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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easily Kill Hung Processes on Windows with Super F4

I have been using the Windows hot key combination to kill a running program for a really long time now. For those of you who do not know it is Alt-F4. This will politely request that the open application on your screen is to close. If you have unsaved work, the program might ask you to save it or if the program was really hung it might not do anything at all.

But with this little 116KB download from GoogleCode you can force an application to close with Control-Alt-F4. This will effectively kill the application without any other intervention. The program also offers the option to press the Windows key + F4 and then click on the window you want to kill. These two options make this a handy dandy item for my toolkit.

I downloaded the application and installed it. You have options within the installer to check for updates as well as making Super F4 start up with Windows. Once it is running you will see this item in your system tray:

Superf41


The icon for Super F4 is the one all the way on the left. If you right-click on it you will see your basic options. You can disable it, hide the tray icon and set the auto-start functionality as well as exit the application.

superf42

Normally when killing FileZilla I would get a dialogue box that looked like this:

SUPERF43

That means I have to actually click on the box and answer the question. If I want to be swift about it I just need to hit my Control-Alt-F4 and blammo FileZilla is closed with no pop-up. That means I can just continue on to do what I have to do.

I simulated a failure in Excel and hit the Control + Alt + F4 and just like that it was closed! Sweet! Next up I wanted to give the other option a shot. I opened up everything and I wanted to try the Windows Key + F4 to choose the program I wanted to close. The mouse cursor turns into a Skull and Cross Bones. You simply click on the application you want to kill and that’s it.

superf44

This is a great program for power users but remember if you have not saved your work in the application and you close it with Super F4 you will lose those changes you made since you last saved.

Do you have another way of killing hung processes? Share them with us in the comments.



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