How to Use the Task Manager in Windows 8

There has been some changes made to Windows 8 task manager and here is a run through of what to look out for and expect.

Task Manager Windows 8

From its birth as Task List in Windows 3.0 to its current incarnation, the Task Manager is perhaps one of the most used troubleshooting applet in Microsoft Windows. And with Windows 8, this nifty built-in tool has been given a major makeover with new features, and a snappier user interface.



The new Task Manager, like its predecessors, can be launched in multiple ways. The most popular would be pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and selecting Task Manager. You can also now search for it directly by typing on the Start Screen.


The Processes tab shows the currently running applications and how much CPU, memory, disk, and network is being used by each using a color-coded from pale yellow, to yellow, to orange to represent increasing resource usage.


You can right-click on an abnormally-behaving application here, then click on End Task to kill the processes associated with it and free the hogged resources.



The Performance tab gets a complete overhaul with new useful monitoring tools. You can view real-time line graphs of processor, memory, disk, and network performance as you click through each object. The CPU graph can be collapsed to show performance of each processor or core by a right click then Change graph to > Logical processors.


The App history tab shows a historical log of the recently used applications as well as the resource usage for each.The Startup tab gives you a list of all the programs that launch when Windows starts. The impact of each program is also shown in the table and you can remove problematic applications from the startup routine to troubleshoot issues or enhance performance.


As Windows 8 supports multiple logged in users, the Users tab shows a detailed view of the applications running in each user session as well the resource utilization.
The Details tab looks very much like the Processes tab from the previous version of Windows with the addition of the ‘Analyze wait chain’ context when you right click on a process. This feature allows you to see if an application has halted due to a non-responsive process.

The Services tab hasn’t changed much except for the Search online context wherein searching for information about a particular service is now just a right click away.

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