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How to use Windows 8.1 Task Manager

Summary: This article provides information on How to use Windows 8.1 Task Manager

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Table of Contents:

  1. Windows 8 Task Manager
  2. Task Manager Tabs

Windows 8 Task Manager

The Task Manager allows you to manage your apps and services and makes it easy for you to check which app is using the resources on your system.
To open Task Manager:

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
  • Search for Task Manager, tap or click Apps, and then tap or click Task Manager.
  • You can also use the keyboard shortcut - CTRL + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.

When you start Task Manager, it opens to a simple view that shows only the current user's running apps by default. 

SLN155305_en_US__11371723227206.Win 8 Task Man
The follows options are available from within Task Manager.

  1. Processes
  2. Performance
  3. App History
  4. Startup
  5. Users
  6. Resource Monitor
  7. Details
  8. Services

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The Processes tab shows running apps and background processes. when a process has multiple windows open, this is shown to the user as a number following the process name, and a control to expand the view to see these window names.
Processes are listed in alphabetical order in groups by default. The order can be changed by clicking any of the column names.

SLN155305_en_US__21371723529573.Win 8 process tab


The Performance tab shows graphs and details of the 4 key PC performance metrics.
You can also access the
Resource Monitor from within this tab for when you need to perform additional troubleshooting.

SLN155305_en_US__31371723703093.Win 8 performance tab

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App History

The App History tab shows the total resources used by individual apps since Windows was installed or since the last time the usage history was deleted. Clearing the usage history is an option just above the list of Apps.
This tab can be useful to understand which apps may be using a large amount of network bandwidth or finding which may be reducing battery life by consuming a lot of CPU time.
The colour of the Process/Application will change to a darker shade if it is consuming any of the system resources.

SLN155305_en_US__41371724138948.Win 8 app history

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The Startup tab replaces the functionality of the Startup tab in MSConfig. In addition to showing all the non-system startup items in your configuration, there is a startup performance impact assessment. This will show as Not Measured for some time when new items are added to the startup configuration.
When sufficient data has been collected, this will show an impact level of High, Medium or Low.
To disable an item, simply right click on the item and then click Disable.  This can help make Task Manager a useful tool not only for cleaning up the running configuration, but also to help in ad-hoc startup troubleshooting.

SLN155305_en_US__51371724368548.Win 8 app startup

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The Users tab will show the processes running in each users session. This differs from the old Task Manager interface where all users' processes were shown in the Process tab.
You can use this interface to see which user account a specific task is running under, so you can troubleshoot that specific account.
You can also use the Users tab to log off another user, switch to another user and end tasks running under another user account.

SLN155305_en_US__61371724542615.Win 8 users

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Resource Monitor

The Resource Monitor will show you what resources are being used by the main components of your system, CPU, Hard Drive, Network & Memory and is open from within the Performance Tab.
This will be shown in a list view and in a graph view. When the Resource Monitor is opened at first, the Overview screen is shown by default but you can easily check each one on their own by clicking on the individual component header at the top.

SLN155305_en_US__71371725082722.Win 8 Resource monitor

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The Details tab provides the same information as in the old Task Manager.
This is useful for viewing all processes together, or if sorting by a cumulative performance metric is required.

SLN155305_en_US__81371725425387.Win 8 details tab

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The Services tab provides the same information as in the old Task Manager. This will show the status of all services and if they are running or stopped.
These can be Started or Stopped depending on the status.

SLN155305_en_US__91371725526233.Win 8 services tab


Note: Stopping a service may cause other services or programs to stop functioning. Selecting Disable all won't disable some secure Microsoft services required for the operating system to start.

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Last Published Date

23 Apr 2021



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