Windows (8 & 10) - Using the Windows Task Manager

This document provides basic information about using Windows task manager in Windows 8. You can use Task Manager to start programs, start or end processes, manage startup programs, and view a dynamic display of your computer's performance.

Note: Your system administrator may have implemented a local policy on your computer to disable Task Manager. In this scenario, you should contact the system administrator or your help desk if you need local process control or the ability to monitor the computer's performance.

How to start Task Manager

To start Task Manager, take either of the following actions:

  • Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then click Task Manager.
  • Windows 8 Ctrl Alt Del

  • Right-click an empty area of the taskbar, and then click Task Manager.

If your task manager looks like image below, click More details to expand.

Less detailed Task Manager

How to start or exit a program

The Processes tab displays the status of the programs that are running on the computer. To exit or start a program, follow these steps:
  1. Click the Processes tab.
  2. Do one of the following, as appropriate for the action that you want to perform:
    • Exit a program: To exit a program, click the program that you want to exit, and then click End Task.

      Note: When you exit a program in this manner, any unsaved data in that program is lost.

    • Click End Task to exit a program.

    • Start a program: To start a program, click File > Run new task. In the Create New Task dialog box, click Browse, locate and select the program that you want to start, click Open, and then click OK.

      Note: This procedure is very similar to starting a program by using the Run command on the Start menu.

How to end a process

The Details tab displays information about the processes that are running on the computer. A process can be an application that you start or subsystems and services that are managed by the operating system. To end a process, follow these steps.

To match a process with a running program, right-click the program name on the Processes tab of Windows Task Manager, and then click Go To Details.
  1. Click the Details tab.
  2. Do one of the following, depending on the action that you want to perform:
    • If you want to end a single process, click the process that you want to end, and then click End Task.
    • Click End Task

    • If you want to end a process and all processes directly or indirectly related to it, right-click the process that you want to end, and then click End Process Tree.

Note: Proceed with caution when you end a process. If you exit a program in this manner, data that has not been saved will be lost. If you end a system process, a system component may no longer function correctly.

How to monitor your computer's performance

Click the Performance tab to view a dynamic overview of the performance of your computer. Below is an overview of the performance tab.

  • CPU usage graph
  • total number of handles, threads, and processes that are running (Handles are unique identifiers that allow a program to access system resources such as files, registry keys, fonts, and bitmaps. Threads are objects within processes that run program instructions.)

  • memory usage graph
  • total amount of memory in use and available
  • amount of committed memory
  • amount of cached memory
  • memory speed

  • disk usage graph
  • read/write speeds
  • active time and average response time
  • disk capacity (size)

  • upload and download speeds
  • connection information (adapter name, domain name, connection type, IP address)
  • This image shows the Ethernet tab. Machines with additional connections (e.g. WiFi, Bluetooth) will have additional tabs.

How to manage your startup programs

To view a list of programs that start when Windows starts, click the Startup tab.

The startup impact column indicates how much each program slows your computer down during startup. To stop a program from launching at startup, select the program that you would like to disable and click Disable.

Click disable to stop a program from starting with Windows

This document was adapted from the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 323527.

Keywordswindows 8 using task manager win win8 ctrl alt del processes programs end kill terminate performance monitor control delete vista 7 win7   Doc ID40872
OwnerKarl W.GroupDoIT Help Desk
Created2014-06-07 12:50:06Updated2016-08-02 09:17:46
SitesDoIT Help Desk
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