Microsoft DOS taskkill command

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

About taskkill

Allows a user running Microsoft Windows XP professional, Windows 2003, or later to kill a task from an Windows command line by process id (PID) or image name.


The taskkill command is an external command that is available in the below Microsoft operating systems as taskkill.exe.

Tip: Windows XP home edition do not have access to this command. Use the command tskill instead.

Windows XP Professional
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10

Taskkill syntax

Windows Vista and later syntax

TASKKILL [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]] { [/FI filter] [/PID processid | /IM imagename] } [/T] [/F]

/S system Specifies the remote system to connect to.
/U [domain\]user Specifies the user context under which the command should execute.
/P [password] Specifies the password for the given user context. Prompts for input if omitted.
/FI FilterName Applies a filter to select a set of tasks. Allows "*" to be used. ex. imagename eq acme* See below filters for additional information and examples.
/PID processID Specifies the PID of the process to be terminated. Use TaskList to get the PID.
/IM ImageName Specifies the image name of the process to be terminated. Wildcard '*' can be used to specify all tasks or image names.
/T Terminates the specified process and any child processes which were started by it.
/F Specifies to forcefully terminate the process(es).


Name Operators Value
IMAGENAME eq, ne Image name
PID eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le PID value
SESSION eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le Session number.
CPUTIME eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le CPU time in the format of hh:mm:ss.
hh - hours, mm - minutes, ss - seconds
MEMUSAGE eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le Memory usage in KB
USERNAME eq, ne Username in [domain\]user format
MODULES eq, ne DLL name
SERVICES eq, ne Service name
WINDOWTITLE eq, ne Window title


1) Wildcard '*' for /IM switch is accepted only when a filter is applied.
2) Termination of remote processes will always be done forcefully (/F).
3) "WINDOWTITLE" and "STATUS" filters are not considered when a remote
machine is specified.

Windows XP and earlier syntax

taskkill [/s Computer] [/u Domain\User [/p Password]]] [/fi FilterName] [/pid ProcessID]|[/im ImageName] [/f][/t]

/s computer Specifies the name or IP address of a remote computer (do not use backslashes). The default is the local computer.
/u domain\user Runs the command with the account permissions of the user specified by User or Domain\User. The default is the permissions of the current logged on user on the computer issuing the command.
/p password Specifies the password of the user account that is specified in the /u parameter.
/fi FilterName Specifies the types of process(es) to include in or exclude from termination. The following are valid filter names, operators, and values.
Name Operators Value
Hostname eq, ne Any valid string.
Imagename eq, ne Any valid string.
PID eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le Any valid positive integer.
Session eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le Any valid session number.
CPUTime eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le Valid time in the format of hh:mm:ss. The mm and ss parameters should be between 0 and 59 and hh can be any valid unsigned numeric value.
Memusage eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le Any valid integer.
Username eq, ne Any valid username ([Domain\]User).
Services eq, ne Any valid string.
Windowtitle eq, ne Any valid string.
/pid processID Specifies the process ID of the process to be terminated.
/im ImageName Specifies the image name of the process to be terminated. Use the wildcard (*) to specify all image names.
/f Specifies that process(es) be forcefully terminated. This parameter is ignored for remote processes; all remote processes are forcefully terminated.
/t Specifies to terminate all child processes along with the parent process, commonly known as a tree kill.

Tip: See the operator definition for full information about operators and eq, ge, gt, le, lt, and ne.

Taskkill examples

Tip: If you need to see a listing of all running tasks use the tasklist command.

taskkill /f /im notepad.exe

Kills the open notepad task, if open.

taskkill /pid 9764

Kill the task with PID 9764. If successful should give you a message similar to the example below.

SUCCESS: Sent termination signal to the process with PID 9764.

Additional information

  • See our task definition for further information and related links on this term.