10 Ways to start the Task Manager in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1

Task Manager is a great tool that helps you manage the way programs, processes and services run. In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, it has received many improvements, some of which are simply awesome. But, before you go into detail and learn how the Task Manager works, we would like to share with you all the ways in which you can launch this tool. There are more than you would think and some of them will probably surprise you.

1. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut

The fastest way to launch the Task Manager is to use the keyboard and press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

2. Use the Ctrl + Alt + Del keyboard shortcut, followed by a click or tap

Probably the most popular way of opening the Task Manager is to press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard. This takes you to the lock screen, where you will find several different shortcuts.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Click or tap on Task Manager.

3. Use the hidden Win+X power user menu, followed by a click or tap

Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 both have a hidden “power user” menu that’s filled with useful shortcuts. One of them is a shortcut to the Task Manager.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Press the Win + X keys on your keyboard and then click or tap on Task Manager.

Another way is to use the mouse or your finger, if you have a device with a touchscreen. Both in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, right-click or press and hold the Start button, so that the hidden “power user” menu is displayed.

4. Use the search or talk to Cortana

In Windows 8.1 while on the Start screen, type the word task and wait for the operating system to make the search for the appropriate apps, settings and files. The first search result will be the Task Manager. Click or tap on it.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

In Windows 10, click or tap on Cortana’s search field from the taskbar and then write the word task inside it. After a short while, Windows 10 should begin displaying the search results. The first one should be the Task Manager. Click or tap on it.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

If you’d rather, you can also choose to speak to Cortana and simply tell her to “open Task Manager”. And she’ll do just that.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

5. Use the Task Manager shortcut from All Apps

Windows 8.1 has an All apps view on its Start screen, and Windows 10 has an All apps list in its Start Menu. And both of these lists include a shortcut to the Task Manager.

Opening the All apps view in Windows 8.1 is simple: move your mouse or finger to the bottom-left side of the Start screen. An arrow that’s pointing downwards will be displayed.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Click or tap on it to open the All apps view. The Task Manager shortcut is found in the Windows System folder.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

In Windows 10, getting to the All apps list is even more simple. Open the Start Menu and click or tap on the All apps shortcut.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Just like in Windows 8.1, you will find the Task Manager shortcut in the Windows System folder.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

6. Run the Taskmgr.exe executable file

Task Manager can also be launched using its executable - Taskmgr.exe.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

You will find it inside the “C:\Windows\System32” folder (where C: is the drive where Windows is installed) and scroll down to the files that begin with the letter T.

7. Download and use a Desktop shortcut

You can create a shortcut to this tool or you can download the shortcut we have created for you and copy it to your Desktop.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

You will find it attached at the end of this article.

8. Use the right click menu from the taskbar’s Notification Area

On your Desktop, look at the notification area from the taskbar (bottom-right), where the time and date are displayed.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Right click or press and hold on that area, to view a contextual menu. While it looks a bit different in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 10, this menu includes options for customizing the taskbar as well as a shortcut that launches Task Manager, in both operating systems.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

9. Run the taskmgr command in Command Line or PowerShell

If you are more of a text based commands guy or gal, you might prefer using the Command Line or the PowerShell to launch Task Manager. If you do, open the command-line environment you prefer and run the taskmgr command, just like in the screenshot below.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

10. Run the taskmgr command in the Run window or in File Explorer

A relatively fast way of launching the Task Manager is to use the Run window. Simultaneously press the Win + R keys on your keyboard and then enter the command taskmgr.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Press Enter or click/tap on OK and Task Manager will open.

A similar method of opening the Task Manager is for you to use the File Explorer’s built-in command running features. Open File Explorer, type the command taskmgr in its address bar and then press the Enter key.

Task Manager, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, start, launch, shortcuts

Task Manager will launch in an instant.

Conclusion

The Task Manager is a very powerful tool that allows you to manage different features of the applications, processes and services running on your computer. Knowing all the ways you can launch it can prove useful in different situations. If you are looking for other Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 tips, don’t hesitate to read the articles recommended below.

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About the Author: Codrut Neagu
Codrut is a Senior Editor on Digital Citizen. He's passionate about technology and he is fluent in working with several operating systems, including Windows and Linux. He likes to test security products and he feels like at home when digging through the registry, optimizing things or having fun on Telnet.