Killing All Chrome Processes

Chrome has (what’s supposed to be) a nifty feature under the hood: each tab runs as its own Windows process. This means – in theory – that if one tab were to crash, it won’t take down the rest of your open tabs. You should – in theory – be able to close the misbehaving tab and go on about your business.

But what happens when Chrome itself stops responding? You could try using the “X” (close) button in the upper right corner of the Chrome window, or you could try CTRL+SHIFT+Q to exit Chrome. But what if Chrome doesn’t respond to mouse clicks or keyboard sequences? You could always open Task Manager and kill the Chrome processes… but remember, each tab is its own process. If you have 30+ tabs open, your Task Manager will probably look like this:


Do you HAVE to right-click on each process and choose “End Process”?

Of course not… if you’re using Windows XP or later. Just open a command prompt and type the following:

TASKKILL /IM chrome.exe /F

Taskkill, which is built in to Windows, does exactly what it says on the tin: kills any process you want. The /IM switch tells Taskkill to use “image name” (or process name) instead of the numerical “process ID”. The /F switch tells Taskkill to kill all instances of the image name. By the way, Taskkill works on any Windows process, not just Chrome. You can use it to kill all instances of IEXPLORE.EXE or FIREFOX.EXE or WINWORD.EXE… or anything else you need killed. Just change “chrome.exe” to whatever process you want.

13 Replies to “Killing All Chrome Processes”

  1. Bad ass. This was exactly what I was looking for.
    I have a problem sometimes where my pointer won’t show up on chrome. restarting chrome won’t fix it. Restarting my computer will fix it, but that’s overkill. This command prompt line did the trick. Thanks!

  2. Also, if by “drink whiskey clear” you are suggesting that people drink ‘silver’ whiskey (which is basically moonshine), then you are wrong and you need to stop. Drink bourbon with a smokey taste and smooth finish. Not moonshine. Good vodka is the perfected form of straight grain alcohol. Clear whiskey is bad. Correct me if I misinterpreted you.

    1. It’s a line from a school flight song:

      I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, and a hell of an engineer—
      A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer.
      Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear.
      I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.

      I’m no expert, but when the song was written (1908), “drinking whiskey clear” might have been another way of saying “neat”.

      EDIT: Yeah, I found an earlier version of the song where the lyrics say “take my whiskey clear”, so I’m pretty sure it just means neat.

    1. Nope. Any time Chrome “crashes” (whether by accident or design, as in this case) you’ll always be prompted to restore your tabs. Sorry.

  3. This is wrong!
    /f is actually the switch to force closing a process and it will not kill entire chrome child processes. In order to achieve that you need to use the /t switch to terminate also the child processes as well. So the entire command will look like: taskkill /f /im chrome.exe /T

  4. My script will run the iterations in parallel mode, if kill driver by name, all parallel threads gets killed. so is there any way to get PID of the new driver instance created, i can kill the process by PID instead of name.

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