The Task Manager is an essential tool included in Windows operating systems. Microsoft has included it in nearly every version of its Windows operation since the release of Windows 9x. If you own a Windows-powered PC, you should familiarize yourself with the Task Manager and how it works.

What Is the Task Manager

The Task Manager is a native tool in Windows operating systems that’s provides real-time information about a PC’s processes, performance, apps, startup programs and more. It’s designed to provide a deeper level of understanding regarding which programs or processes are consuming the most resources.

If a particular program is consuming three-fourths of your PC’s available random access memory (RAM), for instance, you can identify it in the Task Manager. The Task Manager even allows you to stop resource-intensive processes such as this so that they don’t harm your PC’s performance.

How to Launch the Task Manger

There are several ways to start the Task Manager, one of which is to press Ctrl+Alt-Del, followed by “Task Manager.” Alternatively, you can use the Windows search tool to look for “Task Manager.”

Once launched, the Task Manager will display the “Processes” tab by default. In this tab, you’ll see a breakdown of all processes currently running on your PC. To the right of these processes, you’ll see how much CPU, RAM, disk and network resources they are consuming.

While the Task Manager shows the “Processes” tab by default, you can view other types by clicking them. Clicking the “Performance” tab, for instance, reveals a graphical representation of how your PC’s resource consumption.

How to Force-Close Processes

While viewing the “Processes” tab in the Task Manager, you should pay attention to which processes are consuming the most resources. It’s not uncommon for a single process to consume a substantial amount of resources. The good news is that you can force-close these processes to prevent them from slowing down your PC.

When you come across a resource-intensive process in the Task Manager, right-click it and choose “End Task.” Windows will then attempt to close the process. Keep in mind, however, that some processes cannot be stopped — not through the Task Manager, at least. Antivirus software, for example, typically contains safeguards to prevent it from being force-closed through the Task Manager. But for most other processes, you should be able to close them using the Task Manager.

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