Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task Manager

Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task Manager The good old task manager seen on Windows XP has evolved over the years to become one of the most effective control tools available on modern computers. On Windows 10, for example, it allows you to perform numerous tasks and provide invaluable information on running programs, on self-starting programs and on the resources occupied by the system and software.
In this complete guide we will see together what the Windows 10 Task Manager offers, how to best use it to control processes, how to read individual screens. At the end of the reading the new task manager will have no more secrets and we will be able to use Windows like never before. Before starting a necessary premise: even if the Windows 10 Task Manager is very similar to the manager present on previous operating systems, many functions can only be found on the latest Microsoft operating system.

Activate Task Manager

The easiest way to activate the task manager on Windows 10 is to right click on the taskbar and left click on the item Activity management.
Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task Manager

Alternatively we can access the manager by pressing on the keyboard CTRL + ALT + DEL and clicking on the respective item, pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC or by searching for the app in the Start menu Activity management.

Simplified mode

By default Windows 10 offers a stripped down and simplified version of the task manager.
Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task Manager

From this small window we can only view the programs open in the system and terminate those we do not use, using the key End activity bottom right. To return to this view, simply click on the item Fewer details, when we are in advanced mode.

Advanced mode

By clicking on the item More details in simplified mode, we will unlock the actual activity manager, the one we will illustrate in detail in the following chapters.
Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task Manager

All the functions of the tool are contained in the various tabs and menu buttons at the top.


In this tab we can see all the active processes on the operating system. We can sort the processes either by the Your name (so as to immediately show the active ones at the top), or use one of the columns present (CPU, Memory, disc, Network, GPU, GPU engine, Electric consumption e Consumption trend) to be able to visualize the consumption of resources, showing at the top immediately the heaviest processes, those that download the most data or that use the 3D resources of the video card the most.


In this tab we will have a series of graphs and numbers with which to check the actual consumption of resources by the processes (CPU, Memory, disc, Network e But by the full GPU acceleration tech). We can also click on the individual graphs on the left to know in detail the most expensive processes, so as to immediately know what is wrong with the system.

To access a more detailed window, we can always open the dedicated control tool by clicking on Open resource monitor.

Application history

By opening this tab we will be able to see the activity time of each application or app on Windows 10, so as to immediately find excessive use of resources (we will only have to click on the right column to sort according to consumption or time of use)


In the tab Start we will be able to check which programs can start with the operating system, their impact on the system and, in case of problems or slowdowns, remove this privilege. If we have too many auto-starting programs (more than 5 or 6) we recommend that you sort them by the Start-up impact column and disable auto-start for heavier programs by selecting them and clicking the button at the bottom right Disable.
In fact, this tab takes the place of the old command Msconfig, which we could launch on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to be able to manage programs at startup, as seen in the guide Check the start of programs when the PC is turned on.


In this tab we can see the resource consumption per user account. If we have only one account configured, we will only see our user; if instead we have more users configured on the computer, we will see the resources used by each of them (if active).


The board Details is reserved for professionals and IT experts, as it shows the PID code, status and other information useful for identifying a process or its process tree, as well as indicating the presence or absence of virtualization (necessary to increase security during running some apps).


The last tab allows you to view the system services, both active and deactivated ones. To better manage this type of options, we advise you to click on at the bottom Open services and read our guide on Which Windows Services can be disabled to speed up the PC.

Window menu

At the top of the Task Manager window we will have three menus: Fillet, options e Show.
Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task ManagerWindow menu">

In the menu Fillet, we will be able to manually open a new process in Run new activity (for example Explorer.exe, if it was closed or crashed) or use the key Logout to close the manager.

In the menu options, we will be able to decide how the manager window should behave with respect to the others open on Windows: we can thus decide whether to keep it in the foreground, whether or not to show the icon at the bottom right on CPU consumption or whether to hide the manager if minimized . The other items only available Show full account name e Show history of all processes (only available in some tabs).

Finally in the menu Show we can choose to update the content of each tab (with the Update), choose the update speed and manage the groupings (by expanding or collapsing the items that have a tree structure).


We have seen together how the Task Manager works on Windows 10, what the various tabs show and how to use the various columns or buttons present within the various tabs of the tool.
If the activity manager does not convince us or we want to try an alternative, we invite you to read our guide to Alternatives to the Task manager to manage processes and tasks on Windows.
If, on the other hand, we notice that the manager no longer starts, due to corrupt files or viruses in the system, we can restore the functioning of this important tool by reading our guide on how Restore Task Manager, Registry, cmd and Windows functions after virus attack.

Complete Guide to Windows 10 Task Manager

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