Windows 11 task manager is one of the most useful tools in the latest operating system from Microsoft. And from previous versions, because it is one of the oldest internal Windows management applications.
As you know, this tool we know by its name in English TaskManageris intended for medium-advanced or professional users who want thoroughly check the operation of your computer or solve some problems arising from its use. An ordinary user usually uses it only for its best-known function, such as ending a frozen application, but its uses go much further, as we are going to remind you.
Microsoft extensively renewed it in Windows 10 with the addition of some functions and greater integration, something that has been completed in Windows 11, leaving us with a really interesting tool when we know its capabilities.
How to access the Windows 11 task manager
Accessing this tool is extremely simple and can be done in several ways, including the use of keyboard shortcuts. We review them:
- Ctrl + Alt + Del. This is the method that almost everyone knows, but it is not the fastest because in Windows 11 it does not start directly and you will have to make an additional click to start it.
- Ctrl + Shift + Esc. More direct than the previous one, it immediately launches the task manager and also has the advantage that, due to the position of the keyboard, it can be executed with one hand.
- Taskbar. If you right click with the mouse on the taskbar there is an option to access the administrator.
- Power User Menu. Another shortcut using the mouse. Right click on the start button to access the advanced menu and you will also find this Task Manager.
- Run. If you are used to using commands press the keyboard shortcut Win + R and type “taskmgr”.
- Search. Simply type “tasks” in the general search engine and you will see access to this tool.
Uses of the Windows 11 task manager
1.- Check why the application is frozen
As we mentioned above, the most common and well-known reason for opening task manager is to end a frozen application. Simply right click on the application to “end task”. What is less well known is a new feature called “scan” that can help identify the problem and avoid having to brute-force kill the application, which can result in data loss. It is available in the details tab.
2.- Performance and resource monitor
This is where the Windows 11 task manager really shines. It not only provides an overview of all running processes and applications but has several tools to effectively monitor system performance and how resources are allocated. It includes a lot of information, from the resource monitor (RAM, processor…) that offers data visualization in real time; diagnostic information with logs that you can share for evaluations; network details and other resources of interest.
3.- Restart Windows Explorer
Sometimes there are some parts of the operating system that are not responding (taskbar, file explorer, Start, etc.), while other applications are still running properly. Restarting your PC usually resolves the issue, but restarting your browser may be enough. The task manager has a special action for it. If you use it, it will finish the task and restart automatically.
4.- Administration of Windows applications
The task manager is far from the best window management tool but it does have a couple of actions that you might find useful. To access them, click the dropdown arrow next to the one you want to manage. The ones that work offer five actions, from bringing to the front, maximizing, minimizing or ending the task.
5.- Search online for suspicious processes
Sometimes you may see unknown processes in task manager. Most of them will be legitimate, but if you don’t trust it, you can check it by clicking on the suspicious process and activating the online search. This will launch a browser search for the application name and process name and help you determine whether or not it is safe or malicious.
6.- Additional columns for more details
By default, the new Windows 11 Task Manager only shows five columns when listing processes: Name, CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network. While they are the most important, you can actually add up to six more columns by simply right-clicking on the header area. All of these can be useful in the right situation, particularly the process name because it makes it easier to detect suspicious applications by their process name.
7.- Switch between values and percentages
When browsing the list of processes, the CPU column can show percentages, but in the other three default columns you can change them to absolute values, more useful in some situations. Just right click on any process, go to the resources submenu and you can swap between one and the other.
8.- Discover the file of the open application
Sometimes it is difficult to know the installation location of a particular program. The file explorer is the general option, but if the application is in use, from the task manager you can access it in record time. Just click on any process and select “open file location”. This will take you directly to the folder that contains the executable file of the process. It works for apps, background processes, and Windows processes. Fast and practical.
9.- Start the command prompt directly
In the task manager you can go to the File menu and select “run a new task” to launch the run dialog. Most people who use this tool are aware of it because it is one of the ways to manually restart a frozen browser in older versions of Windows. What not everyone knows is that you can access the Windows console in the same way by simply holding down the Control key. Very useful.
10.- Starting the System Configurator
In Windows 11, if you run the “msconfig” command to configure the system, you will see that the startup function has been moved to task manager. It is the tool that allows us to configure the applications that will start at boot. The tool offers information on the impact of each application on system performance and allows you to disable them from startup. If your PC is slow to start up or runs slower than normal, disable all non-essential applications/services from startup.
As you may have seen, the task manager goes far beyond ending a frozen app that locks the system (the best known function) and is an advanced management tool to thoroughly control the operation of a personal computer or solve some problems that arise from its use, nothing abnormal in Windows systems.