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Task Manager is a tool that has been present in different versions of Windows since its introduction in 1996 together with Windows NT 4.0. Now, 24 years later, its creator has compiled a list of tips and tricks for using this program, which informs about all the processes that run on a computer.

This is reflected in a thread on the Reddit platform David Plummer, engineer and former employee of Microsoft at its headquarters in Redmond (United States), who began working in the Task Manager -TaskMgr- in 1993 and then worked for it to be included in Windows.

Plummer specifies that the tips are for Windows XP, but can also be used for current versions, since the Task Manager application has not had major changes since then.

"The Task Manager is one of the 'apps' that I'm most proud of because it is probably the first or the most complicated at the time that it allowed you to adjust its size completely and without flickering," said Plummer. The initial version of the program took up barely 100 kilobytes (KB) of memory.

In case of trouble

If the Windows Task Manager hangs or closes, Plummer advises to open another window with the command 'control-uppercase-esc-, so that you try to restore for 10 seconds or open a new one whenever there are resources left on the computer .

When resources are scarce, the program runs in reduced mode, so it only loads the process page. It is a limited function, but thanks to it it is one of the few Windows 'apps' that does not stop working when most errors occur.

However, in case the tool is corrupted internally, it is recommended to close it, according to Plummer, and restart it keeping the 'Control-Alt-capital' buttons, which resets the configuration.


Despite the fact that 24 years ago the launch of Task Manager, many users of the tool have been experiencing some frequent errors since then.

One of the most common mistakes is that the title bars disappear and only the graphics remain. To fix it, just double click on the blank space, which restores the normal mode. Plummer has acknowledged that this feature "has confused more users than it has helped."

Also, some users do not know that it is possible to add additional columns, delete them or drag them to order the content in the Windows application.

Useful Commands

'Control-uppercase-escape' is one of the most useful commands of the Task Manager, since it is capable of launching the application without the help of the command-shell -or Windows explorer, in case these not work, and then lets restore them.

If the 'shell' does not work or is hung, the Windows program also has a mode that allows shell32.dll to load without any reference and allows programs like CMD.exe to be started without the start menu.

It is possible to find the binary code of any running process in the process table by right clicking and choosing 'Show file location'.

There shouldn't be any processes that Administrator can't finish, and it can even escalate privileges and remove bugs and problem apps. "If Task Manager can't kill it, you have a 'kernel' problem," Plummer concluded.

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