Have you ever encountered a situation where the Task Manager on your Windows 11 PC or laptop fails to launch or stops responding while you are trying to force close a crashed program? It can be an extremely frustrating experience for users, but the good news is that it can be easily fixed with a few simple solutions.
Despite the new user interface, search bar, and side panel added to the Task Manager application in Windows 11, many users have reported issues with the program recently. To help you resolve this issue and get your Task Manager up and running again, we have created a comprehensive guide based on reports from various Windows 11 users.
Why isn’t the Task Manager Working in Windows 11?
The reasons for the Task Manager not working on Windows 11 could be outdated Windows OS, viruses or malware on your system, missing/corrupt system files, issues with the graphics driver, and more. However, all of the solutions to fix Task Manager in Windows 11 are easy to execute.
Fix Task Manager Not Working
Here are some simple fixes to help you resolve the issue:
1. Restart Your PC/Laptop
Restarting your PC or laptop is one of the most effective and generic fixes to resolve the issue with Task Manager not working in Windows 11. Restarting the system clears the RAM and force-closes all the applications and programs running in the background, which may be causing issues with the Task Manager.
If you’re unable to access the Restart button in Windows 11 due to a crashed application, consider force restarting your PC or laptop by using the physical power button on your CPU or laptop body. After the restart, try opening the Task Manager in Windows 11 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete or via the Taskbar. It should work fine now.
2. Run SFC & DISM Scan
If Task Manager is still not working after restarting the system, you can try running an SFC scan. The System File Checker (SFC) scan is a command-line tool that checks the system file directory in Windows and replaces or fixes missing/corrupt system files.
After that, try running the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scans. These scans are a set of command-line tools that check the disk images in Windows and fix various system-level issues, similar to the SFC scan.
To run an SFC scan on your Windows 11 PC or laptop:
1. Use the Windows search to find the Command Prompt tool and click the Run as administrator option.
2. Once the Command Prompt tool opens up, type in the following command and press Enter:
3. The scan may take some time to complete, so do not close the application mid-scan. After the scan is complete, restart your Windows 11 PC or laptop.
To run the DISM scans:
1. Run the Command Prompt tool as an administrator.
2. Type in the following commands one by one and press Enter:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Tip: For a detailed tutorial, read out DISM, SFC & DSKCHK Scan Guide.
3. Update/Reinstall GPU Driver
One of the common reasons that may cause the Task Manager not working issue in Windows 11 is an outdated graphics driver. To update the graphics driver on your PC or laptop, follow the steps below:
1. Search for Device Manager on your PC and open it.
2. Click on the Display Adapters section to expand it and then right-click on the GPU hardware.
3. Select Update driver.
4. Click the Search automatically for drivers option.
Now, let Windows search if there is any newer version of the drivers available. If there is, then follow the on-screen instructions and install it accordingly.
5. If there is no update available, then again right-click on that GPU driver and this time click on Uninstall device.
6. Again click on Uninstall to confirm the selection.
Lastly, restart your PC and the PC will automatically reinstall the required GPU drivers when you’ll connect it to the internet.
You can also search for the latest drivers for your specific GPU by going to the manufacturer’s official website.
4. Run a Full Windows Security Scan
Viruses or malware residing on your system may also cause issues with the Task Manager in Windows 11. To check for these threats, you can use the built-in Windows Security tool. Here’s how:
1. Open Virus & threat protection by searching for it.
2. Click on Scan options located under the Quick Scan button.
3. Finally, set the radio button to the Full Scan option and click the Scan now button.
Pro Tip: You can also use a dedicated tool called Restoro to fix this issue.
Once the scan is complete, delete the suspicious files or third-party programs containing viruses or malware from your PC or laptop. Afterward, restart your device and check if the Task Manager not working issue in Windows 11 is resolved.
5. Use System Maintenance
Another fix you can try is running the System Maintenance tool, a native maintenance tool that scans and fixes various issues in Windows 11. Follow the steps below to run the tool:
1. Use Windows search to find Control Panel and click it to open.
2. At the top-right, set the View by category to Large/Small icons and open the Troubleshooting menu.
3. Then, under the System and Security section, click the Run maintenance tasks button.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for Windows to complete the maintenance tasks.
After the completion of maintenance tasks, check whether the Task Manager not working issue in Windows 11 is resolved.
6. Reset Task Manager
Resetting the task Manager can also help in resolving the issue. To reset the Task Manager:
1. Open the Run dialog by pressing Win + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
2. This will open the Windows Registry editor. Navigate to the following tree path:
3. Here, right-click on the TaskManager subkey in the left pane and click on Delete.
Once done, restart your PC and try to open the Task Manager.
7. Check for Windows 11 Updates
A buggy Windows update may also cause issues with the Task Manager in Windows 11. If that’s the case, you can check for new updates via the Windows Settings app and download them to fix the issue on your PC or laptop. Here’s how:
1. Open the Windows Settings app on your PC or laptop.
2. Under the Windows Update section, click the Check for updates button.
3. If there are any updates available for your device, they will show up on this page.
4. Once they show up, click the Download and install button to get them right away.
Following completion, restart your Windows 11 PC or laptop, whether or not your device prompts to.
After restarting your device, check if the Task Manager issue is sorted in Windows 11. If a buggy Windows 11 update was causing the problem, it should be fixed at this point.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is my Task Manager not opening?
There are several underlying causes behind the malfunctioning of Task Manager in Windows 11. These include faulty updates of the Windows operating system, obsolete graphics drivers, malware and viruses, system file glitches, and various other issues.
To pinpoint the exact reason for the Task Manager not working properly, users can try several troubleshooting methods. For example, scanning the computer for malware and viruses, updating the graphics drivers to their latest versions, running System File Checker (SFC) to check and repair system file issues, and performing a clean boot to isolate software conflicts.
It's important to note that resolving the Task Manager not working issue requires a thorough understanding of the underlying cause. Therefore, it's recommended to seek professional assistance if the issue persists even after attempting the above-mentioned solutions.
How to Force Close an app without Task Manager?
In Windows 11, terminating a misbehaving app or program doesn't always necessitate accessing the Task Manager. An alternative method to force close a running application is by pressing the keyboard shortcut of Alt + F4.
By invoking this shortcut, you can promptly shut down an unresponsive application, without needing to open the Task Manager and locate the specific application. This method saves you time and makes the process more efficient, especially when dealing with multiple programs at once.
How do I reset Task Manager in Windows 11?
To reset the Task Manager, open the registry editor and navigate to the path: Computer > HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > TaskManager. Then delete the TaskManager subkey from the left pane.
And there you go! If you’re encountering issues with opening the Task Manager on Windows 11, there are several potential solutions you can try.
From using keyboard shortcuts to restarting the Windows Explorer process, these methods can help you regain access to the Task Manager and troubleshoot any problems you may be facing.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your system remains efficient and functional.
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