Have you ever frozen a program that refuses to close or disappear? An annoying problem is when a misspelled app crashes and refuses to close. Or maybe you’ve noticed that your computer suddenly runs very slow, but there are no clear indications of why? In this case, you may have a process running on your system that is hiding CPU time or consumes a lot of memory.
Well, Windows Task Manager can help you in some of these situations to determine the cause and remove the application from the problem. First, the task manager’s goal is to provide information about your computer’s performance along with details about current running programs, processes, and services. It also provides the ability to control the traffic on your network if you are connected to a network.
Opening the Task Manager
So let’s get to know this very useful tool in Windows 10. You can access Task Manager in several ways:
1. Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC while holding down each key. Just like you would Ctrl + Alt + Delete, which I think most people have already done.
2. The other way is to press the second key combination mentioned above, Ctrl + Alt + Deleteand then click Task manager link.
3. Press the Windows + X key or right-click the Start button and you will get the start menu, which has a link to the task manager.
Task manager overview
You should now see the Task Manager dialog box on your computer screen. By default, in Windows 10, you’ll see the scaled-down version, which gives you a list of running applications.
To close an unresponsive program, just click and click Finish the task button. Since most people will only use the task manager for this purpose, Microsoft decided to hide all the additional details unless someone wants to.
Since we want to see more than the applications running on our computer, click More details. This will show the task manager with all tabs.
Process tabs, details and services
By default, the file Processes the tab will be displayed. The list of processes is divided into three main categories: Applications, Background processes i Windows processes. The applications will provide you with a list of all the programs that are currently running on your PC. These are the ones that appear on the taskbar or system tray.
Background processes are all Windows Store applications and third-party applications running on the system. Some of the processes you can see here run in the system tray. Most others are background processes that will remain in your arms until you open the program or when a scheduled task is executed.
The Windows processes section consists of all the basic processes needed for Windows 10 to work properly. It consists mainly of many service host processes (svchost.exe). I wrote earlier about how svchost.exe can sometimes cause high CPU usage, but to solve the problem you need to know which Windows service is running within this particular svchost.exe process.
- You can use this tab to get detailed information about resource usage for each process running on the system. It’s a quick way to diagnose a slow computer if a process takes up 95% of your CPU, for example. Or if a program makes the disc use up to 100%, you can watch it here.
- The Processes tab is also good for restarting Explorer. All you have to do is right-click on it Windows Explorer i tria Restart. In earlier versions of Windows, you had to kill the process and then run a new explorer.exe task, which was a problem.
- When you right-click on a process, you get a list of actions you can take in that process.
- You can complete the task, create a dump file, go to details, open the file location, search online, or view properties. The final task will go ahead and end the process. Create a dump file it’s only used by developers and you’ll never have to worry about it. Go to the details will take you to the Details , where you can see the process ID.
- Under the Description header, you will get more information about the company or program associated with this process. Another good option is the Search online link. If you are not sure what a process does or where it comes from, click Online Search and it will search for this EXE file along with the description. Open the file location is useful if you want to know the location of the EXE file on your computer.
- Finally, while you’re on the Details tab, right-clicking on a process will also show you an option to go to the Services tab. Note that here you can set the priority and affinity for the process. You should never change these values for any process unless you know what you are doing.
If the process has an associated service, it will take you to the Services tab and highlight that particular service. However, not all processes have an associated service.
Here you can right-click to start or stop a service and you can also open the service console from here. This screen will show you all the services in the system and show you which ones are running and which ones are stopping.
Hopefully, this gave you a good overview of the task manager in Windows 10 and what it can be used for. In Part II, we’ll talk about the Performance and Application History tabs. Enjoy!