7 Methods To Access The Windows Task Manager7 Methods To Access The Windows Task Manager

Sometimes, knowing the usual option to access the Windows Task Manager (WTM) is not enough. What if the explorer is not responding? You cannot possibly stop the explorer when you cannot access the WTM through it. As such, here are some ways on how you can run this tool in Windows.

1. Through the taskbar

This is the most popular way on how you can open the WTM. To do this, you simply right click on the taskbar. After that, select Start Task Manager. This will open the WTM dialog box. Note, however, that you should do this preferably on the right side of the taskbar, like in the system tray or in an empty taskbar field. It might not work if you go to the left side; the Start button is there as well as the pinned program icons.

2. Through the Windows Explorer

If the taskbar lets you access the WTM by only two clicks, in this method it will take you longer than that. First, you go to My Computer by clicking the Start button and then selecting My Computer. Afterwards, open your local disk (Drive C) then go to the Windows folder. Find the System32 subfolder. You should be able to see the taskmgr.exe in it. Unless you have no other option to get to the WTM, then only then should you use this method. Given that it makes you exert more effort to get to the program, this process isn't efficient at all if you're going to access this tool on a daily basis.

3. Through the Run application

Using the Run command will enable you to access different locations not only in your computer, but also in shared networks. Also, it can open a specific program given that you put its location in the field.

To open Run, click the Start button then proceed to All Programs. In the Accessories folder, click Run. This will open the Run command dialog box. In the Open field, type "taskmgr.exe" then click OK.

You can also access the Run command via the Search programs and files. To do that, click the Start button. In the Search programs and files field, type Run. The application will populate in the Programs section. Click on the Run icon to open it.

4. Through creating a Shortcut

Perhaps an easy way to access the WTM is to create a direct link to the tool in your desktop. To create a shortcut, you have to right-click an empty spot in your desktop. Go to New, and then click Shortcut. This will open the Create Shortcut dialog box. Type its location in the field, which is the following path:


After that, click Next to continue. Enter Task Manager as the name of the shortcut, then press Finish. Afterwards, the shortcut will be placed on your desktop.

5. Through CTRL + ALT + DEL

If a specific application is not responding, most computer users will press the CTRL + ALT + DEL buttons. This will take them directly to the WTM screen. However, this is only applicable for the Windows XP Professional x64 and in lower versions. For Windows Vista, this keystroke will take you to the Windows log-on screen. Among the choices in the log-on screen are Lock this computer, Switch user, and Logoff. There is also a Select Start Task Manager option in that menu.

6. Through CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

Another three-button keystroke can take you to the WTM. This is the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. However, compared to the CTRL + ALT + DEL, this keystroke is much harder to do because of the location of its buttons in the keyboard. Nevertheless, you can also use the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC while on Remote Desktop Connection, as it will open the WTM on the desktop you are accessing and not the desktop on your computer.

7. Through CTRL + SHIFT + END

If you're on Remote Desktop Connection and you clicked CTRL + ALT + DEL, it will not bring up the task manager of the remote desktop. Therefore, you can try other keystrokes such as the one previously mentioned. Aside from that, you can also try CTRL + SHIFT + END. However, if you use this on a normal desktop and not a remote one, it won't do anything.

And that's it - the seven possible ways on how you can access the Windows task manager. Through learning these tips, you can now determine which among these methods is the most efficient for you.

by Robert Corter
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