Seven Ways to Open Windows Task Manager

Calling the task manager is not a difficult task in itself, but it is always interesting to know the different ways to perform tasks. And some of them might even come in handy if you can’t open Task Manager the way you’re used to.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del

You are probably familiar with the three-finger greeting – Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Up until the release of Windows Vista, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete took you straight to the Task Manager. Starting with Windows Vista, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete now leads to the Windows Security Screen, which provides options to lock the computer, switch users, log off, and launch Task Manager.

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc

The quickest way to bring up the Task Manager – assuming your keyboard is working – is to simply press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. As a bonus, Ctrl+Shift+Esc offers a quick way to bring up the Task Manager when using Remote Desktop or working inside a virtual machine (because Ctrl+Alt+Delete will signal your local machine instead).

Press Windows + X to access the Power User Menu.

Windows 8 and Windows 10 have a Power User menu that can be accessed by pressing Windows + X. The menu has quick access to all sorts of utilities, including Task Manager.

Right click the taskbar

If you prefer a mouse over a keyboard, one of the quickest ways to bring up the task manager is to right-click on any empty spot on the taskbar and select Task Manager. Just two clicks and you are there.

Run “taskmgr” from the Run window or Start menu.

The executable name for Task Manager is “taskmgr.exe”. You can launch Task Manager by clicking 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 window, type “taskmgr” and press Enter.

Navigate to the taskmgr.exe file in File Explorer.

You can also launch Task Manager by opening its executable file directly. This is definitely the longest way to open Task Manager, but we include it for the sake of completeness. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location:

C:\Windows\System32

Scroll down and locate (or find) the taskmgr.exe file and then double-click it.

Create a shortcut for Task Manager

And last on our list is creating a beautiful and accessible shortcut for the Task Manager. You can do this in several ways. To pin a shortcut to the taskbar, launch Task Manager using any of the methods we’ve covered. While it is running, right-click on the task manager icon on the taskbar and select “Pin to taskbar”. After that, you will be able to click the shortcut to launch Task Manager at any time.

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

In the Create Shortcut window, enter the following location in the field and click Next.

C:\Windows\System32

Enter a name for the new shortcut and click Finish.

That’s the end of our list! Some methods are obviously more effective than others, but if you’re in a difficult situation – keyboard or mouse not working, fighting a pesky malware virus, or whatever – any method that works will do. You can also check out our guide on how to start Task Manager in minimized mode during boot so that it is always open when you turn on your computer.

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