How to open Task Manager in Windows 10

The Windows Task Manager helps in getting information about 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 Task Manager, now offers a lot of information. We have already seen how the Windows 7 Task Manager works and also the features of the Windows 10 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 the 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.


  1. ClarkHighlandGroup

    I ran into an interesting challenge. On Win7, my task manager has lost most of its ‘stuff’, no matter how I open it (thanks for reminder of mouse-friendly right-click taskbar). I only get the CPU usage history. I get for all 8 cores. But no menu or other options to see memory, or what tasks are running, let alone the ability to kill rogue processes. I can expand the window size, but it only expands the size of the graphs of the CPU usage. Any ideas?

  2. Delphi Programmer

    Is there any way to get back most of the keyboard functionality of the Windows 7 task manager in Windows 8? I really miss being able to simply open the task manager, type the name of a task I want to switch to and hit ENTER to open it. Because Windows 8 uses a tree structure, you have to expand the tree either with the mouse or by using the arrow keys, and then press enter or double click. That may seem trivial, but if you’re doing it hundreds of times it becomes excessive. I hated “alt-tabbing” between tasks, but now it looks like I’m going to have to return to it because TM in Win8 is just a pain.

  3. hi

    I think you have it in full window mode. Double-click near the window border.

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