How to Force Quit Word on Windows: A Step-by-Step Guide for Users

If you’re working on a document in Microsoft Word and it suddenly freezes, you might need to force quit the application. Force quitting will close Word immediately, without saving any unsaved work. To force quit Word on Windows, you can use the Task Manager. Here’s how you do it: Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, find Microsoft Word in the list, and click “End Task.”

How to Force Quit Word on Windows

In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps to force quit Microsoft Word on a Windows computer. This is useful when the application becomes unresponsive and doesn’t allow you to close it normally.

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc

First, press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time to open the Task Manager.

This key combination is a shortcut to directly open the Task Manager, which makes it quicker than navigating through the menus.

Step 2: Locate Microsoft Word

Next, look for Microsoft Word in the list of running applications.

You’ll usually find it under the "Apps" section. If Word is not listed there, check under "Background processes."

Step 3: Select Microsoft Word

Click on Microsoft Word to highlight it.

Selecting Word ensures that the Task Manager knows which application you want to close.

Step 4: Click “End Task”

After selecting Microsoft Word, click the “End Task” button at the bottom right corner of the Task Manager window.

This action will force quit the application, closing it immediately.

Step 5: Confirm the Action (if prompted)

Sometimes, you might get a prompt asking if you’re sure you want to end the task. If this happens, confirm the action.

Confirming ensures that you really want to close Word and helps prevent accidental closures.

After you complete these steps, Word will close immediately. Any unsaved work will be lost, so use this as a last resort when Word is completely unresponsive.

Tips for How to Force Quit Word on Windows

  • Save Your Work Frequently: To avoid losing any work, save your document frequently.
  • Check for Updates: Often, unresponsive issues can be resolved with a simple update to the latest version of Word.
  • Use Alternative Methods: If Task Manager doesn’t work, you can also use Alt + F4 to try and close Word.
  • Restart Your Computer: Sometimes, restarting your machine can resolve more stubborn issues.
  • Scan for Malware: Occasionally, malware or viruses can cause applications to become unresponsive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if Task Manager doesn’t open?

If Task Manager doesn’t open, try restarting your computer. If that doesn’t work, there might be a deeper issue with your operating system that needs professional attention.

Can I recover unsaved work after force quitting?

Unfortunately, any unsaved work will be lost when you force quit Word. Always save your work frequently.

Is there another way to force quit Word?

Yes, you can use the Alt + F4 shortcut to close the application. If that doesn’t work, restarting your computer can sometimes resolve the issue.

Why does Microsoft Word keep freezing?

Word might freeze due to various reasons, including software updates, insufficient memory, or conflicts with other applications. Keeping your system updated can help.

Can I prevent Word from freezing?

To minimize the chances of Word freezing, ensure your software is up-to-date, don’t overload your computer with too many applications, and maintain good computer hygiene by scanning for malware regularly.


  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Locate Microsoft Word.
  3. Select Microsoft Word.
  4. Click “End Task.”
  5. Confirm the action (if prompted).


So, there you have it! Force quitting Word on Windows isn’t rocket science, but it’s a handy trick to have up your sleeve when things go south. Remember, while force quitting can save you from a frozen screen, it won’t save your unsaved work. So, make it a habit to hit that save button every now and then.

Now that you’ve learned how to force quit Word on Windows, why not explore other troubleshooting steps for different applications? Knowing how to handle these tech hiccups can make your life a whole lot easier. If you’re constantly facing issues with Word, consider checking for software updates or scanning your computer for malware. Happy troubleshooting!