What is The Task Manager: It’s a Helpful Utility Inside Windows

The Task Manager, gets you through the day:

Hello everyone, I hope your day is going well. I thought I would do a post on how to use the task manager that comes with your windows operating system. If you want to know what’s taking place inside your computer, and have control over what programs that start up when you boot up or restart your computer, then getting to know the task manager will come in handy.                            What is the task manager

I’m always finding myself checking to see what is hogging up my system resources and slowing it down, just to see if I can close one or more programs to speed up my computer.

So what is the task manager?

The task manager is a utility inside the Windows operating system, when opened  it will display the entire tasks that are being performed by the computer and provide you with some information about what programs are running and how they are affecting the performance of your CPU, Memory, Hard drive, and network. It also allows you to stop, start, enable, disable processes that are taking place, such as if you have a program that is hanging up, you can close it from here.

OK, how do I Access the Task Manager:

You can access the task manager by three different ways, the first one is by right clicking an empty area of the task bar, and then select task manager from the popup widow, or you can press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys to get the task manager window, and one other way is to press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up the manager.

Once task manager pops up you will see a screen similar to this one,What is the task manager The first time you open task manager it will show just one screen of the major apps that are running at the time, at the bottom you will see a More Detail button, press that and you will get a screen with 7 tabs across the top with the first tab marked Processes, this is going to show you an overall shot of the processes that are running and how much they are tasking your CPU, Memory, Disk and your network in percentages.

Now if you ever get a program that is not responding and freezing up your system you will be able to locate it on this page and from here you can end the program by clicking the End Task button located at the bottom right of the screen which will shut the program down and free up your system. You can also shut down any program that is running in the background from here, just take caution when doing this, if it is a system file running and you close it down, you more than likely will make your system unstable, and you could lose any file that you were working on. If this happens you will have to restart your system

Now if you get curious (which I am all the time) and see any applications or programs that you’re not sure as to what their purpose is,What is the task manager you can right click on it and then select search online, this will open up your browsers and show search results for that program, this way you will have a better idea of what it’s for and whether or not you want to end the task.

So just on this tab (processes) alone you can see who is hogging up your resources and have the option to end their process. If you see programs that you don’t use anymore taking up resources in the background then you will want to delete these from your system, to do that you need to go to Programs and Features, and highlight the program and then click the uninstall button.

Moving on to the (Performance tab):

Clicking on this tab you will get a screen showing a graph of the usage of the CPU, Memory, Disk, or Ethernet, oh and if you’re using Wi-Fi it will show that also. If you ask me this is a boring page, until you click on Open Resource Monitor, that is located at the bottom left of the screen.What is the task manager

Here you will find another screen that has tabs on top for the CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network along with an Overview tab. Clicking on any of these will give you a more detailed look of what is taking place in real-time. Again if you need further information on a specific task, just right click on it and select Search Online, you can also end the process from here, again make sure you know what the process is before ending it.

Next up the (App History tab):

Well not much to say about this tab except that is shows a history of the CPU time, Network and Metered network, and Tile updates of all your apps. Now you can double right click, or left click to open that app. Oh yea it gives you the history per month, so if you want to check out what your child has been doing you can get the info here, other than that it’s your guess as good as anyone else’s as to what you can get out of this tab.

Startup tab, one of my favorites:

In this tab you will see a list of your software that starts up when you boot up your Pc and will run in the background. This is where you can disable programs that you don’t use on a daily bases from starting up on boot up. This will help save some resources in your Pc’s performance.What is the task manager

For example I have an Hp printer that comes with software that runs in the background monitoring the printer stats, like ink levels. Well I don’t need this running all the time so I disable it in the startup tab, along with other programs that I don’t use on a daily bases. Thus, freeing up the computers resources, and giving me a little boost in performance. This being my second favorite tab, the first is the Processes tab. Now you can right click on any of these programs and select to Enable or Disable, Open File Location, Search Online, or bring up the Properties window.

Users Tab:

Pretty self explanatory; this tab shows the users that are on your Pc and a rundown of CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network usage in percentages. Unless you have more than one usurer, I find this tab to be useless.

Details Tab:

Here on this tab you will find a detailed list of all the programs that are running in the background along with the status (running or suspended) the user name (yourself, system, or other), CPU (which cores is being used), Memory usage, and a short description.What is the task manager Once again right clicking on them will give you options as to End task, End process tree, Set priority, and other things. All of this is reported in real-time scenario, to me the best info from this page is the detailed memory usage column, but you may find other things useful on this page or not. And let’s not forget the PID number (Product identifier) this is a unique number that identifies each of the processes running in an operating system.

Services Tab:

On this tab you will see a list of all services with columns listed as PID, Description, Status (running or stopped) and what group there in. By right clicking you can start, stop, restart, open service, and a couple more to get more info. To get a better understanding of the description of each process click on the Open Service button at the lower left bottom, here you will see a new screen with the same list along with Description, Status, Startup Type, and log On As. Now by clicking on the processes name it will pop up with a more detailed description of what it is so you can have a better understanding of  what the heck it is.

What we have covered in this article:

What we have gone over here covers the Task Manager for Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. The task manager for Windows 7 or Vista is a little different in that it does not have the Startup, App History, or Detail tabs and the information isn’t as detailed, but you can still end any task that might be hanging up your PC and find out which ones are tasking the most performance from your CPU and Memory.

So with the use of the Task Manager you can get a good idea of what programs are hogging up the resource of any Windows device, end a program that has locked up, and schedule what programs to open on startup. And a whole lot of helpful information when looking into the performance of your device. I use the task manager so much that I pined it to my task bar, now I’m just a click away. 🙂 Now if you need a refresher on how to do this, all you have to do is mouse over the icon on the task bar and right click, then click on Pin to Task bar.

If your looking for more ways to get the most out of your computer, check out my post on some really great free software to help in your everyday computing by clicking here.

I hope you have found this article to be helpful, and if you have why not share it with your friends or family. Oh yes before I go if you have any question at all, please leave them in the comment box below, and any comments that you would like to share and I will respond to them within the next day.

Thanks for stopping by, Kim

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About Author

Kim
Hello, my name is Kim and I am the owner of this site. I have been working with computers since they first became available to the public.I have built several computers over the years and enjoy helping others with their everyday computing. Should you have any questions about using your computer, or any other device, please leave me a note below in the comment section and I will be more than happy to help you out. Come back often for more tips and solutions to your every day computing.

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