8 Tools to Automatically Restart a Crashed or Closed Application

5. Keep Running

Keep Running is a tiny utility that will automatically relaunch a program after it’s closed. It’s a very small 36KB portable executable but the downside is there’s no user interface to make configuration easier. Instead you have to manually edit the accompanying keeprun.ini file with Notepad or Notepad++ and enter the path to the executable you want to monitor and the application to launch once the monitored program has been closed.

keep running

Thankfully the settings INI file only has 6 configuration options which are easy enough to understand. Detect is the full path of the executable that you want to watch for closing and Launch is the full path to the program you want to run if the Detect program closes. Note that you should NOT provide quotes in the path even if it contains spaces. Start will launch the given program when you start Keep Running. This program is a handy tool to keep an application running because there is no way for other users to close Keep Running unless you kill the process from Task Manager.

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6. ProcessAlive

ProcessAlive is by Singular Labs who also produce the JavaRa and CCEnhancer utilities and is a simple and easy to use tool to keep programs running by restating them if the process closes for some reason. The basic user interface keeps options to a minimum and about the only configuration you need to decide is whether to start ProcessAlive with Windows and saving the list of programs to an ini file.


All you have to do is click the Add program button and browse for the executable file. A small popup window will then give the option to add command line arguments or run the executable directly. Click the “Keep these programs alive” button to begin the monitoring. Right clicking on the ProcessAlive tray icon will show an option to change the frequency of the checks in Milliseconds, default is 0. A couple of minor gripes are slightly high memory usage of 15-30MB while monitoring and the Stop button doesn’t appear to work from the GUI, you have to use the tray icon to stop monitoring. ProcessAlive is a portable standalone executable.

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7. ReStartMe

ReStartMe has a small but possibly useful feature that none of the other tools here have, which is to password protect the configuration window so other users can’t just go and turn the option to keep restarting an application off. It’s not foolproof though and more knowledgeable users can simply kill the process in Task Manager, but it might deter average users and kids from tampering with the settings.

RestartMe with password protection

Apart from setting the optional locking password and choosing what process state to remember between uses, there really isn’t anything else to configure as such. You simply click on “Add a process” and browse for an executable or click on the drop down menu and select a running process. Once added, the program will automatically launch if it isn’t running already, and then ReStartMe can be minimized to the tray. There is no delay interval for checking a closed process and it will be restarted almost instantly.

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8. ServiceEx

ServiceEx is a tool that allows you to run a normal program as a Windows service and if your chosen process is closed, the service will restart itself automatically. Although this method is quite useful, it is best used on programs that don’t have user interfaces and instead perhaps run in the background. ServiceEx is a command line only tool and like Keep Running makes use of an ini file to store the settings for configuring the service.

ServiceEx installing a service

Installing a ServiceEx service isn’t too difficult, edit the .ini file which can be downloaded from the website and enter the path to the executable on the ServiceExeFullPath line and optional arguments on the Options line. Then save the file as {service name}.ini in the same folder as the ServiceEx.exe file. Open a Command Prompt, CD to the ServiceEx folder and run the command “ServiceEx.exe install {service name}”. This will install and start the service under the name given and if for any reason the process closes, it will auto start again immediately.

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