Ghost processes in Windows 7 x64?
November 11, 2009 1:47 PM   Subscribe

When I close some programs in Windows 7 (x64) their tasks still show up in the task manager.

I've noticed in particular that when I run Google Chrome, Notepad++, Reaper, Sound Forge or Picasa Photo Viewer and close them, their processes hang around (sometimes still using CPU cycles) in the Windows Task Manager. I have to kill them manually to get rid of them.

In the case of the audio applications the processes can block newly opened apps from accessing the audio hardware.

I've searched around but can't find any mention of this issue. Is it just me? Anyone else notice this? Is there a solution?
posted by frenetic to Computers & Internet (1 answer total)
A window and a process are not the same thing. Processes can have zero or more windows. In general, for processes that have windows, closing the window is the first step in shutting down a process, but in no way does it mean the process is guaranteed to exit. For example, IE8 splits every third tab into a new process. If you close all the tabs in one process, that process stays around for 30seconds or so just in case you open a new tab that would get assigned to that process, so as to save the shutdown/startup time. Chrome may be doing something similar. Apps may also have bugs, or rely on drivers that have bugs, that prevent them from shutting down cleanly. The answer will be different for each app as to why you see this behavior.

From the command line you can kill anything: taskkill /f /im process-name-here

And, as always, make sure you have all the latest patches and drivers from Windows Update.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:30 PM on November 11, 2009

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