How to Open Task Manager? (In Windows, Mac & Chromebook)

By Dominic Chooper on April 08, 2023

There are different ways in which you can open Task Manager on your PC when you need it. Some are quick and very easy, while some are a relatively long-drawn process.

However, if you do not know how exactly you can open this useful tool, do not fret because this article will guide you through.


How to Open Task Manager?

How to Open Task Manager

The ways in which you can open the Task Manager are varied and quite few in number, including using the Command Prompt, from the Control Panel, or through keyboard shortcuts.

Here are all the ways described separately in which you can open this utility on different devices and operating systems.

In Windows

These are the specific ways to open Task Manager in Windows PC.

Method 1: Using a Keyboard Shortcut

This is perhaps the easiest and quickest way to launch the Task Manager.

However, sometimes, a few apps, especially the gaming apps, may prevent you from opening the tool by pressing the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys.

In that case, do the following:

Task Manager

Method 2: Using the Start Menu Button

The Start Menu button, which is also referred to as the power user menu in the Windows operating system, can also be used to access the Task Manager.

(Alternatively, press the Windows and X keys on your keyboard together.)

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Open Task Manager Using the Start Menu Button

Method 3: From the Taskbar

Open Task Manager from the Taskbar

Method 4: From the Search Box

If you want to launch the Task Manager directly, you can do so from the Search box.

Open Task Manager from the Search Box

Method 5: From the Run Box

(To access the Run dialog box even more quickly and directly, press the Windows and R keys on your keyboard together.)

Open Task Manager from the Run Box

Method 6: Using the Executable File

(You can also double-click on the This PC or My Computer icon on your desktop.)

Local Disk C

Windows folder

System32 folder


(Alternatively, to go to the folder quickly, type C:\Windows\System32 in the Search box beside the Start menu button and press Enter.)

Finally, double-click on it to open the Task Manager.

Method 7: From the Windows System in the Start Menu

Open Task Manager from the Windows System in the Start Menu

Method 8: Pin to Start or Taskbar

After you have found Task Manager in either of the above two ways, you can pin it to Start or the Taskbar. This will allow much quicker access if you need to use this tool often.

For this, if you have accessed the tool from the executable file as in Method 6, follow these steps:

Open Task Manager from Pin to Start or Taskbar

And, if you have accessed it from the Windows System in the Start menu as in Method 7, instead of clicking on the Task Manager, do the following:

This will pin the Task Manager as a tile in the space marked with a red arrow in the image below.

And, if you click on the More option and then on Pin to taskbar, it will appear in a blank space on the Taskbar, as marked by a red box in the image below.

Pin to taskbar

Method 9: Create a Desktop Shortcut

There are two different ways to create a desktop shortcut for Task Manager.

You can use the shortcut creation wizard in Windows. The steps to follow for it are:

Create a desktop shortcut for Task Manager


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In the new window, type the name ‘Task Manager,’

This will create the shortcut for this tool and use its original icon.

You can also create a desktop shortcut by using the executable. For this, you will need to access the tool as you did in Method 6, and follow these steps:


Method 10: Use the Command Prompt

Use the Command Prompt to Open Task Manager

Method 11: From the Control Panel

Task Manager from the Control Panel

Click on the Task Manager option

In Remote Desktop

Now, if you are wondering whether or how you can access the Task Manager on a remote desktop, the answer is yes, you can, and here are the ways.

Method 12: Keyboard Shortcut

Method 13: Through the Remote Desktop Connection Window

Sometimes, pressing the CTRL + ALT + END keys right away may not work. In that case, you should follow these steps:


Remote Desktop Connection

In Mac

If you are using a Mac computer, you will get a similar component as the Task Manager in Windows. Offering the same functionalities, this is however called the Activity Monitor. Here are some ways to launch this tool.

Method 14: Through the Spotlight

Go to the Spotlight bar, which is the same as Search in Windows. It is usually located at the top right-hand corner of the screen.

(If you cannot find it, you can launch it by clicking on the icon of the small magnifying glass.)

You may also go to Spotlight by pressing either of the two Command buttons along with the Space button in between them together, as shown in the image below.

Command buttons along with the Space button

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activity monitor

Method 15: Via Finder

Go to the Finder

Utilities folder

Activity Monitor tool

Method 16: Single-Click Access from the Dock

It will be placed in the taskbar below, as shown by the red box in the image below. You can access it anytime in the future with a single click on the icon when you need it.

Keep in Dock

Method 17: Shortcut Keys

Though not all versions of the Mac operating system will allow you to use keyboard shortcuts, in a few cases you can use the Command + Option + Shift + Esc keys on the keyboard at the same time to launch the Activity Monitor.

For your information, the keys located in the last row at the bottom, beside the Command keys, are the Option keys on a Mac keyboard as shown in the image below. You will find it on both sides of the Space Bar.

Mac Shortcut Keys

In Chromebook

Finally, if you are using a Chromebook, you will also not be deprived of enjoying the benefits of using the Task Manager. However, the ways to access this tool are a bit different.

Method 18: Keyboard Shortcut

Simply press the Search and Escape keys on your keyboard at the same time to launch Task Manager on the Chromebook.

Search and Escape keys

Method 19: Using the Chrome Browser

There are a few different ways to access the Task Manager on a Chromebook by using Google Chrome.


Go to Google Chrome

Step 2:

Alternatively, you can also press the Shift and Esc keys on your keyboard together, while it is open, as shown in the image above.

Step 3:

Click on the three vertical dots on the far-right corner of the screen

This will take you to the Task Manager window, which looks like this:

Task Manager window

Please note that the Task Manager tool in a Chromebook will not provide you with as comprehensive information regarding the apps and processes as the Windows Task Manager would. It will simply allow you to end processes.

If you want to have more information about the CPU, memory, and others, you may use their native Diagnostics App.

Method 20: Opening the Diagnostics App through the App Launcher

In order to access this app, you will have to click on the circle icon at the bottom of the screen on the left side.

click on the circle icon at the bottom of the screen on the left side

App Launcher window

In the new window showing the Best Match, now click on the Diagnostics option, marked with a red box in the image below.

click on the Diagnostics option


Opening the Task Manager utility is quite easy. However, the process may vary slightly depending on the computer you are using or the operating system.

After reading this article, hopefully, you will not find it difficult to open this tool on your PC, irrespective of its make and the operating system installed in it.