Instantly close or restart programs with ProcessKO

ProcessKOClosing one Windows process is usually straightforward. Clicking File > Exit should get the job done, Alt+F4 may also work, and Task Manager is on hand if you need it (Ctrl+Shift+Esc, right-click the process, select End Task).

Life gets a little more complicated if you want to close multiple instances of one program. Or restart them. You can still do this from Windows, but ProcessKO (also available in a 64-bit version) makes it much easier to close, restart and generally work with troublesome processes.

The program is a tiny 207KB download, a single executable which runs on anything from Windows 98 up. And once running, you’re able to close any user program (not system processes) by right-clicking ProcessKO’s system tray icon, selecting "Instant K.O." and choosing your target process from the list.

You need to be careful here, because ProcessKO closes the program immediately, so you won’t be warned about any unsaved work. But it’s definitely quick. The similar "Restart" menu is much the same, instantly closing and relaunching a process, perhaps useful if it’s locked up.

Fire up the ProcessKO console and you’ll find a Favourites system where you can list processes you’re working with regularly, and then close them with a single click. (Terminating any process without warning is risky, so ProcessKO demands that you check an "I am an expert and I know what I am doing" before this will work. Fortunately you only need to do this once.)

Right-click a favourite and there’s an option to run that process, too, which turns ProcessKO into a simple launcher.

A "KO Timer" feature monitors your system for whatever processes you specify, closing them automatically after a given delay (2 to 19 seconds).

There’s hotkey support to kill (Ctrl+Alt+F4) and restart (Ctrl+Alt+F5) the foreground application, as required. (Alt+4 still works as normal, but ProcessKO’s version forces the program to close, even if it has unsaved data.)

You even get a system shutdown menu, also accessible from the system tray. This offers the usual "Shut down", "Restart", "Log off", "Hibernate" and "Standby" options, and in two flavours. "Normal" acts just like the regular Windows options, but "Aggressive" works immediately, forcing all your programs to close.

ProcessKO has limits. It can’t touch system processes. And it only uses the regular Windows "close" technique, so if Task Manager can’t close it, ProcessKO (64-bit version) won’t, either. But there is plenty of genuinely useful functionality here, which could save you a few clicks and some process management hassle.

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