How to Use the Task Manager to Manage Processes on A Windows Laptop?

17 minutes read

The Task Manager is a built-in utility in Windows operating systems that can be used to manage and monitor processes running on your laptop. It is a powerful tool that allows you to view, control, and troubleshoot applications, services, and system resources.


To open the Task Manager, you can right-click on the taskbar and select "Task Manager" from the context menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Esc.


Once the Task Manager is open, it consists of several tabs that provide different information and functionality:

  1. Processes Tab: This tab displays a list of all the processes currently running on your laptop. It provides details such as the name, description, CPU and memory usage, and status of each process. You can sort the list by clicking on the column headers. In case a particular process is causing issues or consuming excessive resources, you can select it and click on "End Task" to forcibly terminate it.
  2. Performance Tab: This tab provides real-time graphs and statistics on the usage of CPU, memory, disk, Ethernet, and wireless network. It allows you to monitor the resource usage and identify any bottlenecks.
  3. App History Tab: This tab shows historical resource usage of apps over a period of time. It can be useful for identifying applications that consistently consume a significant amount of resources.
  4. Startup Tab: Here, you can see a list of programs that are configured to run automatically when your laptop starts. You can disable any program from starting up with your laptop by right-clicking on it and selecting "Disable".
  5. Services Tab: This tab displays all the Windows services running in the background. You can find information about their status, description, and resource usage. It is advisable to be cautious while making any changes to services, as disabling certain services can affect the functioning of your laptop.
  6. Details Tab: This tab provides detailed information about all the processes running on your system, including the process ID, user name, CPU and memory usage, etc. You can right-click on a process and choose various actions, such as ending the process, setting the process priority, or opening the file location.
  7. Users Tab: If your laptop has multiple user accounts, this tab shows a list of users who are currently logged in. You can see the number of processes and resource usage for each user.


In addition to these tabs, the Task Manager also offers other options like searching for processes, creating and managing taskbar shortcuts, and accessing additional tools like Resource Monitor and Event Viewer.


Remember to use the Task Manager responsibly and be cautious when making any changes. It is a valuable tool for monitoring and managing processes on your Windows laptop.

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HP Pavilion Laptop, 15.6" FHD Touchscreen, 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1355U Processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, Webcam, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit KB, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 11 Pro, Blue

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How to view and manage resource usage by specific applications in the Task Manager?

To view and manage resource usage by specific applications in the Task Manager, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. By default, the "Processes" tab should be selected. If not, click on the "Processes" tab.


To view resource usage:

  1. In the Processes tab, you will see a list of running applications and background processes.
  2. To sort the processes by resource usage, click on the relevant column header such as "CPU", "Memory", "Disk", or "Network" to sort the processes in ascending or descending order based on that resource. For example, to view which application is using the most CPU, sort the processes by the "CPU" column.


To manage resource usage:

  1. Right-click on a specific application that you want to manage resource usage for.
  2. A context menu will appear. Here, you can perform the following actions:
  • "End Task": This will force the application to close, terminating its process.
  • "Set Priority": You can adjust the priority of the application's process, giving it more or fewer system resources.
  • "Open File Location": This will open the file location of the application's executable file in Windows Explorer.
  1. Choose the appropriate action to manage the resource usage for specific applications.


Note: It's important to exercise caution when managing resource usage for applications. Ending a critical system process or setting extremely high priority for an application can potentially impact system stability and performance.


How to end a process using the Task Manager?

To end a process using the Task Manager in Windows, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys together on your keyboard, or right-click on the taskbar and choose "Task Manager" from the context menu.
  2. The Task Manager window will open. By default, it should be in the "Processes" tab.
  3. In the "Processes" tab, you'll see a list of all running processes on your computer. Locate the process you want to end. You can sort the processes by clicking on the column headers.
  4. Once you've found the process you want to end, right-click on it and select "End Task" from the context menu.
  5. A confirmation dialog box will appear. Click on "End Process" to confirm the termination of the process.
  6. The process should now be stopped and will no longer be running on your system.


Note: Be cautious when ending processes in the Task Manager, as terminating critical system processes can cause system instability. Make sure you only end processes that you are certain are safe to terminate.


What is the History tab in the Task Manager and what does it track?

The History tab in the Task Manager is a feature available in Windows operating systems. It tracks the various metrics related to resource usage by processes and applications over time. The data collected includes a graphical representation of CPU usage, memory usage, disk activity, network activity, and GPU activity.


By accessing the History tab, users can analyze and monitor the performance of their system, assisting them in identifying potential performance bottlenecks or resource-intensive tasks that may be impacting system responsiveness. This information can be valuable when troubleshooting issues or optimizing system performance.

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