Closing the Command Window in Python after Executing a Windows Command with `cmd /k`

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to automatically close the command window using Python after running a Windows command with cmd /k. This tutorial will equip you with the knowledge to manage external processes efficiently and ensure a clean exit strategy.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When executing a Windows command using cmd /k in Python, it is common for the command prompt window to persist even after the task is completed. This lingering window can hinder automation efforts and disrupt workflow continuity. To address this issue, we need a method to programmatically close the command prompt window once our operation concludes.

To tackle this challenge effectively, we can leverage Python’s subprocess module. This module empowers us to interact with system processes, execute commands, and exercise control over these processes. By harnessing the capabilities of subprocess, we gain the ability to manage external commands executed through Python seamlessly.


import subprocess

# Execute your Windows Command with cmd /k'cmd /c "your_windows_command & exit"')

# Close the Command Prompt window'taskkill /f /im cmd.exe')

# Copyright PHD

Credit: Solution provided by


  • Execute your Windows command using along with “& exit” appended to ensure automatic closure of the Command Prompt post-task completion.
  • Utilize another statement in conjunction with the taskkill utility specifying /f for forceful termination and /im for targeting processes by image name (‘cmd.exe’ in this instance).
    1. How do I know if my process was terminated successfully?

      • You can verify successful termination by checking the return value of the subprocess call; a return value of 0 indicates successful termination.
    2. Can I adapt this approach for closing other types of windows or terminals?

      • Yes, you can tailor the second subprocess call based on your requirements for closing various terminal emulators or windows initiated from Python.
    3. Is there an alternative method without using subprocess?

      • While subprocess is commonly employed for process management in Python, explore platform-specific libraries or APIs based on your operating system prerequisites.
    4. Will forcefully terminating processes impact system stability?

      • Exercise caution when forcibly terminating processes as it may result in data loss or instability if critical operations are abruptly interrupted.
    5. How do I handle errors during process termination?

      • Implement error handling mechanisms like try-except blocks around subprocess calls to gracefully manage exceptions.

Efficiently managing external processes while developing automation scripts in Python is paramount. Understanding how subprocess operates and utilizing tools like taskkill judiciously within our codebase ensures seamless handling of system-level interactions and promotes operational efficiency.

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