6 Ways to Open the Task Manager in Windows

No matter what version of Windows you are using, Task Manager is one of the important and most used tools. Using the Task Manager you can quickly end unresponsive programs, start new tasks, monitor the performance and activity of your system, get details of running processes, etc. Being an important tool, there are multiple ways you can open the Task Manager. This is particularly helpful for accessibility reasons and knowing different ways to help you in different situations. Here are a few ways you can open Task Manager in Windows.

1. From the Taskbar

Opening the Windows Task Manager from the taskbar is probably one of the most well-known methods. In case you don’t know, just right-click on the taskbar, and then select “Task Manager” from the list of options.


This action will instantly open the Windows Task Manager.


2. Using Keyboard Shortcut

The second easiest way to open the Task Manager in Windows is to use a simple keyboard shortcut. Just press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Esc,” and you will have your Task Manager displayed on the screen.

Of course, you can use the Ctrl and Shift buttons on both sides of the keyboard. I personally prefer to use the Ctrl and Shift buttons that are right under the Enter button so that I don’t have to awkwardly place my fingers on the left side of the keyboard.

3. Using Command Prompt

You can also open the Windows Task Manager using the command prompt. To start, press “Win + X,” and then select the Command Prompt option. If you are using Windows 7, you can also search for it in the Start menu.


Once the command prompt has been opened, type the below command and press the Enter button to open the Task Manager.


Sometimes you might want to open the Task Manager as an administrator. Especially if you are using a standard user account, the normal Task Manager is limited. In those special cases, open the Command Prompt as an admin and then use the above command.


4. Using Run Command

Just like with the command prompt, you can also open the Task Manager using the Run command window. To start, press “Win + R,” type taskmgr and press the Enter button to open Windows Task Manager.


5. From File Explorer

In Windows, Task Manager is shipped as a separate application that integrates with Windows. So, if you know where to find it, you can open the Task Manager from Windows file explorer. To start, open the file explorer using the keyboard shortcut “Win + E.”

Once the file explorer has been opened, navigate to the following location:

Find the “Taskmgr.exe” application, and double-click on it to open the Task Manager.


Obviously, if you want to open the Task Manager as an administrator, right-click on the application and select the option “Run as administrator.”


6. From “Ctrl + Alt + Del” Screen

Besides all the above methods, you can also open the Task Manager from the Windows security screen. Do this by pressing the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” shortcut key on your keyboard.

Once the security screen has been opened, select the “Task Manager” option. This action will open the Task Manager. This method is pretty helpful if your system is unresponsive for whatever reason.


Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above stated different methods to open Task Manager in Windows.

Vamsi Krishna Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.


  1. I believe you may also hover over the system bar and right mouse click and select Task Manager

    1. Common misunderstanding bud but I admire anyone’s legitimate attempt to add suggestion(s). Refer back to #1 because the entire width of the bar is the “taskbar.” A good example is when we do right-click on the… (bottom) BAR, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, at the bottom of the shortcut popup menu, the following option is displayed “Taskbar Properties.” No worries for even Einstein at one time was not even aware of what it meant to “square” a number (or variable(s) for that matter)

  2. On Windows 10, you can also do Win+X then hit ‘t’.
    Win+X opens a whole menu of things for easy access, and in Windows 10, I’ve grown accustomed to using it and liking it for fast access to many things.

  3. I also have a third-party equivalent “DTask Manager”, which is a tad more comprehensive and can be found at:
    along with some other useful goodies.

    1. DTaskManager hasn’t been updated for a long time and support only up to XP. Don’t know if this is a good tool for W8 and W10. Much has changed since then.

      1. I would certainly agree that things have moved on although I will admit to still have one machine running XP (!) but I left DTask Manager to fend for itself on a win 7 to 10 upgrade on one of my other machines and it seems to run OK and do its stuff as before with no issues so far.

  4. I’ve always just used the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys, you lost me on hitting the “Win + E, there is nothing on my keyboard under Win unless you are referring to the windows key, which I never have used nor the other key next to it on the lower right.

    I’m taking all the free help I can get from various articles like this one to help me get around the internet and with using Windows anything so I can improve my knowledge on using the computer. I’m old school and most of this is really new to me, I feel very intimidated by all I’m learning or trying to learn on and about using the whole computer system. Give me a typewriter and carbon paper any day.

    1. Win-X means the windows key plus the x key. Try it, you might like it. There is much to learn in these and all of the other forums that you can find, this is how I taught myself to use the computer! Now, I teach others.
      Thank you for the tips on opening task manager; I myself wasnt familiar with control-alt-escape!

  5. It’s a great way of getting into a system falsely blocked by a virus/adware/etc., when after trying to take it out all you are faced on booting up is a blank screen.
    You do Ctrl-Alt-Del and get Task Manager
    Start Control Panel
    Start Progs and Features, or whatever it’s called on the system you’re using
    And you get a chance at getting the culprit ! (Grrrrr!)
    Sometimes you get a chance to use Task Manager to explorer to a USB pen with a programme to remove the offending malware.
    All Hail Control Alt Delete !

  6. Thank you!

    Also, can anyone tell me where (Windows 7 Enterprise) I can put a shortcut for TaskManager (or any other program) to open automatically when the computer starts up and/or when I log on?

  7. I don’t see whats so awkward about using your left thumb to press the Ctrl Shift keys and your left midul finger to press the Esc key.

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