Close all threads of a process...

Does anyone here know of a program or method by which to automatically force-close all threads of a running process when a "quit" or "close" action is utilized?

Example: At various times, the Firefox process will continue to run in the background after the browser window has closed. I am looking for 3rd party software (or any other means) that has, for instance, user-defined rules, etc that ensure a process ends when its parent program closes.

I hope you guys can help. Thanks!


Senior Member
Are you looking for something more than "end process tree" in Task Manager (right-click on the process)? That will close the program and any "child" processes it has spawned. It wouldn't affect another program that you opened to use concurrently in association with the first one; you could do an end process tree for that, too.

edit--I just reread your post and it looks like you might be talking about the situation where you quit the program and some of its child processes don't quit with it. That isn't "normal" behavior. You shouldn't require a special program to make another program run right. If you encounter that, I would look for a cause of the problem rather than another program to work around the symptoms. If it mainly happens with Firefox, try opening Firefox in safe mode (disables all of the add-ons to see if they are the cause of a problem). Also, look for conflicts with another program that might be running or try reinstalling the problem program.

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Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
One option, don't know if it's right for you, is a program I sometimes use, SmartClose. Together with others of a kind it can be found at close&action=s&ref=2&search=Find it&lc=1

SmartClose closes programs of your chose. I use it sometimes when I install something. It's also quite handy when you start a game.

Two other thoughts-- If the problem is mainly Firefox, what you're seeing could be another instance of the browser, not really an error. Many things the user does opens things in a new window, as do things like certain kinds of pop-ups. Some of these pop-ups are not always readily visible or can become buried behind other windows, although you should probably see a placeholder on the system tray. There are even some web sites that will try to keep you from leaving or will try to spam you with ads by spawning another copy of the browser when you try to quit (although that doesn't sound like what you're experiencing).

The other thought is that some other process may be locking Firefox to keep it open (it is still in use by something else). For example, if Firefox is the default program to open a certain type of file, that will often happen with a new window. The "persistent" instance of Firefox you see could be that, either still open but minimized or hidden behind another window, or closed but something isn't releasing the hooks (or a similar lock on the instance you opened). There are a number of free programs that will deal with that. I'm not familiar with SmartClose, which Pauli suggested. Based on its web page description, I believe the unlocking programs are a little different. These identify the specific program or process that is keeping a program open and provide a tool for "disconnecting" it. One such program is EMCO Unlock It (


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Very good, Fixer. I've used Unlocker,

But I do doubt this is what EastGate is looking for. I think he's looking for a solution to end everything connected to a program, once the program is closed - with a simple click to shut down.

To be honest, I don't know if it's possible? Except through a reboot? We always have residues, don't we? My guess is, the solution could be found in Security section, but even there one has to name programs / hang ups. No way to avoid pure labor? And, as usual, I would recommend not to accept the easiest way, as they tend to come with other complications.

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