Skip to main content

How to Get the Most Out of New Windows 8 Task Manager?

The Windows 8 task manager is another revamped aspect of Microsoft's latest desktop operating system. Once you open the application, you will be surprised how much developers strapped away from it, at the first sight. It gives users the simplicity needed to close everyday processes and applications in just one click and lets diehard tuning fans to optimise the CPU for better performance; all details being hidden under one button. It still holds the same good features and adds some that should have been implemented since XP.

Classic View

First of all, when you open the task manager, you will see a redesigned window, displaying just opened applications and two buttons: 'More details' and 'End Task'. Each of the application can be closed by selecting it and then pressing the 'End Task' button. The visual style is stripped of the chaotic options given in Windows 7, options that could only help advanced users. Now, a user with even the minimal amount of technical expertise can use the task manager in Windows 8 without having to wander through a multitude of buttons.

Advanced view

By pressing the "More details" button, you will switch to the Advanced Task Manager panel, where a familiar screen same as Windows 7 greets you. Here, the applications displayed above will take place at the top of the screen, while background processes occupy the bottom. As you can see in the image below, Internet Explorer and Tweet@rama have a Suspended status. This happens because they are opened in the Metro interface, and we are now in the classic desktop mode. While suspended, these processes consume 0 amounts of CPU power and less RAM.

All processes can be killed or, taking the example of Windows Explorer, restarted. Restart option automatically does the job of killing and then starting the service back. The restart button will appear in the bottom-right corner, after you select a process.

Switching to the performance Tab, a detailed report about what's going on with the computer will be shown. This report is based on a time scale, so you can see when the CPU went crazy or when there was least amount of activity. As shown in the side menu in the image below, you can analyse the CPU, the RAM Memory, storage area and most of all, networking traffic. Both Wireless and Ethernet options are available. Clicking on either of the one will display detailed information.

You also have an "App History" tab, something new, where you can see how often you use some applications and how much CPU + RAM they consume. It's very helpful for those trying to speed up the computer, in a few minutes the user being able to analyse what's slowing the PC down.

Another useful and new menu is "Startup". You may be familiar with this concept from Windows 7, where opening this window could only be done through the ‘Run' option and by typing in ‘msconfig.exe'. In here you are shown all installed applications that are currently set to launch at the same time after the Windows 8 operating system boots. By selecting it and clicking the Disable button from the bottom right corner, you choose to have it launched only at your intervention.

That's all for now. We've chosen to skip some menus (Users, Details, and Services) because they are pretty much like in Windows 7.