How to open Task Manager in Windows 10/8/7

The Windows Task Manager helps in getting information about a computer performance, running applications, processes and more. In short, you can use the handy Windows tool to start certain programs or end them. It is more of a troubleshooting tool for beginners ,which is broken up into multiple tabs. Each tab is associated with a particular category such as the running applications, running processes, Windows services, the computer’s performance, network utilization, and the users that are currently logged in. If you are connected to a network, you can also use Task Manager to view network status and see how your network is functioning.

The Task Manager has evolved with time right from Windows 3 to Windows 10 and the new Windows 10/8 Task Manager, now offers a lot of information. We have already seen how the Windows 7 Task Manager works and also the features of Windows 10/8 Task Manager, including how to understand the heat map of the Task Manager in Windows 10/8.  In this post we will see ways to open the Windows Task Manager, using keyboard shortcut, CMD, Run, Taskbar, WinX Menu, etc.

open Task Manager

Open Task Manager

1] In Windows XP, you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL key combo to get the Task Manager running ! Things changed with Windows Vista onwards. Now if you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL you see a dialog/screen, from where you can select ‘Start Task Manager’.

2] To bring up the Task Manager directly in Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8, Windows 10, press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC instead. This is the Task Manager shortcut in Windows 10/8.

3] In the most recent version of Windows – Windows 8/10, you can also access the Task Manager from the WinX Menu.  All you need to do is Press Win+X in combination to bring up the ‘Power Task Menu’. From there, you can select the ‘Task Manager’ option.

Open Task Manager

4] Goes without saying you can still always simply right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.

5] Then again, while on the Start, you can search for Task Manager or  Taskmgr.exe and click on it. Use this executable to run it using the Run box or a Command Prompt. Create a desktop shortcut, if you wish! It is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

6] Open a command prompt, type Taskmgr and hit Enter to open the Task Manager.

7] From the WinX Menu, open the Run box, type taskmgr and hit Enter.


  1. See this post if you cannot open the Task Manager.
  2. Use the Task Manager like a desktop widget with its Summary View.

Post ported from WVC and updated.

If you are looking for more features, perhaps these Task Manager alternative software will interest you.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.