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Fix Windows 10 Task Manager Cannot End Task ( Access is Denied Error)

When a Windows program freeze on you that refuses to close or shut down, you can use Task Manager to kill the problem application. However, some processes won’t be ended in the task manager, maybe you’ve noticed that they give the error says “Unable to terminate process!”, “Access is denied!” or “The operation could not be completed!” but there’s no clear indication as to why. In that case, you might have a process running on your system or a security program that is hogging all of the CPU time or taking up loads of memory. Well, we’ve showed three ways to force-quit a program in Windows 10, and here we’re going to show you how to fix “Access is denied” error.

Unable to terminate process in Task Manager

First, you can execute the TASKKILL command to kill the task. Here is how:

1. Type cmd into Search box, then right-click on the it in the result list, select Run as an administrator.

Run command prompt as administrator

2. Execute the taskkill command like this: taskkill /im filename.exe /t
Note: Replacing filename.exe with whatever filename the program you want to close is using. The /t option makes sure any child processes are closed as well.

Execute the taskkill command

If in the very rare situation that you don’t know the filename, but do know the PID (process ID), you can execute taskkill like this instead:

taskkill /pid processid /t

Replacing, of course, processid with the actual PID of the program you want to force quit. A running program’s PID is most easily found in Task Manager Service tab.

3. The program or app that you force-quit via taskkill should end immediately and you should see one of these responses in Command Prompt: ​

SUCCESS: Sent termination signal to process with PID [pid number], child of PID [pid number].
SUCCESS: The process with PID [pid number] child of PID [pid number] has been terminated.

Tip: If you get an ERROR response that says that a process could not be terminated,  and the reason why is that Access is denied. At this situation, you have to restart your computer, essentially a force-quit for every program running including Windows itself, unfortunately.

Access is denied

Alternatively, you can try to  boot your computer into safe mode or safe mode with networking on boot.

Boot your PC into Safe Mode

Then, check whether the Task Manager works. If it does well, then problem might be caused by your security software like antivirus. You can uninstall your security software.  Refer to how to install program and app in Windows 10 to learn more. After that reboot your PC and check.


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