The Task Manager Windows Task Manager is one of the oldest and most useful applications on Microsoft systems. It is intended for intermediate-advanced or professional users who want to thoroughly control the operation of their computer or solve some problems. resulting from its use.
Microsoft renewed it extensively in Windows 10 with the addition of some functions and greater integration with the system kernel and main applications, something that has been completed in Windows 11 leaving us a really interesting tool once we know its capabilities. An ordinary user usually uses it only for its best known function as it is terminate a frozen applicationbut its uses go far beyond that as we are going to show you.
Access and uses of the Windows Task Manager
Accessing this tool is extremely simple and can be done in several ways, including using keyboard shortcuts. Let’s 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 do 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 “taskmgr”.
- Search. Simply type “task” or “tasks” in the general search engine and you will see access to this tool.
As for functions, as we said the best known is to end a frozen application. Simply open the manager, right-click on the application and click on “end task”.
Check why the application is frozen
What is less well known is a feature called “analyze” that can help identify the problem and avoid having to brute force liquidate the application, which can result in data loss. It is available in the details tab.
Performance and resources.
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 lot of information, from the resource monitor (RAM, processor, graphics cards…) that offers real-time data visualization; diagnostic information with logs that you can share for evaluations; network details and other resources of interest.
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.
Windows application management
The task manager is far from being the best window management tool but it has a couple of actions that can be useful. To access them, you have to 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.
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 launch a browser search with the application name and process name and help you determine whether or not it is safe or malicious.
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 ones, you can actually add up to six more columns by simply 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.
Switch between values and percentages.
When browsing the process list, the CPU column may show percentages, but in the other three columns by default you can switch them to absolute values, more useful in some situations. Just right click on any process, go to the resources submenu and you can switch between them.
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, from the task manager you can access it 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.
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 about it because it is one of the ways to manually restart a frozen browser in previous 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.
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 usual, disable all non-essential applications/services from startup.
What if I use Windows 11?
Access to the Windows 11 task manager occurs in the same way as the Windows 10 task manager. Simply right-click on the start button (or taskbar) to access the advanced menu and there you will see a shortcut to the task manager.
Although the big changes were implemented in Windows 10, Microsoft has been improving it with the various updates of the system, especially in the visual section. You can find all the features discussed above and some new ones.. Equally useful on both systems, as you will have seen you can do much more than terminate a frozen application that locks the system (the most known function) and it is an advanced management tool to thoroughly control the operation of a personal computer or solve some problems that arise from its use, nothing abnormal in Windows systems.