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Troubleshooting Your Computer - How to Use Task Manager

If your computer freezes up and becomes unresponsive while you are working, you may think your only choice is to hold the power button down and restart your computer. Restarting your computer in this manner can be dangerous, and it could even result in a corrupt operating system or device driver.

The better choice is to use the built-in Task Manager option. The Task Manager keeps track of all of the programs and services running on your computer, and even reports which programs are not responding. By invoking Task Manager on your computer, you can instantly see which programs have become unresponsive, and you can selectively close just those programs. When you do, you may find that your computer is now operating normally.

To start Task Manager just follow these steps.

Windows XP
1. Hold the Ctrl, Alt and Del keys down at the same time and choose Task Manager from the list of options. You can also right-click on the taskbar and start Task Manager that way.
2. Click the Applications tab and review the list of running programs. If a program is having a problem running properly, you will see a note that says Not Responding.
3. Highlight the problem program and click the End Task button. Confirm that you want to close the unresponsive program.

Windows 7
1. Right click on a blank area of the taskbar. The taskbar is located along the bottom of the computer screen in Windows 7.
2. Choose Start Task Manager from the list of options. Wait for the Task Manager window to open.
3. Click the Applications tab to see the programs that are running on your computer. Look for any programs that report a status of Not Responding.
4. Highlight each unresponsive program and click End Task. Confirm that you wish to close the problem program.


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