How to open the task manager

In this guide we will show you how to open Windows Task Manager, we will also discuss what it is used for and much more. Task Manager is a utility included in Windows that shows you what programs are running on your computer. The Task Manager also gives you limited control over running tasks.


  • What is the task manager used for?
  • How to open Task Manager
    • Let’s look at some of the ways to open the administrator
  • How to use the task manager
  • Task Manager Availability

What is the task manager used for?

Despite being an advanced tool with which you can do a number of incredible things, most of the time, the Windows Task Manager is used to do something very basic: see what is running in real time. The open programs are listed, of course, as are the programs that run in the background which Windows has started.

Task Manager can be used to forcefully terminate any of those running programs , as well as to see how many individual programs are using your computer hardware resources and what programs and services are started when your computer starts.

How to open Task Manager

There are many ways to open Task Manager, which is probably good since your computer may be suffering from some kind of problem when you need to open it.

Let’s look at some of the ways to open the administrator

  • Let’s start with the easiest way first: Ctrl + Shift + Esc . Press those three keys together at the same time and Task Manager will start.
  • Another way is by pressing the CTRL + ALT + DELETE keys , which opens the Windows security screen. As with most keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete at the same time to open this screen, which includes an option to open Task Manager, among other things. In Windows XP, this shortcut opens the Task Manager directly.
  • Another easy way to open Task Manager is to right-click or touch and hold in any empty space on the taskbar, that long bar at the bottom of your Desktop. Select Task Manager (Windows 10, 8 and XP) or Start Task Manager (Windows 7 and Vista) from the pop-up menu.
  • You can also start Task Manager directly using a command prompt. Open a command prompt window, or even simply Run ( Win + R ), and then run taskmgr . Task Manager is also available in the advanced user menu.

How to use the task manager

The task manager is a well designed tool in the sense that it is organized and easy to execute, but it is difficult to explain completely because there are many hidden options.

In Windows 10 and Windows 8, Task Manager defaults to a “simple” view of programs running in the foreground. Press or click More details at the bottom to see everything.

Task Manager
ProcessesThe Processes tab contains a list of all the programs and applications that are currently running on your computer (listed under Image Name), as well as the background processes and the Windows processes that are running.From this tab, you can close the running programs, bring them to the foreground, see how everyone is using your computer resources and more.The processes are available in the Task Manager, normally we can find processes such as:  explorer.exe  , keep in mind that most of the same functions are available in the Applications tab in Windows 7, Vista and XP. The Processes tab in the previous versions of Windows appears as Details, If you want to go further, you can access a series of publications where we explain several processes found in the Task Manager:   dwm.exe ,  conhost.exe ,  rundll32.exe,  WMI Provider Host and many others.
performanceThe Performance tab is a summary of what is going on, in general, with its main hardware components, such as your CPU , RAM , hard drive, network and more.From this tab you can, of course, see how the use of these resources changes, but it is also a good place to find valuable information about these areas of your computer. For example, this tab makes it easy to see your CPU model and maximum speed, RAM slots in use, disk transfer speed, IP address and much more.Performance is available in Task Manager in all versions of Windows, but it has greatly improved in Windows 10 and Windows 8 compared to previous versions.There is a Networks tab in the Task Manager in Windows 7, Vista and XP, and it contains some of the reports available in the network-related sections in Performance in Windows 10 and 8.
Application HistoryThe Application History tab shows the CPU usage and network utilization that each Windows application has used between the date that appears on the screen so far.This tab is ideal for tracking any application that may be a CPU or a resource of network resources.Application history is only available in Task Manager in Windows 10 and Windows 8.
Startup settingsThe Start tab shows all the programs that start automatically with Windows, along with several important details about each one, probably the highest, medium or low start impact value.This tab is ideal for identifying and disabling programs that you do not need to run automatically. Disabling programs that start automatically with Windows is a very easy way to speed up your computer.Startup is only available in Task Manager in Windows 10 and 8.
UsersThe Users tab shows each user who is currently logged on to the computer and what processes are running within each one.This tab is not particularly useful if you are the only user who logged into the PC, but it is incredibly valuable for tracking processes that might be running on another account.Users are available in Task Manager in all versions of Windows, but only show processes per user in Windows 10 and Windows 8.
DetailsThe Details tab shows each individual process that is running in real time, without grouping programs, or common names or other screens – they are easily shown here.This tab is very useful during advanced troubleshooting, when you need to easily find something like the exact location of an executable, its PID or some other information that you have not found in the Task Manager.The details tab is available in the Windows 10 and Windows 8 Task Manager and looks more like the Processes tab in earlier versions of Windows.
ServicesThe Services tab shows at least some of the Windows services installed on your computer. Most services will run or stop.This tab serves as a quick and convenient way to start and stop the main Windows services. Advanced configuration of services is done from the Services module in the Microsoft Management Console.Services are available in Task Manager in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.

Task Manager Availability

Task Manager is included with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as server versions of the Windows operating system.

Microsoft improved Task Manager considerably between each version of Windows. Specifically, the Task Manager in Windows 10 and 8 is very different from Windows 7 and Vista, and that is very different from Windows XP.

There is a similar program called Tasks in Windows 98 and Windows 95, but it is not offered near the set of functions offered by the Task Manager. That program can be opened by running taskman on those versions of Windows.