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How to troubleshoot PC problems with Windows Task Manager

Troubleshoot problems in Windows 7

Slow PC problems? Don't be so quick to reboot - you might be able to cure what ails you with some Windows Task Manager tricks. Here's how

Applications tab

When you first open Task Manager, the Applications tab is the default tab displayed. This tab shows a list of the currently active applications - but only applications that are open on the taskbar. Programs that are running, but minimised to the System Tray -- like Microsoft System Essentials and Yammer - will not appear on this list, and the Task Manager itself is also absent.

If you want to quit an application from this menu, just select the item under the Tasks list and click End Task.

But the most important aspect of the Applications tab is the Status column. This lets you know whether a program is running properly or not. Applications that are frozen or hung up will show 'Not Responding'. Odds are fair that if the program status is 'Not Responding' in Task Manager, you also won't be able to interact with it or shut it down by normal means such as clicking the 'X' in the upper right corner to close the window. In those instances, select the problem application and click the End Task button.

You will most likely get a pop-up window confirming that you want to terminate the 'Not Responding' application. Occasionally, you run into an application that won't quit after the first try - or the second, or the third. That's when you switch to the Processes tab.

NEXT PAGE: Processes tab

  1. Use Task Manager rather than rebooting
  2. Task Manager tabs
  3. Applications tab
  4. Processes tab
  5. Services tab

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