How to Manage Signed In User Accounts with the Windows 8 Task Manager

Having multiple accounts logged in on your Windows 8 computer can make swapping between them faster, but it can also waste system resources as your computer is forced to maintain two separate environments in memory. If you want the chance to weigh the benefits of this action against the costs, the Windows 8 Task Manager can help. Check out the Users tab to view which user accounts are logged in and view how much of your resources are being used to maintain them. You can also use this tool to close the apps opened by another user or even log them out. Let’s see how it works.

How to View the Users Tab in the Windows 8 Task Manager

Open the Task Manager. There are plenty of ways to get this done. Check out this article to learn how: 7 Ways to Launch the Task Manager in Windows 8.

If the full version of the Task Manager opens, you can go ahead and select the Users tab. If you see a compact view that simply lists your open applications, you’ll need to click or tap "More details" before selecting the tab.

The user accounts currently logged in will be listed in the first column, followed by a number of columns depicting the amount of system resources being used by each.

By default, you’ll see five columns displayed near the User column. They are:

  • Status - Displays the status of the accounts and processes listed.
  • CPU - Displays the percentage of total CPU cycles the process or account is using.
  • Memory - Displays the total amount of memory the selected account (or the selected process) is utilizing.
  • Disk - Displays the amount of data being transferred to/from your hard drive by the process or account
  • Network - Displays the network usage of the selected user account or process.

To add additional columns and display more information, right click a column header and select additional entries. Your options are:

  • ID - Displays the unique session ID for each account.
  • Session - Displays the type of session for each account. This is only useful for a server system where users may log in using remote services.
  • Client Name - Displays the name of the computer a remote user is logging in from.

You can deselect any column you don’t need to close it. This helps to declutter the view and keep the window smaller.

How to Manage the Processes Opened by Each User Account

From the Users tab you can click or tap the small down arrow next to each user account name to expand a list of all processes opened by that account. Alternatively, you can right-click or long-press an account name and click or tap "Expand."

You can check through the list of open processes for anything that doesn’t need to be running. If you find an application that’s chewing up resources and closing it wouldn’t cause any undue hardship on the part of the account holder, you can right-click on it (or press and hold) and click (or tap) "End Task." This will close the process.

You can also select the process and click or tap the "End Task" button on the lower-right corner of the screen.

Once you’ve gone through the account’s processes, you can tap the arrow once again or right-click or long-press the account name and select "Collapse" to hide the expanded list and display only the name once again.

How to Manage Open Accounts in the Windows 8 Task Manager

If you have multiple open accounts, there are various tasks you can perform to manage them. Right click or long-press the account’s name to view your options.

Select "Connect" from the aforementioned menu to switch to the selected account. Enter the account password in the provided field and click "OK."

Select "Sign Off" if you want to sign out the selected account. If you don’t need it open, this is a great way to free up resources. Be careful to ensure that the other user doesn't have any unsaved information as this could result in data loss.

Click or tap "Sign out user" from the warning window if you’re certain that you want to close the open account.

Another way to sign out of or switch to an unneeded account is to select the account and click or tap the appropriate button on the lower-right corner of the window.

Select "Send message" from the context menu described above if you want to send a message to the user of the other account. Type your message in the space provided, enter a title if you wish and then click or tap "OK."

If a remote user is actively using the selected account, they’ll get your message immediately. If the user of the other account isn’t at the computer, they’ll get the message the next time they unlock the account.

Finally, you can select "Manage User Accounts" to open the User Accounts section in the Control Panel.

From there you can change the account’s settings.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to it. The Users tab doesn't have a ton of features, but it serves a very helpful purpose. With very little effort you can view all open accounts, their impact on your system’s performance and manage them to regain resources. It’s much faster than swapping over to another account to close a program and switching back. For more information about utilizing the Task Manager in Windows 8, don’t hesitate to read the articles recommended below.