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Task Manager can be found or started in a couple different places in Windows.

Where is Task Manager?

We take it for granted, but it's not always obvious.

Task Manager can be found, or just started, via (at least) two places:

  • Pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL

  • Right-click on the clock in your task bar, and the pop-up menu will include "Task Manager"

Sysinternals Process Explorer is also a great, free replacement for Task Manager with many additional features.

Article C2170 - August 27, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Larry Osterman
August 29, 2004 1:26 PM

Taskmgr.exe can only be brought up with the secure attention sequence (C-A-D) on an XP machine that's not a member of the domain. If the machine is a member of the domain, then typing C-A-D brings up a Windows Security dialog, one of the buttons on that Dialog is the Task Manager button.

There's also START/RUN... TASKMGR.EXE method of starting taskmgr.

October 23, 2004 12:24 AM

Don't forget the fastest way is Ctrl+Shift+Esc

November 27, 2004 3:55 AM

It is better to use extended task manager by it is like regular windows task manager but have much more options and functionality

Khalil Abuosba
December 27, 2007 6:42 PM

Suppose that the sub-menue of Adminstrative Components/System does not contain ctrl-alt-del option and it has only:
- User Profile
- Scripts
- Logon
- Disk Quotas
- Net Logon
- Group Policy, etc..

My question is: can we add this option back?

tIt seems this option was deleted from the lis..


Benjie Azcon
July 7, 2008 10:39 AM

My computer has a lot of viruses so i scan and then after that when i open the D partition of my computer. I got an error massage of "Access is denied". May i know your response about these problem. Thank you and more power to you.

August 10, 2008 4:07 PM

@ Benjie Azcon!

try this!

Right click on the D: partition on your computer,
click PROPERTIES, then click on SECURITY, then click the ADVANCED button on the bottom of the window, when the new window opens, click OWNER on that new window, then you will see who is the current owner, take the ownership by clicking on your name, check the REPLACE OWNER ON SUBCONTAINERS AND OBJECTS box, click OK, and that should do the trick...

February 2, 2009 6:39 PM

my task manager was disabled what is the possible solution for this problem....
thank you

Tom Sheldon
February 7, 2009 1:35 PM

My computer will slow down after a few hours of use. I restart and it runs fine for a short time.
If I try to start using F8 the ONLY "mode" that will work is "reboot" all the others will freeze and not allow me to type my name, also NUM Lock is ON. Any repair ideas?
Thank you,

February 21, 2009 2:36 PM

I would like to install autodesk3Dmax 2009. My system dose not allow the proggram to run becouse of monitor.exe. Do You think if i end monitor.exe. will effect on my computer? Thanks

March 3, 2009 2:48 AM

Task manager can't be accessed in my laptop. When pressed ctr+alt+del a msg box is being shown as "task manager is disabled by administrator". Eventhough i've logged in admin accout i can't get it...
Where can i find the settings to enable it

May 4, 2009 3:13 PM

I got to Task Manager (via "Ctrl+Shift+Esc") and it shows "Adela Main" (which is my documents, etc.), but...why would I want to go to my documents this long way, when I can get to it through "My Computer', etc.?

So...what would I use the Task Manager for?

I hope to hear from someone soon?

Thanks so very much!

August 30, 2009 12:10 PM

right click on task bar, then on task manager and nothing happens, no error messages or anything. what is causing this

January 9, 2010 11:12 AM

i would like the taskmanager to run all of the time. also it doesnt always show up in the lower right. can you help me with first getting it to show up and then boot with windows. thanks

January 30, 2010 3:53 PM

Hello, my brothers downloaded a virus or keylogger onto my computer (I am not that dumb...) and every time I run task manager it closes in about a second or less. I can run it at system startup and in safe mode, but if I run windows normally for about 10 minutes, it closes regardless. I cannot find the program responsible and I would like to know if there are any solutions (DEP, run as admin, etc?) to this problem

Jessica Reeves
March 5, 2010 8:11 AM

Neither Ctrl+alt+del nor the task manager accessed via the clock menu actually bring up task manager !! All I get is user list - and I cannot close that damned window either!! Any ideas??


April 10, 2010 3:38 PM

Hey...I just enabled my task manager but it is still greyed, still can't access it using ctrl+alt+del...where do i go from here?

April 17, 2010 3:08 PM

my task manager is disabled and so my registry,am the administrator i didnot do this,i dont know how to repair it
please help me

May 9, 2010 2:31 AM

Task mgr not available (virus problem) gone thro registry editor ..when I get as far as policies /system .. I click on system and on the right of pane ther is no disabletaskmgr to delete?help please... (windows vista home)

July 12, 2010 6:43 PM

Using the key combination Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

gary gross
September 1, 2010 9:35 AM

Keep getting error message say "Task Manager disabled by Administrator" which we haven't done. How do we correct this?!

That's typically the result of malware. Run up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware scans.

September 25, 2010 11:55 PM

my task manager is not working.i have tried regedit and also the group policy but nothing is happening.i have also deleted all the malawares and viruses that my computer had using norton antivirus.please tell me how i can get rid of this problem.

December 31, 2010 10:34 AM

The solutions you've provided aren't working any more, especially on XP service pack 3. I did notice that the virus still allows access through the task bar but for the life of me I can't find the files needed to turn on the Ctl+Alt+Del trigger again. I'm a computer major working on my bachelors degree and this is very frustrating to come across especially since they never covered this in my basic or advanced trouble shooting classes. I am the Admin on my personal computer and got a slightly different message saying that it couldn't find the program but I could still trigger it from the task bar. I did notice the person having a problem with vista early in the comments. Might I suggest you point out the coding differences? After all Vista is coded like a mac. One misplaced figure and the computer declares the entire file invalid and irretrievable. It doesn't have the extra layering of coding like other windows OS which allow for more viruses but also more retrievals of damaged and/or compromised data and files. I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks.


December 31, 2010 11:05 AM

Never mind. For some strange reason it fixed its self. Just to be safe I'm still running AVG and Spybot. Better safe than sorry.


March 24, 2011 8:25 AM

I am remoted into a Virtual Machine, and I wish to run Task Manager. CNTL-ALT_DEL gives me Taskman for for my PC. There is no Clock on the Task Bar for the virtual machine, and adding icons is cblocked. IS there somthing I can run from the CMD line?

I believe it's taskmgr.exe

June 11, 2011 6:51 PM

I am receiving the same message the person a few posts up..."Keep getting error message say "Task Manager disabled by Administrator" which we haven't done. How do we correct this?!
I scanned using FProt which finds nothing. I was hit with a trojan not long ago, and all seems to be working alright now (received help from Charter), but this message continues to appear. Also, when I go online, if I try to type in a site through Google, it redirects me to sites I don't ask for. The only way I can go to a site I want to see is if I type it into the bar at the top of the Windows Internet Explorer screen and not into the Google search engine. Is this something to be concerned about? Sorry, I am not just really up on this. My husband passed away, and he took care of all this sort of thing. I hope you can help me.

Mark J
June 12, 2011 12:32 AM

It looks like FProt isn't finding the malware that is still on your computer scanning with another Antivirus AND Antispyware program may find it and get rid of it.
Once you've removed the problem here's som advice on how to protect your computer on the Internet:

September 18, 2011 9:29 PM

In windows 7, all you need to do is right click on the taskbar and select 'start task manager'

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