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What’s taskkill.exe (Terminates Processes)? Is it safe or a virus?

Taskkill.exe is a command-line tool in Microsoft Windows that allows users to forcefully terminate running processes on their computer.

It's used to end tasks or processes that are not responding, have become unresponsive, or are causing issues with the system. Taskkill.exe provides a way to forcibly close applications or processes that cannot be ended through normal means, such as using the Task Manager. Users can specify the process to be terminated by providing its process ID or image name, and can also use various options to control how the termination is performed.

Got an annoying process running on your PC? Taskkill.exe it!

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about taskkill.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes taskkill.exe (Terminates Processes)?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows should be the publisher of taskkill.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is taskkill.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the taskkill.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find taskkill.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 11, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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