The Windows Task Manager provides a real-time view of system and application utilization. In this video, you’ll learn how to use the Task Manager feature to troubleshoot and provide real-time statistics about the Windows operating system.
Task Manager is one of these utilities that you will use all the time. It tells you instantly how much CPU utilization is in use, how much an application is using of your memory resources. You can see disk access information, and all of this is done in real time for every single application and service running on your computer.
You can start the Task Manager by typing Control-Alt-Delete and choosing Task Manager. You can right mouse click in the Taskbar and choose Task Manager. And you can also use my favorite, which is Control-Shift and Escape.
There are number of enhancements that occurred with Task Manager between Windows 7 and Windows 8. So in this video, I’ll show you the differences between those two as well. And you might want to start Task Manager on your computer so that you can follow along as we go through this video.
In Windows 7, the first tab in Task Manager is the Applications tab. And this shows you all of the applications you happen to be running on your desktop. This also allows you to provide some administrative control over these apps.
For example, we can end these tasks, we can switch to other tasks, or we can even start brand new tasks directly from the Task Manager. In Windows 8 and 8.1, you’ll notice there’s not an Applications tab. Everything in the Applications tab is now combined with the Processes tab in that version of Windows.
The Processes tab shows you all of the processes running on your computer. You can see interactive processes like applications. You can view System Tray applications. They are all going to be listed. You can also click this option at the bottom to show processes from all users. So you can view not just your processes but also processes that may be started by any account on your computer.
You can also customize this view by moving some of these columns around or even adding additional columns if there’s a particular metric that’s important for you.
In Windows 8 and 8.1, the Apps tab, the Processes tab, and the Services tab have all been combined into this single view, making it very easy to see exactly what’s happening on your computer at any point in time.
It’s useful to see what’s happening with the metrics on your computer at any point in time, but sometimes it’s useful to have a little longer perspective. That’s the Performance tab that can show you a longer term statistical view so you can see historically what has happened with CPU usage or memory on your computer.
In Windows 8 and 8.1, this view changes quite a bit. The user interface has changed dramatically, and we can see CPU, Memory, Disk, Bluetooth, and Ethernet are all combined into this single Performance view.
In Windows 7, networking isn’t part of the Performance tab. It has its own tab called Networking where we can see the networking performance of each individual network adapter. You can view utilization, look at link speeds, and see the connection states for all of your network interfaces.
Of course, in Windows there can be more than one user connected to a computer at any point in time. So in the Users tab, you’ll be able to see all of these different users and what they’re doing. In Windows 7, you can see a list of users, you can disconnect or log them off or send them a message.
In Windows 8, this has been enhanced quite a bit. You can not only see each individual user, but you get a nice breakdown of every single separate process and all of the performance statistics for this individual user and the individual processes that they’re running.