The Windows task manager is a useful tool to monitor the system performance and processes running in the background. In Windows 8, Microsoft has given the task manager a facelift and improved it a great deal. It now comes with many great features that you can use. In this guide, we will show you how to properly use the new task manager in Windows 8 to make the most out of it.
Launching Windows 8 Task Manager
To get started, launch the Windows 8 task manager by right clicking on your taskbar and selecting “Task Manager” from the context menu. Alternatively, you can use the traditional approach. e.g., by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + Del” and selecting “Task Manager.”
As soon as you launch the task manager, you will see the minimal interface of the task manager which lists all the running programs. Here you can easily end a process/task by simply selecting the process and clicking on the “End Task” button. To access the Advanced view, click on the “More details” link located at the bottom left corner. This is where all the goodies are kept.
Managing Live Processes
As the name implies, the Processes tab is where you can view and manage all the running processes in your system. You might have noticed the new heat map feature that shows you which process is using the most resources. The darker the color, the more resources the process is using.
The good thing about the modern task manager is that if you don’t know the process you are looking at, you can just right click on it and select the “Search online” option to get more details from the Internet.
If you found any program or process misbehaving, then just select the process and click the “End task” button.
The Performance tab is where you can find out how your hardware is performing. It is split into sub-sections like CPU, Ethernet, Disk, Memory, etc.
As you can see from the above image, the CPU section of the performance tab shows a lot of data like number of processes, up time, utilization, and other processor-related information (like information about sockets, logical processors, cores, etc.).
If you want more detailed information on the network or CPU statistics, you can easily open the Windows resource monitor by clicking on the link “Open resource monitor” located at the bottom of the task manager.
Windows App History
Microsoft introduced modern apps in Windows 8, and this App history window allows you to see all the running apps. The heat map gives you a good idea how much resources a particular app is using. Just like in the processes tab, you can double click on any app to see its related windows. You can also clear your recent app usage history by clicking on the link “Delete usage history.” By default, Windows stores app usage history for a 30-day window.
Windows Startup Items
This is a new addition to the task manager in Windows 8. You can now manage your startup items under the startup tab. The new startup manager gives you an overview of the impact a startup item has on your system startup process. If you found an app that you don’t want to run during startup, just select that app and click on the “Disable” button.
The details tab contains all the advanced options like affinity, priority, virtualization, analyse wait chain, etc. One good feature that you can use is the “Analyze wait chain” option where you can check any unresponsive program to see if it is waiting for other processes to react, thereby creating a deadlock.
The new Windows 8 task manager is one of the best things that has happened to Windows 8, and it gives you more control over the background workings of your Windows computer. If you have not tried it, do check it out.