10 useful functions of the Windows 11 task manager

The Windows 11 task manager is one of the most useful tools of the latest Microsoft operating system. And of previous versions, because it is one of the oldest Windows internal management applications.

As you know, this tool that we know by its English name Task Manageris intended for intermediate-advanced or professional users, who want to to thoroughly check the operation of their equipment or to solve some problems that derive from its use. An ordinary user usually uses it only for its most well-known function such as terminating a frozen application, but its uses go far beyond that as we are going to remind you.

Microsoft renewed it extensively in Windows 10 with the addition of some functions and greater integration, something that has been completed in Windows 11 leaving us a really interesting tool when we know its capabilities.

How to access the task manager in Windows 11

Accessing this tool is extremely simple and can be done in several ways, including using keyboard shortcuts. We review them:

  • Ctrl + Alt + Del. This is the method that almost everyone knows, but it is not the fastest because in Windows 11 it does not start directly and you will have to make an additional click to start it.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc. More direct than the previous one, it launches immediately the task manager and also has the advantage that due to the position of the keyboard it can be executed with only one hand.
  • Taskbar. If you right-click with the mouse on the taskbar there is an option to access the manager.
  • Advanced user menu. Another quick access using the mouse. Right click on the start button to access the advanced menu and you will also find this Task Manager.
  • Run. If you are used to using commands press the keyboard shortcut Win + R and type âtaskmgrâ.
  • Search. Just type “tasks” in the general search engine and you will see the access to this tool.

windows 11 task manager

Uses of the Windows 11 task manager

1.- Check why the application is frozen

As mentioned above, the most common and well-known reason to open the task manager is to end a frozen application. Simply right-click on the application to “end task”. What is less well known is a new function called “analyze” that can help identify the problem and avoid having to brute-force quit the application, which can result in data loss. It is available in the details tab.

2.- Performance and resource monitor

This is where the Windows 11 task manager really shines. Not only does it provide an overview of all running processes and applications, but it has several tools to effectively monitor system performance and how resources are allocated. It includes a wealth of information, from the resource monitor (RAM, processorâ¦) that offers real-time data visualization; diagnostic information with logs that you can share for evaluations; network details and other resources of interest.

3.- Windows Explorer restart

Sometimes, there are some parts of the operating system that do not respond (taskbar, file explorer, Startup, etc.), while other applications continue to run correctly. Restarting the PC usually solves the problem, but restarting the browser may be sufficient. The task manager has a special action for this. If you use it, it will end the task and restart automatically.

4.- Windows application management

The task manager is far from being the best window management tool but it does have a couple of actions that you may find useful. To access them, click on the drop-down arrow next to the one you want to manage. The ones that work offer five actions, from bring to front, maximize, minimize or end the task.

5.- Online search for suspicious processes

You may occasionally see unknown processes in the task manager. Most of them will be legitimate, but if you don’t trust them, you can check by clicking on the suspicious process and activating the online search. This will initiate a browser search with the application name and process name and help you determine whether or not it is safe or malicious.

6.- Additional columns for more details

By default, the new Windows 11 Task Manager only displays five columns when listing processes: Name, CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network. While these are the most important, you can actually add up to six more columns simply by right-clicking in the header area. All of them can be useful in the right situation, particularly the process name because it makes it easier to detect suspicious applications by their process name.

7.- Switch between values and percentages

When browsing the process list, the CPU column may show percentages, but in the other three default columns you can switch them to absolute values, more useful in some situations. Simply right click on any process, go to the resources submenu and you can switch between them.

8.- Discover the open application file

Sometimes it is complicated to know the installation location of a particular program. The file explorer is the general option, but if the application is in use, you can access it from the task manager in record time. Simply click on any process and select “open file location”. This will take you directly to the folder containing the executable file of the process. Works for applications, background processes and Windows processes. Fast and convenient.

9.- Starts the command prompt directly

In the task manager you can go to the File menu and select  “run a new task” to start the run dialog box. Most people who use this tool know this because it is one of the ways to manually restart a frozen browser in earlier versions of Windows. What not everyone knows is that you can access the Windows console in the same way by simply holding down the Control key. Very useful.

10.- Starting the System Configurator

In Windows 11, if you run the  “msconfig” command to configure the system, you will see that the startup function has been moved to the task manager. This is the tool that allows us to configure the applications that will start at startup. The tool provides information on the impact of each application on system performance and allows you to disable them at startup. If your PC is slow to boot or runs slower than normal, disable all non-essential applications/services from startup.

As you will have seen, the task manager goes far beyond terminating a frozen application which locks the system (the most well-known function) and is an advanced management tool to thoroughly control the operation of a personal computer or to solve some problems that arise from its use, nothing abnormal on Windows systems.

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