Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Task Manager – How Does It Work?

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help, Windows 8

Lamar writes:

Many times you have referred to the Task Manager for troubleshooting various problems. Would you please give a good overview of just how to use the Task Manager? Thank you.

Sure Lamar! Task Manager is an awesome tool to use with Windows.

It’s very easy to find. Just press the following keys Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Task Manager.

If you are using a touchscreen Windows tablet, type Task Manager in the search charm and tap the icon for Task Manager.

In Windows 7 and Vista, Task Manager will pop up in a Window like this:


If you click the Applications tab, you’ll see a list of programs currently running on your PC.


This is a great tool for when your computer slows to a crawl. It can help you identify if you’ve got multiple programs running and which ones might be locked up. In the image below, the user has multiple windows of Internet Explorer running. This is likely caused by impatiently clicking multiple times when something doesn’t open quickly enough or it could be caused by accidentally clicking on something that opens multiple add windows. In either case, you can easily close these programs by clicking on each instance and choosing End Task.


If a program seems to be locked up and not responding, this is your escape route.

But there are also other uses for Task Manager.  Click the Processes tab and you can see everything running on your computer, including processes running the that background.  You’ll be able to see how much CPU they use and how much memory each process requires. This can also be a way to find out if something unwanted is running on your computer.


 To end a process, highlight it and click End Process.


Choosing Services will show you a list of services running on your PC.  Services are applications that run in the background and may not be easily accessible. Services include things like auto-updates for browsers and plug-ins and third-party security programs.


The Performance tab will let you check out the performance of your PC. You can monitor CPU Usage, Memory and their history.  Click Resource Monitor at the bottom and you’ll pull up more detailed information.


Networking will monitor your wired and wireless connections.


The Users tab shows you all of the users on the PC. Users can disconnect or Logoff from here.


 If you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1, the Task Manager will look a little bit different.


Click on more details for more information.


Here’s what the Processes tab looks like.


 One difference that you’ll notice between 8.1 and 7 is the App History tab. This monitors the individual usage by each app and how many resources Live Tiles use for updating.


Click the Startup tab and you can see all the programs that launch at startup and how they tax your resources. You can highlight a program and click Disable to stop it from launching at startup.


Hope this information helps.

~ Cynthia

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “Task Manager – How Does It Work?”

  1. Dorothy Clear says:

    Thank you for this tutorial that explains why my computer seems to slow down at times. Much appreciated, so much that I’ve printed these instructions.

  2. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Cynthia,

    I like your explaining the usability of every tab in the Task Manager. Thanks.

    In Windows 7, one can even access the Task Manager by just right clicking on the taskbar.

  3. Jack says:

    You forgot to mention the easiest way to start the Task Manager: right click the task bar.

  4. Marie Freeman says:

    thank you for explaining this whole process, in a way we
    can definitely understand, have a good day
    again thank you

  5. Lillian Lakritz says:

    I have used the task manager when a program is not responding. I just shut off the program and then re boot it again.
    You’ve told us what each tab contains, but you didn’t say if a person should get rid of any thing under the specific headings. If there are programs that need to be deleted, which ones would that be? I’m always afraid to take anything off of my PC incase it’s the wrong thing. I usually call my tech friend to do it for me.

    • cynthia says:

      You really can’t delete anything from task manager. You can stop processes or close programs. But unless you are having some type of issue with your computer, you really don’t need to worry about it.

  6. […] Glad to see that lots of you read my article on understanding the Task Manager. […]

  7. Annegret Winsor says:

    I am sure this question has been prviously asked and answered, but I am unable to find it right now. Why is it, when I only have 1 instance of Chrome running on my computer (one Window open), in Taskmanager I see 7 instances?

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive