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Windows 8 Task Manager In-depth Review (Updated)

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect changes in the latest version of Windows 8.1 update 1.

Windows 8 Task Manager
Task Manager is usually the first thing I start looking for after installing a new OS. Being that I’m always installing new software and tweaking things, I frequently need to monitor the performance of my system and kill apps which aren’t behaving. After installing Windows 8, I managed to discover three or four different ways to pull up the new Task Manager as well as the old legacy on from Windows 7.

If you want to print this article so you can read it later, feel free to skip the video and scroll down where I cover the full review including screenshots.

Note that this video was created during the Developer Preview of Windows 8, but the features of the Task Manager have remained the same

Windows 8.1 Task Manager

First from the Windows 8 Metro UI, Launch the Search field using the Windows 8 Shortcut Key Windows Key + W or just start typing task manager from the Start screen.

Search for Task Manager Windows 8

Or, just like previous versions of Windows. from the desktop right-click the taskbar and then select Task Manager.

Windows 8 Launch Task Manager

It will switch over to the desktop in order to open Task Manager. As you can see, the default Task Manager has been greatly simplified– only listing the apps running and their status.

Windows 8 Task Manager

Similar to other tablets like the iPad, Windows 8 suspends inactive applications in order to conserve on Memory and CPU.

Windows 8 Task Manager Task Suspended

If you want to close the app, right-click to highlight is and select End Task. If you’re not sure what a process that’s running is, you can search online for it, which more convenient that before.

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end task

To view the new Task Manager in all its glory, Click the More details button.

I know it’s probably not normal to get excited about something like the Task Manager, but honestly, the new Windows 8 Task Manager is very nice. Starting with the Processes Tab, Windows 8 provides in-depth details around each application running including status (suspended), percentage of CPU being used, Memory, Disk and Network.

Windows 8 Task Manager Processes Tab

Here’s a few screenshots of the new Tabs starting with Performance Tab.


App History Tab This will be really cool for Windows 8 Server.

app history

Startup Tab: This is a where you can disable programs and apps from running during startup. For more on this, read our article on how to disable startup programs in Windows 8.1.

end task

The Users tab displays each of the users that are using your PC.

Windows 8 Task Manager User Tab

The Details Tab shows which apps, programs, and other services are running and the amount of computer resources they’re taking up.

Windows 8 Task Manager Details Tab

The Services Tab is similar to that of previous versions of Windows.

Windows 8 Task Manager Services Tab

On each of the tabs, don’t forget you can click on the File menus to change things like Update Speed to get sample data from the OS quicker or slower. Handy when troubleshooting something.

Windows 8 Task Manager View Options

There’s a lot going on with the new Windows 8.x Task Manager. If you would like this level of detail on your Windows 7 machine, check out DBC Task Manager.

Did I miss your favorite Windows 8 Task Manager Tip? Drop a comment or email [email protected].

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One Response to Windows 8 Task Manager In-depth Review (Updated)

  1. chewbie September 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    does ctrl+shift+Esc still work?

    what’s the command (.exe name) of the new task mgr?

    can You access it through Ctrl+Alt+Delete or is that keycombo dead with win8?

    I appreciate the input!

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