The Windows 10 Task Manager is bursting with performance features, helping you find errant programs, memory hogs, and other problems with running programs.
- [Instructor] The Windows Task Manager is a tool that shows you which programs, processes, and services are running on your computer. It also offers insight into how the PC is performing, and can help you clear up some issues with programs run amok. To access the Task Manager, you can use the keyboard shortcut, you press ctrl + shift + esc. Now, if your fingers aren't that limber, you can press the Windows and R key combination, win + r, to bring up the Run dialog box, and you can type in taskmgr, which does the same thing.
The Task Manager window is far more interesting than what you see here. If you just find your PC's Task Manager window as dull as this one, click the More details button. Here is the proper Task Manager window. The Processes tab lists programs running in Windows, these include apps or programs, as well as background processes. The background processes are related to services, which I'll get into in a moment. You see details and statistics for each process.
For example, this is where you'd spot a program with a memory leak, you'd see its memory usage rise over time, or perhaps, a program is stuck and won't quit. As an example, assume that the Notepad program shown here, is stuck. I tried closing it normally, but it just won't go away. In the Task Manager window, click to select the stubborn program, click the End task button, and the dead program finally gets buried. This button isn't magic, it simply sends the quit signal to the program, just as if you quit it manually, but when a program is stuck, that's how you terminate it.
The Performance tab tells you how the PC is doing, you see statistics and live updates for the CPU, or processor, memory, storage, and networking. If you've noticed the PC's running slowly, you can confirm that CPU activity is high. If so, return to the Processes tab, and sort the list by CPU usage. The CPU hog, would be on the top of this list, that way you can find the program and process, that's slowing down the system.
The App history tab displays a list of frequently used programs, including information on each. If I sort the list by CPU time, the computer shows which programs I've been using today, and how much of the system's resources these programs are consuming. The Startup tab lists programs that start when Windows is loaded, or when you sign in to your account. These are also called background processes, and their specific programs are shown on the Processes tab. If you want to test a specific startup program, to see whether or not it's causing problems, you can disable it here, choose the startup program, and click Disable.
You can restart the PC and Windows won't load that program, if the problem you're experiencing stops, then you know that this specific startup program was to blame. To re-enable the program, you would select it from this list, and then click the Enable button. The Users tab lists any other users signed in to the system, for most PC's, that's only you. If anyone else was logged in or you switched users, their name would appear in this list. To switch users, you choose the other user from the Start menu, you choose your account name, and then choose the user from the list.
I confess that this feature isn't commonly used on any PC. The Details tab lists all running programs and processes in the computer, everything, including Windows' own programs. For example, here you see a huge number of entries for the svchost program, which does a lot of things in Windows. For each thing it does, you see an entry for svchost. Most of the items here are referenced, on the Startup tab, or the Processes tab.
Finally, the Services tab lists options that control what Windows does, and how it behaves. The services themselves are run from the various programs, listed on the Details tab, which are also related to other items shown in the Task Manager, actually, everything is related, but, here you can see individual duties. For example, here is the Windows Update service, wuauserv, it checks for Windows updates. This tab only lists the services, if you wanted to mess with them, you need to click the Open Services link.
The Services management console lists services by Name, plus a Description, which you can see better when you widen the window, and adjust the column spacing. The list here is sorted alphabetically, I'll locate the Windows Update service, that I just showed you. The Status tells you whether or not the service is running. Startup Type determines whether the service is started automatically, upon request or manual, or whether it's been disabled. If I open the Windows Update service, you can see that it's one of but many functions provided by the svchost program, and most services are controlled elsewhere in Windows, you do not need to access this panel, in order to control the service.
In fact, about the only time you'll make adjustments to a service, is when you're directed to do so. For example, you might be directed to disable a service for troubleshooting purposes, otherwise I don't recommend that you poke around with the services, as disabling and enabling random services in Windows, can affect your PC's performance, and not in a good way. Press the Escape key, to close the Task Manager window.
- Diagnosing the causes of PC issues
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Performing startup and system restore steps
- Accessing the Task Manager
- Using the Registry Editor
- Fixing Windows
- Maintaining storage drives
- Restoring network connectivity