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Windows 7 - How to Use the Task Manager

In spite of the addition of a few extra features, the Windows 7 Task Manager is little different from the previous two versions of Windows. To a newbie, it may seem a little intimidating at first, but it's actually nothing like as complicated as it looks. The Task Manager allows you to perform various important tasks on your computer, such as manually closing down programs which are not responding. You can also use the Task Manager for viewing system resources including available memory and how much processing power and memory each individual application process is using. The following guide explains in detail how to use these features of the Task Manager. It is relevant to all editions of Windows 7.

1 – Starting the Task Manager
In previous editions of Windows, there were keyboard shortcuts which instantly displayed the Task Manager, providing the computer had not completely crashed. By pressing Control, Alt and Delete on your keyboard all at the same time in Windows 7, you'll end up at something which looks like the login screen. You can access the Task Manager by clicking "Start Task Manager" here. If, however, your computer is responding as normal, you can simply right-click anywhere on the taskbar below the desktop and click "Start Task Manager."

2 – The Applications Tab
Clicking the "Applications" tab will display a list of all of the programs you are currently running on your computer. If one of the programs you are using has stopped responding, you'll normally be automatically provided with a list of options by Windows. If not, you can right-click on the application in the Task Manager and click "End Task." This will force the program to close down.

3 – The Processes Tab
The "Processes" tab looks a little more intimidating. Like the previous tab, this shows every application which is running on your computer. However, it also shows which Windows processes and other programs are running. Some applications run multiple processes. For example, most web browsers run a separate process for each tab or window that you have open. Effectively, multiple copies of the program are running at the same time.
This tab is useful for checking how much memory and processing power each application and process is using. If there's a process which is constantly using up all of your processing power and gobbling up your system memory, then it's probably malfunctioning. You can force a process to end by right-clicking on it and clicking "End Process." The other options are only for more advanced users and you shouldn't normally need to concern yourself with them.

4 – Other Tabs
The "Performance" tab is where you can monitor your computer's resources such as CPU and memory usage. You can see how much total memory your computer has, as well as how much available memory there is. It will also tell you how many processes are currently running and how long you have been logged in for (Up Time). For further details, you can also click the button at the bottom of the window labelled "Resource Monitor."
The "Network" tab shows you how much traffic is being sent over your local area network and/or Internet connection. At the bottom of the window, you can also see which network adapters are connected to the network.
The "Services" tab provides a list of each individual service. These include features of Windows, drivers and other programs which are running on your computer. Generally, this is also for more advanced users.
Finally, the "Users" tab shows who is logged into your computer and, if applicable, your local area network. By right-clicking on the name of the user, you can access a menu which allows you to log them out or send a message across a network.


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