HomeTechnologyNewsSeven ways to open the Windows Task Manager

Seven ways to open the Windows Task Manager

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Opening the Task Manager isn’t much of a task in and of itself, but it’s always fun to learn about different ways to do things. And some of them can even come in handy if you can’t open Task Manager the way you’re used to.

RELATED: Beginner Geek: What Every Windows User Should Know About Using Windows Task Manager

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del

You’re probably familiar with the three-finger salute: Ctrl+Alt+Del. Until Windows Vista was released, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del took you directly to the Task Manager. From Windows Vista, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del now takes you to the Windows Security screen, which provides options to lock your PC, switch users, sign out, and run Task Manager.

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc

The quickest way to open Task Manager, assuming your keyboard works, is to simply press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. As a bonus, Ctrl+Shift+Esc offers a quick way to open Task Manager while using Remote Desktop or working inside a virtual machine (since Ctrl+Alt+Del would point to your local machine instead).

RELATED: How to enable remote desktop in Windows 10

Press Windows + X to access the power user menu

Windows 8 and Windows 10 both feature a Power User menu that you can access by pressing Windows + X. The menu offers quick access to all sorts of utilities, including Task Manager.

Right click on the taskbar

If you prefer the mouse to the keyboard, one of the quickest ways to open Task Manager is to right-click any open space on your taskbar and choose “Task Manager.” Just two clicks and you’re done.

Run “taskmgr” from the Run box or the Start menu

The name of the Task Manager executable file is “taskmgr.exe”. You can start Task Manager by pressing Start, typing “taskmgr” in the Start menu search box, and pressing Enter.

You can also run it by pressing Windows + R to open the Run box, typing “taskmgr” and then pressing Enter.

Go to taskmgr.exe in File Explorer

You can also start Task Manager by opening its executable directly. This is definitely the longest way to open Task Manager, but we’re including it for completeness. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location:


Scroll down and find (or search for) taskmgr.exe and then double-click it.

Create a Shortcut to Task Manager

And last on our list is to create a nice and accessible shortcut to the Task Manager. You can do this a couple of ways. To pin a shortcut to your taskbar, go ahead and launch Task Manager using any of the methods we’ve covered. While it is running, right-click the Task Manager icon on the taskbar and choose “Pin to taskbar”. After that, you will be able to click the shortcut to run Task Manager at any time.

If you want to create a shortcut on your desktop (or in a folder), right-click any empty space where you want to create the shortcut, and then select New > Shortcut.

In the Create Shortcut window, enter the following location in the box, and then press “Next”.


Type a name for the new shortcut, and then click “Finish.”

RELATED: Create a shortcut to start Task Manager in minimized mode

That’s the end of our list! Some methods are obviously more efficient than others, but if you find yourself in a difficult situation (keyboard or mouse not working, fighting an annoying malicious virus or whatever), any method that works is good. You can also check out our guide on how to start Task Manager in minimized mode at startup, so it’s always open when you turn on your computer.

Image by moonstar909


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