Dig Deeper Into Windows 11 With These 7 Task Manager Tips

Dig Deeper Into Windows 11 With These 7 Task Manager Tips

Power PC users have long used the Windows Task Manager to get an overview of what is happening on their system. Windows 11 has a new Task Manager with redesigned icons, a new window and new features that help reduce the power consumption of programs running in the background.

So what can the new Windows 11 Task Manager do? We will tell you about some of the most useful ways to use this utility. But first, we'll show you how to log in.

(Photo: PCMag)

How to access Task Manager in Windows 11?

The easiest way to open Task Manager is to press the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-Esc. You can right-click the Start button and select it from the pop-up menu that appears. Just type "Tasks" in the start menu, they will show up as an option at the top. Clicking on it opens.

In a future version of Windows 11, you will be able to bring up Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting it from the menu that appears.

(Credit: Microsoft)

As a last resort, you can use the old keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Task Manager from the full screen menu.

Now let's see what you can do with the Windows 11 Task Manager.

1. Find out what slows down your computer

One of the most common ways to use Task Manager is to find the culprit behind a slow PC. Open Task Manager and click at the top of the CPU column to sort by CPU usage. If the application is CPU intensive, this could be the cause.

Another thing to watch out for is transmission. Sort by the column with the most MB at the top to see if any apps are using your storage.

For gaming and video editing, you need to add the GPU column, which isn't shown by default. Right-click anywhere in the header column and left-click on GPU. You can now sort by app GPU usage to see which ones are taxed.

2. Close programs that are not working properly

(Photo: PCMag)

If you're running an unresponsive program and can't close it, Task Manager is your best friend. Just click on the entry in the program list and click the 🚫 End Task button or right click and select End Task. This prevents any code in the program that would normally prevent it from closing.

Note that the next time you run the program, you will see a message like "The program crashed last time" and you will be asked if you want to send a crash report to its creator.

Sometimes it is possible to fix an unresponsive program by closing a thread of the program rather than the whole program. CPU and other usage statistics can show high usage of some threads, pointing to the culprit. Click the arrow next to the entry and, if a certain process shows high CPU or disk usage, release it. Now you can disable the application with the hotkey Ctrl-E.

3. Check startup programs and processes

(Photo: PCMag)

Often, when you install an application, certain processes are set up to run automatically on your computer. As a result, many processes can run even if you don't want to use the programs associated with them. You can find these autostart processes in the "Autostart Applications" section of the Task Manager. If you find something you don't need to do every time you turn on your computer, select the process and click the "Disable" button. You can right-click on a process and select Deactivate from the context menu.

Pro tip: Task Manager also has a Services page. A service is a process that runs in the background for all users and is managed by Windows. They don't have a user interface. They are useful for starting a printing service, antivirus software, or system clock, just to name a few. Some programs install them and allow them to run regardless of whether the corresponding application is open. If you don't want to run any of these programs, you can disable their services.

(Photo: PCMag)

Instead of using Task Manager to shut down unwanted services, I prefer this method: open the Start menu, type Run, type msconfig in the Run text box that appears, and switch to the Services tab. It is recommended that you check the "Hide all Microsoft services" box in order not to disable the main system services. Then uncheck unwanted services and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

By the way, during one of these exceptions, you usually don't have to worry about Windows not working later, because Windows doesn't usually let you shut down necessary processes and services right away or restart the operating system. However, it is not recommended to stop services that you are not aware of. Also note that the service will not run the next time you run the respective application, so you may need to re-enable them to work.

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4. Determine what is blocking your Internet connection

(Photo: PCMag)

If you think a program is calling you over your internet connection, Task Manager can help you determine if this is the case. Look in the "Network" column and see if there is any activity for the application or process. If you don't see any activity right now, but you suspect a program is connecting to the internet, go to the Application History tab in the Task Manager. Here you can see the resource usage of the application during the last run session. For popular streaming and syncing programs, you certainly expect network transmission, but programs that don't need to send data from your computer require further research.

5. Use the new efficiency mode

(Photo: PCMag)

Another column you can add to the Task Manager list is Power Consumption. It does not show numbers, only low, high or very high. Summarizes the application's use of all other hardware components displayed separately in the previous columns. Sometimes it is not possible to navigate with a power hungry app, but you may see something unexpected there and then you can interrupt the process.

To use the new efficiency mode, click to select a process input. Then click the Efficiency Mode button in the upper right corner. The warning indicates that enabling the mode will lower the priority of the process and possibly make the associated application unstable. Note that you can only use this mode for processes, not for general program input from the list above. Click the arrow to expand the application entry to view its threads, click the resource-intensive process and select Efficient Mode.

I tested it with the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app, which took up over 35% of my computer's CPU time. After hitting the "Efficiency Mode" button, it dropped to 15%. A new keyboard shortcut allows you to bring the program into mode: Alt-V.

6. View real-time performance statistics.

(Photo: PCMag)

If you want to see the impact of running an application, application process, or game on your computer, go to the Performance page of Task Manager. Shows a real-time graph of CPU, memory, disk, Wi-Fi and GPU usage. To copy the date to the clipboard in text format, you can select the pop-up menu in the upper right corner (such as the ellipsis or "…") and select "Copy" or right click on the CPU , Header memory and select. Right-clicking also opens the Summary view, which shows only four input performance measures in a small window.

7. View suspended UWP apps

(Photo: PCMag)

A new taskbar feature for Windows 11 version 22H2 lets you see when UWP apps are suspended to save processing power and improve energy efficiency. A yellow pause icon indicates that a program that is running and consuming system resources is in a paused state. Please note this is for informational purposes only. You cannot pause and resume applications by yourself, as this state is determined by the system based on program activity. If you really want to do this manually, you need to open another utility, Resource Monitor ( type resmon in the Run box). You can right-click to pause or resume the ordering process. However, I don't recommend doing this, as it may have unforeseen consequences or cause system instability.

Learn more about Windows 11

For a better understanding of Microsoft's new operating system, read our in-depth Windows 11 review and be sure to check out our Windows 11 page for the latest news, tips and reviews. Finally, you can subscribe to our Windows 11 newsletter.

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