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Task Manager Not Opening or Responding in Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Jul 17, 2019 by Brithny to Backup and Recovery

Summary:
Tried and true solutions are provided in this post to fix Task Manager not opening or responding error. Since some of the solutions may cause data loss, backup your data as much as possible before you taking actions.
PAGE CONTENT:
Solution 1. Upgrade Windows to the newest version
Solution 2. Change/Switch the user account
Solution 3. Enable /Activate Task Manager in every way
Solution 4. Other Quick fixes to the unresponsive Task Manager

What Is Task Manager

Task Manager is a system monitor program which provides information regarding the general status of your computer and the programs and processes running on it. It enables you to monitor the applications, processes, and services currently running on your PC. 
You can use Task Manager to start and stop programs and to stop processes, but in addition, Task Manager will show you informative statistics about your computer's performance and about your network.

what is task manager

How to Open or Launch Task Manager

In fact, there are four ways to open Task Manager:

  • Press Windows + R to launch the Run Type “taskmgr" in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • Right-click on the Windows icon present at the bottom of the left side of the screen and select “Task Manager” from the list of options available.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del. A new screen will come forth consisting of few options. Click on “Task Manager” from the list of options to open it.
  • At the start, type “Task Manager” in the dialogue box. Right-click on the result which comes forth. Select “Run as administrator”.

How to Activate Task Manager When It's Not Responding 

Most Windows users have complained about the 100% disk usage error and the not opening error of the Task Manager. The best feature of Task Manager is that you can force close or kill any unresponsive apps or programs just with a single click. However, in this case, the Task Manager itself stops responding. As this case is very frustrating, it is of vital importance that you fix it as soon as possible. 

Here are few solutions to fix the Task Manager not responding issue. You can pick any of the ways selectively and use it. Before moving to the solutions, I suggest you do the most obvious thing (in case you haven’t done it already). Do a quick restart and try launching Task Manager. Now let’s move to the solutions.

Solution 1. Upgrade Windows to the Newest Version

When a lot of users face a certain issue, Microsoft launches a new update to fix it permanently. It might be possible that Windows has an update available to resolve your issue too. 

Got to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update-> Check for update. 

update to the new version of Windows

Installing the update will fix this or any other issue that you might be experiencing in your Windows computer.

Before you upgrade to the newest version, do remember backup data with EaseUS's free backup software. EaseUS Todo Backup allows all Windows users to back up their data under Windows 10/8/7 etc with simple clicks. It's free to back up anything you need within 30 days. 

Notice:
Empty the external hard drive or USB flash drive that you want to backup files to. If you have important data saved there, please do remember to move them away so to avoid data overwritten issue.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive or USB flash drive to your PC and run EaseUS Todo Backup.

Step 2. Click the left top icon and expand the pane, click "File Backup".

elect file backup mode.

Step 3. Select the specific files that you want to backup to external hard drive or USB. And then click "Browse" to navigate the external hard drive or USB flash drive as the file backup destination.

Select external hard drive as backup destination.

If you prefer to create a file backup plan and automatically back up files to your external hard drive or USB flash drive, try below tips:

1. Click "Schedule: Off" and click "Upon even" to set automatically backup files as USB device plugged in (only the device on which you created tasks).

Set to automatically backup files to external hard drive.

2. Click "Save" to keep the changes.

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to execute the file to external hard drive/USB backup operation.

EaseUS Todo Backup will do the automatic backup job after the first full backup of all selected files or folder if you've set the program to automatically back up files to your external hard drive or USB once it's plugged in your computer.

If no update was available on your computer, try the next solution.

Solution 2. Change/Switch the User Account

It is possible that the problem you are facing is because of some error in your profile or the administrator hasn’t granted your access. If you are the owner of this computer and still couldn’t access the task manager, we can try switching the user account, and checking if this fixes anything.

Step 1. Create a new user account before switching

1. Type Settings in the start menu dialogue box and click on Accounts.

2. Click "Family and other users" options. Select "Add someone else to this PC". 

create a new user account to your pc

Windows will guide you through its wizard on how to create a new account. When the new window comes forth, click “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information”.

3. Select the option “Add a user without Microsoft”. Windows will now prompt you to make a new Microsoft account.

Enter all the details and choose an easy password which you can remember.

Step 2. Switch the user account

1. Now navigate to Settings > Accounts > Your info.

2. Select the option "Sign in with a Microsoft Account instead".

switch the user account as the new one

3. Enter your username and password and click Sign in.

Check if the task manager is working on this account. If it is, you can safely delete the older account and continue using this one.

Solution 3. Enable/Activate Task Manager in Every Way

Here are three methods to enable Task Manager, follow them and fix the not opening or responding error.

Method 1. Enable Task Manager from Registry

Windows Registry is a powerful tool and making modifications in data entries you don’t know about could damage your PC. Be extra careful and follow the steps carefully.

1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application, type "regedit" in the dialogue box and press Enter.

2. Once in the registry editor, navigate to the following file path using the left navigation pane:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System

3. If the System key is not there, you will need to create it. We will show you how to create the entire registry after this.

4. Locate "DisableTaskmgr" from the list of items present. Double click it and enter the value as 0. Press OK.

5. Restart your computer and check if the problem gets solved.

If you don't have the registry present and the file path only goes till Policies, we can try creating the registry and implementing the changes needed.

1. Navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies

2. Right-click on the Policies and select New > Key.

3. Name the new key as "System" and press Enter to implement the changes.

4. Once in System, right click on the empty space present at the right side of the window and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value

5. Name the new DWORD as "DisableTaskMgr" and set its value as 0.

6. Save changes and exit the editor. You might need to restart your computer in order for the changes to take place.

Method 2. Using CMD Command to enable Task Manager

1. Type command prompt in the dialogue box. Right-click on the application which returns as a result. Select “Run as Administrator”.

2. Type the following commands:

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System  /v  DisableTaskMgr  /t REG_DWORD  /d /0 /f

3. The process might take a while as Windows is checking all your files and looking for discrepancies. Wait till the process is completely finished. Once it has finished and there were errors detected, restart your computer and check if the problem got fixed.

If you are unfamiliar with manually editing the CMD, you can create a Registry file which will automatically modify the Registry Key to re-enable Task Managing. 

1. Open Notepad or any other text editor.

2. Copy the code given below and paste it as it is in it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] “DisableTaskMgr” =dword:00000000

3. Save the file as Enable Task Manager.reg or *.reg.

4. Open the file by double-clicking on it.

5. Registry Editor will ask you for confirmation. In the confirmation Window, click Yes.

6. Task Manager would immediately be accessible. If it is not, restart your computer.

Method 3. Using the group editor

1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type gpedit.msc in the dialogue box and press Enter.

2. Now navigate to the following path using the navigation pane present at the left side of the screen.

User Configuration>Administrative Templates>System>Ctrl+Alt+Del Options

3. At the right side of the screen, you will see an entry named as “Remove Task Manager”. Double-click it to open its settings.

4. Set the setting as Enabled and click on Apply. Now select Not Configured or Disabled and press Apply. The final value is Not Configured/Disabled. We selected Enabled and applied changes to the group policy can overrun any settings done by any external application or malware. Press Ok to save changes and exit. You might need to restart your computer in order for the changes to take place.

Solution 4. Other Quick Fixes to the Unresponsive Task Manager

  • Scanning for Malware
  • Uninstall third-party antivirus and recently installed Apps
  • Restoring your system
  • Run System File Checker
  • Clean install Windows