Finally, Windows 11 may soon allow users to force quit frozen apps from the taskbar.
If you use a Windows laptop or desktop PC regularly, you are probably already familiar with the pains of having to go through hoops of force quitting an app that’s stopped working. That’s because unlike on macOS, Windows simply doesn’t have that option when you right-click an app on the taskbar.
That may soon change according to a report by Tom’s Hardware. It looks like Microsoft is currently working on adding an ‘End Task’ option on the menu when you right-click on an app on the taskbar.
In Build 23430, the latest Windows 11 Insider build, you can enable it by going into Settings > Privacy & Security > For developers. It doesn’t actually work just yet. According to the same report, it doesn’t appear when you enable it in this version and also reverts back to off when you close the Settings window. Apparently, it does show up on the right-click menu when using the ViveTool GUI utility app, but it also doesn’t do anything when you click on it.
What’s also curious is that in its current state, the ‘End Task’ option is disabled by default and found on the developers' menu, which might deter regular folks for fear of doing something to their system they wouldn’t know how to fix.
Still, this find points to Microsoft possibly making the force quit option easily accessible for all users, and I think it’s going to be a welcome update.
Force quitting an app on Windows is a pain
Currently, to end a program on Windows that’s essentially frozen – and therefore cannot be shut down by tapping the X button, clicking on the ‘Close window’ option, or pressing Alt + F4 – you have to open Task Manager or the Windows Command Prompt and close the offending app from there. Or, more annoyingly, you have to CTRL-ALT-DELETE and shut down the whole system.
It is, therefore, not exactly a straightforward process, and many non-Windows savvy users often end up having to Google ‘how to force quit an app on Windows’ to do so. I do realize there’s a method to Windows’ madness: force-quitting an app could lead to corrupted files. But not having a convenient way to do so has been a bane of my existence, and I’m certainly not alone here.
It’s more apparent when you’re using both Windows and macOS, which has had the ‘Force Quit’ option for as long as I can remember. A lot of developers and regular users will benefit from the convenience of having an ‘End Task’ option available to them right from the taskbar.
Now, the question is, when exactly will Microsoft roll out this feature? Hopefully soon because we all needed it years ago.
If you'd like to know more about the differences between Windows and macOS, you should read our Windows 11 vs macOS Ventura comparison.