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Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is Windows Task Manager?

The Windows Task Manager is an important utility that can help you monitor and repair application issues with your OS. This program shows you what software is currently running on your system in addition to system processes and performance measurement. To optimize your computer, the Windows Task Manager is key to evaluating how well (or not so well) your computer is operating.

There are three methods for starting Windows Task Manager:

1. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE at the same time. In the new window, click Task Manager.


3. Right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu.

After the Task Manager is booted, you have access to several different views of your system’s activities.  In the first tab for Applications, the Task Manager lists all programs currently running on the computer. If you have an application that crashes or won’t respond, you can quit the app without shutting down the entire system by selecting “End Task” from the menu. 

Under the Processes menu, the Task Manager shows the processes active on your computer.  This is not the same as services; processes show what programs are running under the user’s account, but services shows all programs running on the computer.  When you are troubleshooting performance issues, these menus are helpful in identifying unnecessary active applications or even locate malware on your machine. If you find a process that you don’t recognize, you can check it against a list of known valid processes at Uniblue’s Windows Process Library. To end a process, click on the item within the process list and click on the “End Process” button.  IMPORTANT: When disabling a process, it may affect core functions of your computer, so proceed with caution!

The remaining tabs on the Task Manager are for Performance, Networking and Users. The Performance tab displays a graphical view of the CPU and Memory usage on your machine. The Networking tab performs a similar function but for your network connections. The Users tab lists all active users on your machine, and you can disconnect or logoff other users from this window.

Windows Task Manager is a critical tool for keeping your system operating smoothly and can be useful for identifying viruses or other malware. For more tips on how to troubleshoot system issues with Windows Task Manager, go to Microsoft Support »


Uniblue Windows Process Library

Microsoft Windows Task Manager

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