How to Use Task Manager in Vista

Task Manager is a tool that lets you monitor your computer activity and help you control the programs, services and processes in progress. You can see details about the network performance and the number of computer users who are connected at a given moment. In this tutorial I will try to share with you the most important characters and how to use Task Manager.

How to start Task Manager

There are several ways to open Task Manager.

The first one is to give a right click on the taskbar and click Task Manager.

The second way is to hit the keys Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Del and then you click on Task Manager.

And the third way option is to open the Start menu, then type taskmgr or taskmgr.exe in the search field, then you hit enter.

Once you open it, Task Manager window will be displayed.

The window has a series of menus and tabs with different options. First you will see what options are available in each tab and after that I will describe what actions can be executed in each menu.

Possible problem: if the Task Manager window has no menu and no tab, means that work in tiny footprint mode. To bring the Task Manager window to normal aspect, double click gray area of the window


In the Applications tab you can force an application that fails to close properly, by selecting it and by clicking the End Task button. You have to be careful when you close an application by this method for the risk to lose important data that have not been saved. End Task should be used only when an application stops responding. When this happens, Task Manager displays the message “Not Responding” in the Status column.

To see what process uses an application, click on the desired application and select “Go To Process”. This option will send directly to Processes tab, where you can see all processes associated with those applications.

If you double click the application you will see several options including “Switch To” and “Bring To Front”. By choosing “Switch To” you will switch the active application to the chosen one. Also, if you choose “Bring to Front” application will be brought in front, on the Desktop. This option will not work if there is an application that is set as “Always on top”.

Another important thing is the Applications tab, New Task, which can be opened from the main menu from File. This is similar to the Run button in the Start Menu and can be used to open a new application.


This tab offers information about the processes that are running on your computer. If you want to know more about a particular process, select it, right click on it and choose Properties option.

If you want to know the exact location in which a process can be located on your hard disk, select it, right click on it and choose Open File Location option.

Task Manager will open a Windows Explorer window that shows the file that runs in process. free alternative project management tools comparison

Sometimes a process may be other processes parent. Those are known as child processes. This hierarchical relationship between the processes is similar to a family tree. If you want to close a parent with child processes, right click on that process and select End Process Tree from the context. Before using this option explore the processes, since it is possible to close one process that should be active.

Another useful option in the Processes tab, is the possibility to set the priority of a process. This means that you can choose which process will receive more attention from the operating system. If a process gets more attention, it will be “heard” sooner by Vista. However, be careful, if a process receives much attention, others will not be taken into account. To change the priority of a process, right click on it, go to the option “Set Priority” and select one of the available options.

One of the strongest features, though very rarely used, is “Processor Affinity”. This is a useful option in case of a system using a multiprocessor. If yes, this will make the computer run more efficiently, switching some work processes on a processor, others on the second, the third, etc If you want to set affinity processes, trying to share the work done by them. To use this option, right click on a process and select “Set Affinity”. It will open a new window where you can choose on which processor you want to run processes. If you do not want to work with this option let it as it is. However, changes you made will not be permanent. They will return to normal when the application is closed or when the computer is restarted.

If you want to find out more about running processes, you can add more columns. Almost every tab has several columns that you can use. To view other columns, click on the View menu and select “Set Columns”. After you have selected the columns you want to see, click on OK and you can view them in the Processes tab.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *