Task Manager in XP

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Before you start

Objectives: learn how to open and how to use Task Manager in XP.

Prerequisites: you should know what Task Manager is.

Key terms: process, priority, usage, application, cpu, running, real time, view

Open Task Manager

To open Task Manager we can right-click Taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu. Another way is to press CTRL+ALT+ DEL, and then select Task Manager from the menu.

 Application Tab

Image 263.1 – Application Tab


The Applications tab gives us the list of running applications. As we can see we have Calculator opened and its status is ‘Running’. If the status of an application is ‘Not Responding’, we can end it by right-clicking on it and then selecting ‘End Task’ option.

 Right-click Application

Image 263.2 – Right-click on Application

If the program is not responding it will ask us for confirmation to end it. It will also ask us to send a bug report to Microsoft. The Processes tab lets us view processes. We can also view CPU and memory usage for particular process.


Image 263.3 – Processes Tab

To change the priority for process, right-click the process and go to ‘Set Priority’ option. Real-time is the highest priority. Priority is determined in relationship to the other tasks running on the machine. In our case we will set the priority to the Real-time. Click Yes on the warning.


Image 263.4 – Priority Options

Priority Warning

Image 263.5 – Priority Warning

We can also end a process. To do that, simply select the process and click the ‘End Process’ button. Notice the warning message. Terminating a process can cause undesired results including loss of data and system instability.

End Process Warning

Image 263.6 – End Process Warning

This is because when we end a process, it stopped immediately. The process is not given a chance to save any data. Let’s look at the Performance tab. Here we can see computer statistics such as CPU and Page File usage.

 Performance Tab

Image 263.7 – End Process Tab

The Networking tab displays networking statistics.

 Networking Tab

Image 263.8 – Networking Tab


Using Task Manager we can end applications that are not responding. We can also see running processes and their memory and CPU usage. We can adjust priority for particular process. Real-time is the highest priority. We can also end a process. Terminating a process can cause undesired results including loss of data and system instability.