How to force quit a task from the taskbar on Windows 11

The feature may cause some confusion among users

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Key notes

  • Windows 11's latest insider build features a hidden functionality.
  • It lets you end tasks like in Task Manager.
  • Here's the catch: it can be confusing for some users.

Just like what Microsoft did with the WinAppSDK-powered look of File Explorer on Windows 11 Insider Build 25300, the tech giant is reportedly rolling out a new feature that lets you End tasks from the taskbar, Task Manager style.

With this feature, you can right-click on the taskbar icon of any open window and you’ll see options to close the window and end the task, as spotted by Windows enthusiast PhantomOcean3.

“You will soon be able to quickly end an entire task/process by right clicking it on the taskbar and choosing a new ‘End task’ option, Task Manager style. New in build 25300 and hidden. Feature name is just ‘EndTask'”

Compared to closing the window, ending the task means terminating all the activities for good and killing all background processes, and it could be a game changer for users who deal with lagged apps as they wouldn’t have to go to Task Manager anymore.

This feature reappears in Windows 11 Build 23430 from the Dev channel from April 2023, and unlike the previous releases, you won’t need a third-party tool like ViVeTool to activate it. 

We are introducing a new setting under Settings > Privacy & security > For developers to enable end task when right-clicking an app on the taskbar. This setting is in Build 23430 but does not currently work when the feature is toggled on. It will be fixed in a future flight.

Then, in Build 23451 from May 2023, the feature is back and is completely functional, as seen on this tweet by the Windows enthusiast.

The addition, however, is hidden and is met with a bit of polarizing reception from some users. They believe that it could cause confusion for users that aren’t specifically tech-savvy, or even those who are not attentive.

How to enable end-task from the taskbar on Windows 11

1. Make sure to join the Windows Insider program and opt for the Dev channel. Go to Settings Windows UpdateWindows Insider Program.

2. Make sure to choose Dev from the Insider settings dropdown.

3. Go back to Windows Update and hit Update.

4. Once the Build 23451 is installed, go to Settings Privacy & securityFor developers.

5. Enable End task when right-clicking an app.

6. On your taskbar, right click on any app you want to close and click End task.

Speaking of Build 23430, Windows enthusiasts have spotted another feature of the new WinAppSDK-powered File Explorer. There’s a details pane sitting comfortably on the right side of the Explorer screen where you can see the insights of the file (date modified, user, etc.)

Have you joined the Windows Insider program and installed Build 23430? Let us know in the comments!

More about the topics: Windows 11