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[Windows] Process.kill doesn't throw an exception on AccessDenied #1595

yuvalko opened this issue Sep 25, 2019 · 1 comment · May be fixed by payamn/follow_ahead_rl#2, emylincon/chatbot#1, SpriteLink/NIPAP#1275, imoisharma/helium#1 or matebestek/mldb#3


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@yuvalko yuvalko commented Sep 25, 2019


  • { Windows 10 } windows
  • { 5.6.3 }

Bug description
When trying to kill a process and failing with "Access Denied" through the Process.kill method, psutil will not throw an exception if the returned handle doesn't have the requested permission.

The bug is in psutil_proc_kill in _psutil_windows.c. The current flow is:

  1. OpenProcess with PROCESS_TERMINATE
  2. TerminateProcess
  3. if TerminateProcess failed with access denied - do nothing.

Unfortunately, a valid handle can return from OpenProcess without the PROCESS_TERMINATE access right.
This might happen if the process is protected by windows or an anti-malware program.

This behavior was added to solve #1099.

On a computer with eset installed:

for process in psutil.process_iter():
    if == "eguiProxy.exe":
@yuvalko yuvalko added the bug label Sep 25, 2019
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@yuvalko yuvalko commented Sep 25, 2019

A valid solution might be checking if the process is alive after failing to kill it (Using WaitForSingleObject).
If the process is dead - do nothing.
Otherwise - throw an exception.

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