Task Manager problems

Troubleshoot Task Manager problems

Applies to Windows Vista

How do I open task manager?

  • Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar and then clicking Task Manager.


  • You can also open Task Manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then clicking Start Task Manager.

Task Manager won't start.

If Task Manager won't start, your computer might have a virus. Make sure that you have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer, and then search the Microsoft website for the latest virus information. If your computer does not have a virus and you are connected to a network, check with your system administrator to find out if Task Manager has been turned off on your computer.

Why can't I find Task Manager when it's minimized?

Task Manager might be set to Hide When Minimized. When this setting is activated, Task Manager only appears as a green graph icon in the notification area, rather than appearing in the taskbar as other programs do when minimized.
Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar and then clicking Task Manager.
Click the Options menu, and then make sure that there is no check mark next to Hide When Minimized. The next time you minimize Task Manager, it will appear on the taskbar.

Why does Task Manager look different? Where have the menus and tabs gone?

Task Manager has two different views. To see the view that includes menus and tabs, double-click the border of the Task Manager window. To switch back to the view without menus and tabs, double-click anywhere in the border around the tabs.

Why does Task Manager always stay on top of all other open windows?

By default, Task Manager is set to always display on top. To change the default view of Task Manager so that it displays behind other open windows, click the Options menu, and then click Always On Top (which removes the check mark beside the command). If you want Task Manager to stay on top of all other open windows again, click the Options menu, and then click Always on Top (which restores the check mark beside the command).

How do I enable Task Manager if it has been disabled?

If Task Manager has been disabled, you can re-enable it if you have administrator privileges on the computer.

To enable Task Manager on a computer running Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Home Premium

To enable task Manager on a computer running other editions of Windows Vista

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, type gpedit.msc in the search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Under User Configuration, double-click Administrative Templates.
  3. Double-click System, and then click Crtl+Alt+Del Options.
  4. Double-click Remove Task Manager, click Disabled, and then click OK.


    • If the Remove Task Manager properties appear dimmed, your network administrator has prevented you from changing these settings. Contact your network administrator to have Task Manager enabled.

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