How to open Task Manager in Windows 11

This post will show you various way to open Task Manager in Windows 11, from obvious methods to lesser known.

Everyone knows that to open Task Manager in Windows 10, you need to right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager. That is the most popular and preferred by many ways to launch Task Manager, as it is available everywhere almost at any time. Apart from providing a shortcut to Task Manager, the taskbar's context menu hosts few more options, such as window management, the ability to turn on/off different buttons, show or hide Cortana, etc. If you are used to those commands in Windows 10, prepare for some radical changes after upgrading to Windows 11.

Windows 11 Task Manager

Open Task Manager in Windows 11

You cannot open Task Manager in Windows 11 using the taskbar's context menu. For some totally unknown and unlogical reason, Microsoft has completely ditched almost all options from the context menu in Windows 11. All that is left is a sole Taskbar Settings option. A logical question arises: How to open Task Manager in Windows 11? This article shows you where to find Task Manager in Windows 11.

Start button context menu (Win + X)

The closest option to the one Microsoft has taken away is to right-click the Start menu button, which is now centered. If you do not like that, learn how to disable the centered taskbar in Windows 11.


Find the Start menu button (the first one with four blue squares) and right-click it. Select Task Manager.

Open Task Manager In Windows 11

Tip: There is no need to right-click the Start menu button. You can press Win + X and then open Task Manager in Windows 11.

Using a keyboard shortcut

Windows 11 retained the old shortcut you can use to run Task Manager. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager app in Windows 11 without any context menus or additional clicks. That shortcut works from anywhere in the operating system or apps.

Another keyboard shortcut

The good-old Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut is also the classic way to open Task Manager. After decades, those three buttons continue working as a simple way to bring Windows back to life when it hangs or to launch Task Manager. Although Windows 11 went through some significant redesigns and improvements, Microsoft decided to leave the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut untouched.

Cad Task Manager Item Menu

Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, then click Task Manager.

Use Windows Search to open Task Manager in Windows 11

You can start Task Manager in Windows 11 like any other default or third-party app using Windows Search. Press the search button on the taskbar (you can also use Win + S) or open the Start menu and begin typing Task Manager. Windows 11 will show you Task Manager in the search results.

Open Task Manager In Windows 11 Search

Unorthodox ways to start Task Manager in Windows 11

There are other, less quick ways to launch Task Manager in Windows 11:

  • Press Win + Rand enter taskmgr.Run Dialog
  • Open File Explorer and go to C:\\Windows\system32. Find taskmgr.exe and launch it.Taskmgr File
  • Finally, you can add Task Manager to the context menus in Windows 11. That will help you find the app anywhere in the system without reaching the Start menu or using shortcuts.

Pin Task Manager to the taskbar

If you are not happy with any methods we reviewed above, you can simply pin it to the taskbar. After that, you will be able to launch it exactly with one click.

To pin the Task Manager to the taskbar, do the following.

  1. Open the Task Manager app using any method, say with Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Right-click the running app icon on the taskbar.
  3. Select Pin to taskbar from the context menu.Task Manager Pin To Taskbar

Now, even if you close it, its icon will remain visible. You can launch the Task Manager at any moment by simply clicking on the pinned taskbar icon.

Pinned Task Manager To The Taskbar

Add Task Manager to the Desktop context menu

Finally, one more method to quickly open the Task Manager is to add it to the Desktop context menu. While we have a special post on this topic, here are the quick steps to perform.

To add Task Manager to the Desktop context menu, do the following.

  1. Download two REG files in a ZIP archive using this link.
  2. Unpack the REG files to any folder you like.
  3. Double-click the file Add Task Manager to Desktop context menu.reg to add the Task Manager to .Task Manager reg files
  4. Confirm the user account control request to add changes to the Registry.
  5. Now, right-click the Desktop, and select Show more options.

You are now able to open Task Manager in Windows 11 from the Desktop right-click menu.

open Task Manager in Windows 11 from the Desktop right-click menu

That is it. Now you know how to access the Task Manager in Windows 11.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple.

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