Windows 8 Explorer : Diagnosis and Recovery - Task Manager

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Task Manager is Windows 8’s premier diagnostic tool for examining the applications, processes, services, and performance characteristics of your system. A version of Task Manager has shipped with every version of Windows desktop and server since Windows 3.1. The version in Windows 8 contains a number of improvements that desktop users haven’t seen before, many of which carry over from Microsoft’s server operating system.

Task Manager replaces a bookload of arcane Linux/Unix command-line commands with an elegant, easy-to-use form that any Windows user can appreciate. (Windows also has those commands as part of its Command Prompt arsenal.)

With Task Manager, you can do the following:

• Find out which applications are running on your system.

• Switch between applications or shut down an application.

• Determine which processes are running on your system, determine the resources each process is utilizing, and if necessary, kill a process.

• Monitor your CPU, memory, and network usage in the Resource Monitor.

• Shut down or restart your system.

When you first open Task Manager, it will appear in the Compact view and display your running applications in a window. If an application is not responsive, you will see a note indicating this condition.


 Task Manager in Compact view

When you kill an application, Task Manager doesn’t ask you first if you are sure, it simply closes the application. If you have unsaved work in the application, Task Manager will end the application without asking you to save your work first.

This simplified version of Task Manager has a few more tricks up its sleeve: If you right-click (or tap and hold) a running program, a context menu opens .


 The Task Manager context menu provides additional functionality.

To launch Task Manager

• Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

• Right-click the Desktop taskbar, and select Task Manager from the context menu .


 You can use the taskbar context menu to launch Task Manager.

• Press Image+R, enter taskmgr, and press Enter.

• Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to view the Task screen, and click the Task Manager button.

• Press Image+Q, enter Task Manager in the Apps search box, and click the Task Manager button.

• On the tile-based Start screen, type Task Manager in search until you see its button appear.

To kill an application

• Tap or click the application in Task Manager, and then tap or click the End Task button.

• Select the End Task command from an app’s context menu.

To switch to another application

• Switch to the selected app by selecting the Switch To command or by pressing Alt+Tab or Image+Tab. Switching applications can be useful when an application is unresponsive.

• Double-tap or double-click the app you want to switch to.

To learn more about an application

• Select Open File Location from the Task Manager context menu  to view the folder that contains the program’s executable file.

• Select the Search Online command from the Task Manager context menu  to use your browser’s search engine to search for information about the program file.

• Select the Properties command from the Task Manager context menu  to view the executable file’s Properties dialog box.

To create a new task

1. Select Run New Task from the Task Manager context menu .

2. In the Create New Task dialog box , enter the program, folder, document, or Internet resource into the Open text box; then click OK.


 Use the Create New Task dialog box to run new programs, open folders and documents, open web pages, and more.

The Create New Task dialog box is similar to the Run dialog box.


If you have multiple application windows open when you use the End Task function, all windows are terminated and you will lose any unsaved work.

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