How to open Windows Task Manager using a keyboard shortcut (NO! Not that one!)

By | October 20, 2011
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This tip was submitted to us by Marvin and it is a timely tip And it applies to all versions of Windows too!

One of the most important Windows utilities is Task Manager. And there may be times, when you cannot access Task Manager in the usual ways (right-clicking on your taskbar selecting Task Manager from the menu).While on Windows XP you can access the Task Manager using Ctrl+Alt+Delete, on Windows Vista and Windows using that shortcut brings up a menu of items, one of which is the Task Manager.

But this keyboard shortcut works the same on all versions of Windows and it’s one you should commit to memory. If you become infected with malware this may be the only way to access the Task Manager. It your mouse becomes disabled or Windows becomes non-responsive, you might find you can open the Task Manger directly using this shortcut.

You’re waiting for the shortcut aren’t you? OK here it is:


13 thoughts on “How to open Windows Task Manager using a keyboard shortcut (NO! Not that one!)

  1. Bobbie Ellis

    I just click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu. Fewer clicks.

    1. infoave Post author

      hmmm, (scratching head) — the point of this article was for the times you can’t use your mouse – because of a malware infection or a problem with Windows. I’m am trying to figure out how, exactly, you would click on your taskbar if your mouse wasn’t working. Maybe you could share that secret with us?

  2. Les Hawkins

    This is a lot easier than the normal way in win 7. I will use this method first. Thanks

  3. Don Barness

    Wow! Thank you! Much easier than clicking on the (sometimes not visible) Taskbar (I use Windows 7).

  4. Bill Brooks

    How is Control/Shift/Escape any different/shorter than
    Control/Alt/Delete? In both cases that is three hot keys not one!

    1. infoave Post author

      On Vista and 7 – CTRL+ALT+DELETE does not open Task Manager, it opens a menu of 5 items – one of which is Task Manager.

  5. Bruce

    So many times I have read comments made about your excellent presentations and shacken my head in absolute disbelief at the DUMB responses made, BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T READ what has been written or more unfortunately DON’T understand what they have read.
    These people then put ‘finger to keyboard’ and ‘clack’ away the first thing that comes to them.
    This seems to be a World Wide Phenomenom, as the Media LEADS the way.
    Thank you for the time you give to us with many great explanations, Guys.
    Keep up the good work.

  6. Carol

    Just what good is it to open task manager by using any means if you can’t use your mouse to open or shut things down?

    1. infoave Post author

      The best way to learn things is to try things. You can navigate Task Manager without a mouse. You can use the arrow keys to move up and down, you can use the Home/End keys to move to the first and last tabs. You can use CTRL+TAB to move between tabs, you can terminate a process by using the application key, and the arrow keys + enter. The more you try things the more you’ll learn.

  7. Bobbie Ellis

    Sorry, infoave; I missed your point. And, my mouse has never died in over ten years of use. BTW, forgot to mention, I used a right click.

    1. infoave Post author

      There are viruses and malware which can disable your mouse. I’m sure there are many who’ve never lost control of their mouse, but if you’re one of the ones who have, then this tip is important. If you ever get attacked by a rogue security program this tip might come in very handy. While you can still use the mouse – you can’t access the taskbar or the start menu.

      We hope none of the above ever happen to you.

  8. Shirley

    Thanks for this information. I always did the control+alt+delete. However, I have had my computer to lock up, freeze up, whatever you want to call it and the mouse becomes useless. I am so glad to learn this new info. This is why I am a subscriber to start with. The more informed you are the safer and smarter you are…..Thanks again.


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