Windows 8

Windows 8.1 Guide

Guide to Task Manager

Windows has a much improved Task Manager than previous versions of Windows. In Windows 8, you get a simple Task Manager at first, but can be expanded to a more detailsed version.

* Simple processes list with cpu, memory, disk and network usage
* Performance graphs and statistics
* Application history shows usage over time
* List of start-up programs with status and impact.
* User list with cpu, memory, disk and network usage.
* Detailed process list like the older Task Manager
* Services list with pid, descriptiom status and group

You can lauch task manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, right click the task bar and select Task Manager from the pop up menu or type taskmgr from Start, Run menu. You can switch tasks by pressing Alt+Tab together and select a task from the pop up window.

Simple Task Manager

Task Manager

This just shows a list of applications the user is running and nothing else. Click More details to expand Task Manager to show more information.

Process List

Here is an example of a Process list in task manager with some running tasks:

There are five apps: Adobe Dreamweaver, Corel PaintShop Pro, Firefox browser, Task Manager and two Explorer windows. A list of Background processes (72) are shown below the Apps.
At the bottom, there are two buttons: Fewer details which will switch Task Manager back to simpler view and End Task (which will try to shutdown a selected Task).
A new task can be started by selecting File, Run new task and enter name of program.

Details List

The Processes list is more complex than the Application list as it will display background programs and operating system programs which you do not normally see.

Here you have a number of columns: Name (name of the program file), PID (process id) , Status, User Name (the account the program runs under e.g. your user id, System, Local Service or Network Service), CPU (the percentage or Cpu capacity used),Memory (how much memory the process is using) and a description. More columns can be added or removed by right clicking the title bar and selecting Select or Hide Columns.
Only one button is shown: End Task (which allows you to stop a process) although it is NOT recommended to do this as it can affect the stability of the system or make it crash. You should close normal programs via File, Exit or click on Close Window gadget. Services should be stopped via the Services screen from Computer Management, not from here.

Performance Screen

The Performance screen will give a graph of how much work your computer is performing and give statistics on cpu, memory, disk and ethernet (network) used.


As you can see my CPU is lightly used, memory is also lightly used but has plenty free. For more information, click on Open Resource Monitor to view more detailed information on your computer's performance.

AppHistory Screen

This will display a list of Apps (from new Start Screen) and shows how much cpu, network, and tile updates has been performed on them over time.

App History

Startup Screen

This lists tasks and programs that are automatically started when you boot up and login.


Users Screen

The Users screen will display all the users currently logged in your PC either directly or through User swtiching or even over a network to look at your shared files.
Expanding the user will also display the processes associated with that user.

At the bottom of the screen there a Disconnect button which will logoff any connected users, including yourself.

Services Screen

The final screen displays a list of background services running. You can manage them by clicking on Open Services at the bottom.



Always on top - Always show Task Manager on top of other windows.
Minimise on use - Minimise window when using other applications.
Hide when minimised - Hide the task manager completely rather than appearing on task bar.
Show full account name
Show history for all processes