri August 6th, 2023 at 10:11 pm

My son has downloaded the Security Systems 2023 virus. I can’t get rid of it. Or even open your free removal program. I need help. Please help me.

aditya August 7th, 2023 at 5:18 pm

Like Sherri, i seem to be facing a similar problem. Neither the download remover tool nor task manager open at all. Please Help, i am desperate

dora September 3rd, 2023 at 9:07 pm

muy buena tu solucion si funciono…. gracias

Linda Dove September 14th, 2023 at 6:01 pm

what happened to remove personal antivirus free download that was available for XP/Vista earlier today.

jessica September 16th, 2023 at 5:00 pm

i need help!!!!!!!!!!! i cannot open my task manager i tried the copy and paste thing into a word document to open it and it works for like 2 seconds right when i turn the computer on but i cant find anything to delete i have WINDOWS POLICE PRO and ANTIVIRUS PRO 2010 I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Farid Ishak September 24th, 2023 at 1:55 pm

I think I got a solution to stop the virus first from running. So you can remove it in peace.
If you click on my computer it freezes but
with me below works.
press windows button + E
then go to — c:\documents and settings\All users\application data
look for folder with random numbers
go into it.

you’ll see an .exe file with the virus logo on it.
you won’t be able to delete it. Buuut you will be able to change the .exe to .txt.

when you done that, restart your computer and voila you are able to remove it in peace,…

This worked for me, hope this works for you to.

Greetings, Farid Ishak

Catherine Brauns September 28th, 2023 at 9:59 pm

I have tried your options and I have installed Internet Explorer 8, and AlphaAV seemed to go away but now it is trying to access Google Chrome. I also get messages to that the site I am accessing is harmful.
I am frustrated that I cannot access Internet Explorer without it being a blocked site according to the computer.
Please advise before I throw all of it in the bin.

david October 20th, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Dobrý den,

můj notebook byl napaden virem cyber protection center. Teda vykazuje to všechny příznaky (vyskakovací okna atd) Můj problém je v tom, že nemůžu najít registry či soubory, které by se měly vymazat, prostě tam nejsou. Je možné, že existuje už nějaká lepší mutace tohoto viru a jmenují se jinak. Díky za odpověď. S pozdravem David

nanci November 23rd, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Hallo, Ik heb alpha antivirus op mijn pc staan . Hoe kan ik dit antivirus verwijderen?

Carl Kennedy January 19th, 2024 at 7:49 am

These solutions aren’t working for me. IS2010 prevents me from accessing the Internet, prevents me from opening Task Manager and none of the spy ware can rid me of it…got anything else???

keli March 11th, 2024 at 8:53 am

i have the personal security virus wasnt able to get to task managment but finally did it in safe mode, problem is i dont know on step two under process which one to end?

Beverly March 22nd, 2024 at 5:48 pm

Please help me remove XP Internet Security virus from my computer.

tim April 10th, 2024 at 3:28 am

what if i can’t open process explorer cause i need to download it and then open it but anti virus suite is blocking it?

tim April 10th, 2024 at 3:32 am

specifically blocking winzip to open up the process explorer file i downloaded?

tim April 10th, 2024 at 3:33 am

i am really stuck in a pickle here so any help would be greatly appreciated

Ashish Vaghela May 5th, 2024 at 8:16 pm

How do we know which task needs to end? When we select the process in the task manager, many task are running. how will I know which task has control center in it?
Please guide me. The control center virus has entered in my laptop and I am not able to do any thing.

HelpWanted May 15th, 2024 at 8:04 pm

How do you know what tasks need to end?? PLZ HELP ME!!!

Moe May 25th, 2024 at 2:50 am

So hoping this comment may help some people.

As soon as you log on, press Ctrl+Alt+Del, click on task manager. I read a few posts about people not knowing which process to end. the process name is made up of 2 parts. the first, consisting of random letters which might be different for everyone. The second part should be the same for all and should read tssd.exe. So overall look for a process that ends with tssd.exe For example, hafjkshsutssd.exe, or abcdetssd.exe.

That stops the virus from running, take this time to go through your computer and delete any traces of this virus.

Shannon May 29th, 2024 at 9:47 pm

This was very useful. It was the only way I could get to it. I tried everything!! Thanks!!!!

jd June 1st, 2024 at 7:10 pm

Is there an alternative to all the mentioned strategies, as all have failed to fix the issue at hand.

owen September 12th, 2023 at 4:59 am

I have a vista 2008 laptop. I get pop ups that tell me I have a virus. My mcafee says no virus. They just want me to buy their product. I can’t open up any program or perform any tasks to remove there program. As soon as I try to open anything it pops up with “application cannot be executed”. I am writing you on my other PC because my Laptop won’t open anything.

DuWayne March 23rd, 2024 at 7:03 pm

I am unable to use task manager. I click to end process which I am confident is the virus but it denies my command. Please help.

ian March 31st, 2024 at 11:12 am

Folks – i have tried everything here. The malware stops ANYTHING. Including 10 removal tools I have tried, internet access, process explorer – everything. 2 days has passed and I’m no nearer to even starting to tackle this problem. I’m poised to simply bin my desktop and buy another.

Holly s April 1st, 2024 at 4:44 am

Have this as avu.exe process. Avg security the free one, gave accurate details on which files virus was accessing. Deleted all, stopped process. Seems ok now I think. Anything else I should do? Or rather can this be prevented? Thanks. Helpful site!

Alex April 3rd, 2024 at 7:35 pm

Use task manager to stop the initial .exe file running, then right click on your malware program (I use Spybot) and run as administrator. That should override the virus and run your program. This has been driving us mad all day, hope it helps somebody out

Melina April 4th, 2024 at 1:17 am

ok WHAT files am i looking for in task manager to stop and remove????

ahhh! April 5th, 2024 at 6:40 am

the virus isn’t letting me end things in task manager. Nor, is it letting me on the internet to run process explorer. Help!!

Leo April 7th, 2024 at 7:06 pm

How would i know which task needs to be ended in “Windows task manager” ?

jeff April 10th, 2024 at 10:59 pm

I did all this but the when I want to run run a program that can help the virus pops up again. This is only partly working for the internet but it comes up sometimes even for that. Thank you for your help so far


dagmar April 17th, 2024 at 6:03 pm

I had that Clean this rogue which blocked the task manager. I did not know how to find the process explorer (perhaps my windows 2003 does not have that?).
What I did: I went on search file ( a friend had found out that “clean this” is installed as “gog.exe”.
It blocked the tasks manager and the internet, did not allow the icons to show on the desktop.
So after the pc showed the path to “gog.exe”, I went to the explorer, found the programme there, renamed it “qwe.exe” a and shut the pc down.
in restarting it could not find the exe necessary, so the pop-up-process was stopped.
Then I could delete it the normal way: I did it via explorer, dragged it to the recycle bin, and emptied the recycle bin.
Thank heavens, that worked.

Cautions friends of mine suggested I need to find the keys the programme has left behind…
Don’t know how.

I will now download the newest antivirus programme shareware and defrag the whole pc.

thats all.

Ed April 21st, 2024 at 5:04 pm

I am not being testy since everyone is trying to help but all of the instructions are useless if you cannot tell people what files to stop in Task Manager. it is not enough to say .exe because real files end in this. Does anyone know what files need to be deleted in task manager for the XP Security 2023 Virus?

Ashish July 2nd, 2023 at 3:37 pm

I am not able to start my computer in safe mode.It automatically started in normal mode.I have tried it for lot time but its not done.Can you please help me in this.Also I am unable to execute any spyware on my computer
Please tell me which type or name of the process I have to delete.

Matt July 18th, 2023 at 5:23 pm

I was just infected with the defender.exe virus, and when I ran the task manager, the virus closes it. Another work around I did, was to kill the task in cmd using run. Start>Run then type TaskKill /IM defender.exe
I then removed all the remnants of the virus, including the keys it left on my registry.

matt July 21st, 2023 at 10:09 am

GO TO Computer, Local Disk (C:), Users, then your Username, AppData, Click the Roaming folder, the virus logo should be in there with a “.exe” name. Yes you can’t delete this it won’t let you, but simply rename it with a “.txt”. Restart your computer. Delete the .txt file when it starts back up. It shouldn’t be there anymore. Everything’s back to normal. Don’t waste your time trying to open task manager or deleting it through your browser like all these tips are telling you to, because I know for a lot of you, as it was with me, those don’t open with this virus. I basically pieced together different parts of help from this site of how to find the file, and how to delete it, to get this solution and this is what worked for me. I found it through the roaming folder in the AppData folder, it may be different for you but as long as you can find it, rename it with a .txt, and restart, you can delete it. booyah. Hope this works for all of you too.

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