You can only open Windows Task Manager to close freezing programs, but it's useful for a lot more. The Task Manager gives you a lot of information about your system as well as management options.
Let's take a tour of Task Manager in Windows so you know how to use this important utility.
What is the task manager?
Windows Task Manager is a system monitoring utility; H. it allows you to manage all the processes running on your computer and view other important information. You can organize these processes by use to see what is consuming your computer's resources.
Task Manager holds a lot of other data as well, making it a useful place when you need to check something about your PC. It's not the only utility you'll ever need, but it's a great first stop for general management.
How to open Task Manager
You may be used to using the Task Manager. to open Ctrl + Alt + Del. However, this is not the most efficient way to get it open in modern versions of Windows.
This three-button command is a special Windows shortcut that opens the Windows security page, which contains shortcuts for locking your PC, logging out, opening Task Manager, and more. It is also used for secure logon as only Windows can respond to this particular shortcut.
If you want to open Task Manager instead, the fastest way to do this is to press Ctrl + Shift + Escape on your keyboard. In case you don't like keyboard shortcuts, right-click an empty space on the system tray and choose Task manager to open it. If you want to use Task Manager frequently, right-click the icon and select Pin it to the system tray for easy access.
There are many other ways to open Task Manager when needed. Once you open it, you might see the simplified interface that just has a list of running apps. This allows you to select an app and click on End task to kill it, but you have to click More details to access the full Task Manager interface.
How to use Windows Task Manager
Let's go through the Task Manager tab by tab. We'll see what each tab offers and how the information provided is used.
The Processes tab
on Processes, you will see a list of everything that is running on your computer. These processes are divided into three sections when sorted by Surname:
- Apps are all the programs you have open and are currently running.
- Background processes represent everything that works but is not explicitly opened as an app. For example, here you can see cloud storage services or background apps like clipboard manager.
- Windows processes contains system services that the operating system needs to run properly.
At the top, click one of the header fields, e.g. B. Surname or Central processorto sort based on this information. Each heading shows the total amount of resource used along with a breakdown by process.
Drag to rearrange these headings however you want. To add more or to hide some, right-click anywhere in the headings and highlight the ones you want.
Right-click a process to view options for it. Since Task Manager groups all processes for an app into a collection, you have to click the little arrow to view and manage them individually.
Useful items in this menu include End task exit an unresponsive app Open file location to see where the process is on your computer, and Search online to learn more about unknown processes.
While this menu is handy for closing frozen apps, be aware of the Task Manager processes that you should never end.
The Performance tab
Next up power, you will see diagrams showing the various resource pools of your PC. This includes the Central processor, Storage, and GPU. Click a field to see a live graph of its usage.
Each field here also contains information about the component it represents, which is useful for checking your PC specifications. For example on the Central processor On the top of the page you can see your processor model as well Operating time Field that shows how long it has been since you last restarted your PC.
If you want to keep track of these while you do something else, right-click in the list of items on the left and select Overview view. You can then leave it open while playing a game, working in a CPU-heavy app, or something similar.
For more details click on Open the resource monitor at the bottom of this page to open an advanced utility.
The App History tab
App history does exactly what it says on the tin: it provides historical data on the resources apps have used. You will see the total time the app has used the CPU along with the network usage. The data covers the last 30 days.
Unfortunately, this panel is limited to Windows 10 Store apps and therefore doesn't contain any data about standard desktop software. However, it can still alert you of apps that are working too much in the background.
The "Home" tab
Start up is one of the most useful panels of the Task Manager. It lists all the apps that should be run when you sign in to Windows.
Apps often set themselves to run at startup, even if you haven't specifically asked them to. While this is handy for programs you use all the time, apps you don't need to run right away will slow your startup and waste background resources.
Look through the list to find apps you don't need to run on startup. For each, click on it and press Deactivate in the lower right corner.
It's smart to have security, backup, cloud storage, and similar apps running at startup. However, you probably don't need Skype or iTunes to start immediately after signing in.
The Users tab
the user Panel only makes sense if you are currently logged into your PC with more than one account. When you do this, you will see the resource usage for each of them, similar to the Processes Tab. Click the arrow next to a user to expand all of their processes, where you can get more information or terminate them as described above.
Other than that, you can right-click on another user to force them to log out.
The Details tab
Advanced users will appreciate this details Tab; it expands the information in Processes. By default, you can see the process ID (PID), initiating user, and process name for each item. Right-click the headings and select Select columns choose from many other options.
If you right-click a process, you will see more options, such as: B. setting its priority or terminating the entire process tree. But most normal users shouldn't worry about that. When you need a lot more information than that Processes Tab, consult this page. Otherwise, feel free to skip it.
The Services tab
the Services The Task Manager section is a stripped-down version of the Services utility that you can open by typing "Services" in the Start menu. Services are background processes that Windows or other system utilities run to perform various tasks. For example, wuauserv related to Windows Update.
In most cases you shouldn't have to play with the items here; Playing around with services without knowing what you are doing can cause problems. If you're really interested, we've looked at Windows Services that are Safe to Disable.
Task manager file, options and view
A few options in the menu bar of the Task Manager complete the offer.
By choosing File> Run New Task, you can start a process on your PC (similar to the Run dialog). This is useful if, for example, you need to close and reopen the Windows Explorer task. Simply enter "explorer.exe" in this menu to restart Explorer.
Under Options, you can change a few small behaviors of the tool. Always on top will keep Task Manager on top of all other windows, which is useful when you need to see it for troubleshooting. Use Set the default tab to select which menu is opened when the Task Manager is started.
Finally under view, you can force an update of the data with Update now and select how often updates are made automatically with Update speed. Deactivate Group by type if you don't want that Processes Tab to use the sections discussed above. All expand and Hide everything changes all process groups at once.
Master the task manager
Task Manager isn't the most exciting part of Windows, but knowing how to use its tools takes a knowledgeable Windows user. Now you know where to go when you want to view your PC's resource usage, change startup programs, or immerse yourself in active processes.
If you like Task Manager but want more, there are many more powerful alternatives to Task Manager.
5 powerful alternatives to Windows Task Manager
Windows Task Manager is good, but it lacks some features. Try these alternative task managers for Windows instead!
About the author
(1769 articles published)
Ben is the Assistant Editor and Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He quit his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. For over seven years he has been a professional writer covering technical tutorials, video game recommendations, and more.
By Ben Stegner
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