Home > All, Errors, Hacks/Tricks, Internet, Technology > "End Process" Doesn’t "End Process" In Vista [The Solution]

"End Process" Doesn’t "End Process" In Vista [The Solution]

A lot of people have been encountering many problems with tasks not ending while using Windows Vista. For example, many report the problem while using P2P programs such as Azureus or BitComet. The actual program window would close. But, if you were to look in the Task Manager, the program would still be running under the “Processes” tab.

No matter what action you take, whether you click “End Process,” or “End Process Tree,” none of these would close the program, aside from restarting the computer. Not even the acclaimed Process Explorer. Nothing worked.

What made this worse was the fact that while the program in question was in the Task Manager, apparently frozen, you could not start another instance of the program until it was removed from the Task Manager (AKA: restarting the computer).

After much aggravation and searching for a solution, I discovered that, in fact, Vista is not to blame for this error. I was utterly amazed.

In fact, the problem was with ZoneAlarm… my firewall software. I’m not exactly sure why ZoneAlarm is the problem, but it is.

I uninstalled ZoneAlarm and tried using Comodo Firewall Pro. Free, just like ZoneAlarm.

After installing Comodo, I no longer experience this “End Process” error. Every task ends without even having to bring up the Task Manager.

Read a book.

Update as of 9/27/2008:

Commenter Alan referred me to this blog entry which explains why this error occurs. There is also a comment on that blog which explains things in even a little more detail.

  1. Tuesday February 19, 2008 at 6:13 AM

    I have the same problems with Vista described in this post, except that I do not have Zone Alarm. What should I do?

  2. Tuesday February 19, 2008 at 7:07 AM

    Thanks for your comment.

    As far as what you should do, seeing as you don’t use ZoneAlarm… what do you use for Firewall software? Do you use Firewall software? If you do, I’d suggest using the Firewall software mentioned in my entry, Comodo.

    I’d also check your Anti-Virus software. Try shutting it down and then using “End Process.” I use AVG Free. Haven’t had any problems with it blocking any programs, or preventing them from ending.

    The problem definitely isn’t Vista, though… and I was very surprised. I’ve been a staunch opponent of Vista for a lot of reasons. But this, I’m afraid, isn’t something I can blame Vista for. Or maybe I can? Maybe it’s because Vista has compatibility issues with certain Firewall or Anti-Virus programs??? Who knows?

    Let me know if this suggestion works for you.

  3. Nick
    Monday March 17, 2008 at 9:57 PM

    I have ZA and use Avast for my AV. My issue, though, is Yahoo! IM locks up. I have used the task manager to disable/shutdown ZA and the Avast system and I still have issues with YIM. I do admit that the newer version of YIM plays nicer now with vista. Only a couple months ago YIM locked up so much on Vista that I had to use an alternative program like Trellian or Miranda.

    I have noticed that Vista doesn’t play nice with many programs. Another one is AlZip. It takes AlZip about 45 seconds to bring up the box to ask me where I want to extract my files to. This is even if the zipped archive is as small as 15kb or so.

  4. DarthMowzy
    Wednesday March 26, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Its obviously Vista’s fault. Ive never had this issue on XP. This has happend to me on many Vista machines.

  5. Wednesday March 26, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    This is ad hoc reasoning. Because you didn’t have the problem with XP, therefore, Vista is the cause of the problem.

    Is it Vista’s fault, or is it the firewall software’s fault for not being programmed properly. When I changed the firewall I used, the problem went away.

    I didn’t get rid of Vista, and yet, the problem is gone. Therefore, the overwhelming evidence points to the firewall being the problem.

  6. DangerMouse
    Wednesday July 2, 2008 at 1:41 AM

    I have been experiencing the same problem with a variety of different processes, whilst using Vista Business 32bit. I don’t use a software firewall on my PC at all, and I use Sophos Anti-Virus. I use the same combination at work with a similar PC and haven’t had any problems at all. I’m not sure what, then, is causing the SAME problem for me as for all of you.

  7. bg4m3r
    Tuesday September 9, 2008 at 2:40 AM

    I’ve been having issues with almost all of my internet related programs doing this, and recently experienced Windows Update not downloading. I contacted Dell about the WU issue (comp is from Dell) and they blamed ZA too. Disabling ZA allowed WU to do its thing, but I hadn’t thought to see if it was the culpurt of the other issues as well. Shame, I like ZA, and I didn’t care for Comodo when I tried it out before ZA released their ‘Vista version’. I was considering trying out Online Armor, guess I’ll go ahead and give it a shot since ZA aparrently isn’t viable anymore.

  8. Mike
    Friday September 12, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll try that – for me both my preferred browsers (Opera and Flock) freeze and won’t end and I do have ZA installed.

    I would definitely still blame Vista for this problem though.

    If I was blind and bought a book in braille, then found that some pages were printed text, the explaination that “sorry, some pages aren’t compatible with fingers. You’ll have to use eyes instead” wouldn’t be acceptable.

    In the same way, I don’t like it when operating systems tell me which programs I can and can’t use.

  9. Clayton
    Friday September 12, 2008 at 11:53 PM

    Sorry, but it’s still Vista. Why does it work for you now? I don’t know, but you’re lucky. I’ve tried with a clean install of Windows to load steam and close counter strike. When the program hangs, I cannot end the process.

  10. Felix
    Saturday September 13, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    Actually is working for me… While I had ZA, my internet based programs such as p2p and messenger and firefox used to crash and the only way to fix it was restarting because I was not able to finish the process.

    I unistalled ZA and so far none of those program crashes.

  11. Alan
    Friday September 26, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    For what it’s worth, I’m running XP with service pack 3, and I have this same problem, and Comodo is the firewall I have installed, along with Eset NOD32 antivirus.

    I tried to open a torrent file but noticed my client, uTorrent, still had an instance seemingly hung in the process list. I tried End Process repeatedly to no avail, used the Sysinternals utility PSKILL, no joy; finally ended up restarting and that did it.

    I don’t recall this happening prior to service pack 3, so maybe whatever aspect of Vista results in this is shared with the latest XP incarnation.

    Or who knows, maybe the latest Microsoft updates have eliminated some bug elsewhere, which developers of firewall or antivirus software have inadvertently written dependencies upon and now these dependencies arise and are causing these headaches.

  12. Alan
    Friday September 26, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Hey, actually this blog posting offers a good explanation:


  13. pharaoh
    Thursday October 16, 2008 at 5:14 AM

    actually i think its ZA problem because when i installed it , i don’t suffer from this problem anymore, thanks for the advice you confirmed it for me

  14. Luk
    Tuesday October 21, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    I disabled ZA but the problem there is still. Do I have to unistall it? Isn’t it sufficient disable it?

  15. Tuesday October 21, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Yes. You should completely uninstall it. I believe I tried disabling it, but still had the same problem. I’m not 100% sure about that, but to be absolutely certain that ZoneAlarm is not interfering, you should completely uninstall it.

  16. Wlad
    Friday November 7, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    Whatever it is- it is not ZA. I tried to uninstall it, but the problem remains- I terminate certain programs (i.e. utorrent)..

  17. John
    Friday November 21, 2008 at 10:30 PM


    It is not a firewall. It is caused by Vista’s autotuning of TCP/IP.

    To disable it, open command prompt as administrator and type: “netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled”
    Without quotes.
    To check if it worked: “netsh interface tcp show global”
    To undo: “netsh interface tcp set global autotuningl=normal”

    • John
      Tuesday March 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

      This is great. I don’t have Zone Alarm or any other antivirus or firewall software running, but I still had problems with Azureus Vuze not shutting down correctly or being able to end the process, to the point that I couldn’t even restart normally. (I’d have to cycle the power manually)

      Much thanks for the advice.

  18. dr. thankful
    Sunday December 7, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    Seems like post 17 really helps. No more problems by now… thank you, John!

  19. Mr. Gus
    Thursday December 25, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Man i got the same problem and i got ZoneAlarm pro lets see what happens….

  20. Jason Ward
    Saturday December 27, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    Frankly, I don’t care whose fault this is, but thank you GodKillzYou for the solution. I have been having issues with Firefox, IE and uTorrent hanging and not being able to shut down the process in Task Manager or Process Explorer.

    Omce I removed ZoneAlarm and installed another firewall, this issue seems to have ceased. I have been browsing longer than I have in weeks when this issue began.

    Good on you to find the solution and even better that you posted this article.

    Jason Ward
    Rodenbach, Germany

  21. Sooth
    Sunday March 29, 2009 at 11:43 PM

    Oh my sweet Jebus I could KISS YOU! I’ve been having this exact problem and it’s been annoying the shit out of me for months. I just uninstalled Zone Alarm and now my computer seems to be working fine. My browsers have been running smoothly and I haven’t had any problems with my file sharing program (Shareaza).

  22. He11razor
    Sunday May 17, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    It’s not ZoneAlarm. I get this very annoying issue happening with my system once in a while. It’s almost driven me to install XP on this laptop, but the damned thing wouldn’t install due to drivers. It’s mostly been occurring with the VLC media player. Here’s the symptoms:

    – VLC is not running, so I open it.
    – The GUI part of it does not appear right away as it usually does.
    – I give it a minute or so, in case it’s waiting for something to update or become available, but no cigar.
    – I open the task manager and sure enough, I can see the VLC process.
    – I “End Task” on it. Doesn’t end.
    – I say “the heck with it” and try to open another instance of VLC. Same symptoms as above. Now I have TWO VLC processes in my task manager.
    – End Process again, on any of the two. Doesn’t work.
    – End Process Tree. Doesn’t work.
    – Try to end the processes with “ProcessExplorer”. Doesn’t work.
    – Try to end processes with the “taskkill.exe” program. Doesn’t work.
    – The only way to “fix” this is to reboot the computer, which poses another annoying issue:
    – If I do a soft reboot (through the Start Menu – Restart), it often gets stuck at the “Logging off” or “Shutting down” screen. For hours. You have to hard reboot it.

    Very freakin’ annoying. I really hope they have fixed things in Windows 7. The Operating System should not misbehave like this.

  23. Monday May 18, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    You have no idea how annoying this problem is. and its not ZoneAlarm! I am using Norton Antivirus and the myphoneexplorer app hangs up if i had my sony ericsson phone connected via bluetooth to my laptop and then i take my phone out of the lappy bluetooth range. No idea how to solve. Plz do tell if there’s a new solution out there…

  24. Brooke
    Wednesday July 22, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    I have the problem but no ZA.

    Tried running: netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled.

    Got: failure: “the requested operation requires elevation.”

    • Brooke
      Wednesday July 22, 2009 at 2:40 PM

      quote ” An “elevated prompt” means entering the command or starting the application from the “Administrator:Command Prompt” window. That’s the Administrator version of what some of us old-timers still call a “DOS window”.

      To open that window, right-click on Cmd.exe and choose Run as Administrator; you’ll have to furnish the password to get past here. When the window opens, note the word “Administrator” in the Title Bar. Any command or application launched from this window will “run elevated”; it usually will automatically Run as Administrator without further password prompts.”

  25. Friday August 14, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    “This is ad hoc reasoning. Because you didn’t have the problem with XP, therefore, Vista is the cause of the problem.”

    A bit like this: Because you don’t have the problem with Comodo, therefore it’s Zone Alarm’s fault? ;)

    • Friday August 14, 2009 at 6:51 PM

      Good catch. Didn’t see that one.

  26. Not Now
    Thursday September 10, 2009 at 6:02 PM


  27. He11razor
    Monday October 19, 2009 at 9:14 PM

    I have AVG Antivirus (the free version) and the problems started occurring when I installed it. I uninstalled it and the problems went away. I have foolishly reinstalled it after installing Vista SP2 and the issue has reappeared. I tried the “autotuning” tip someone upthread mentioned, we’ll see if it works.

  28. Ajay Sarvepalli
    Saturday December 19, 2009 at 10:23 PM

    The real culprit is Vista. No matter whatever be the running program, MS Outlook, Firefox, Yahoo Messenger…anything…..Vista’s Task Manager is ineffective.I hope Microsoft takes note of this and does something to fix this.

  29. Vailreth
    Sunday December 20, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    I am using Comodo for my firewall and i am having this same problem with Starcraft.
    I am using Avast as my antivirus as well.

  30. tim
    Tuesday January 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    you’re probabbly a hero.
    I was searching for a solution to this for a very long time

  31. jim
    Monday April 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    fuck you

    • Monday April 19, 2010 at 11:29 AM

      How articulate you are. No punctuation, whatsoever. Great job at life.

  32. Chris
    Tuesday June 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    I tried #17’s method, and the process still will not close. I am using Windows 7, and even logging off didn’t end the process.

  33. Jack
    Friday August 20, 2010 at 10:26 PM


    Can not get VLC to work so I can view AVI format videos.
    Get the same error all the time.
    ” The requested operation requires elevation ”
    Any way to get around this … any way to view the AVI formats?


  34. William
    Friday February 25, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Just got the same error with vista 32, i solved mine by going to processes in task manager, right clicking Steam.exe process – properties, and then checked the make compatible box and the admin box, applied and it worked, closed by itself straight after that.

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