How to keep Task Manager always on top in Windows 11/10

What does always on top mean in task manager, keep task manager always on top in windows 11/10, 1] enable or disable always on top in windows 11 using task manager settings, 2] using notification icon of task manager, 3] using hotkeys, 4] using a third-party tool.

How to keep Task Manager always on top in Windows 11/10

How do I pin a window always on top in Windows?

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How to Make Task Manager Always on Top on Windows

task manager always on top

If you need easy access to system and app data and processes, you can make the Task Manager always on top on Windows. This guide explains how.

The Task Manager utility on Windows 10 and 11 is a powerful way to get system information and manage settings. If you need those details readily accessible in all situations, you can make it always display on top of other windows.

Task Manager allows you to monitor app and system performance, change startup apps , view services, and manage processes. When troubleshooting an issue, you may want to keep Task Manager close to hand.

If that’s the case, you may want to make Task Manager always appear on top of other windows. To do this, follow the steps below.

How to Make Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11

Keeping Task Manager always on top is useful because it allows you to monitor the performance of your computer in real-time while using other applications. Additionally, it can help you quickly identify and close any programs or processes that are causing issues or consuming too much system resources—especially if they run in full-screen mode.

To make Task Manager always on top on Windows 11:

Task Manager Always on Top

When you check the option, the window will relaunch and appear on top of other windows each time you launch it. To revert the changes, go back into settings and uncheck the Always on top option.

How to Make Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 10

If you aren’t on Windows 11 yet, it’s important to note that you can do the same thing on Windows 10. The steps are similar, but getting to the setting varies.

To make it always display on top on Windows 10:

task manager always on top

After adjusting the setting, it will appear and remain on top of other Windows when you launch it. To revert the change, click Options and uncheck Always on top from the menu.

Use PowerToys

You can also use PowerToys to force Task Manager (or other apps) to always display on top of other windows. To set it up, launch PowerToys and ensure the Always On Top toy is enabled.

always on top

Launch Task Manager and press the Windows key + Ctrl + T keyboard shortcut to make it always appear on top. The window will remain on top of others until you use the same keyboard shortcut to toggle it off.

task manager always on top

Using the Always On Top setting in PowerToys is helpful in manually making Task Manager always display on top of other windows. However, it won’t open on top if you close Task Manager. It only will launch on top if you set it to within its settings. So, it might not be useful when you need it to launch on top when you press Ctrl + Shift + Esc , for example.

Using Task Manager on Windows 10 or 11

The Task Manager on Windows is a popular “go-to” feature for troubleshooting and monitoring app and system performance. And making it appear on top of other windows is beneficial when other apps appear in full-screen mode .

In addition to making it always appear on top, you can change the Task Manager startup page on Windows 11. Changing the section Task Manager opens allows access to the information you need more quickly. For instance, you can set it to open to the Details tab instead of Processes.

Also, these settings aren’t limited to your Windows 11 system. You can also make changes to Task Manager on Windows 10. For example, you can set the Windows 10 Task Manager page to open to the details you need most.

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How to Keep Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11

task manager always on top

When you keep Task Manager always on top on Windows 11, you can keep track of tasks, running processes, look at computer performance, and more. Thanks to this app, you can have various processes under control. But it can get lost in the apps you open if you don’t make a simple change always to keep it on top. By knowing how to keep the Task Manager app always on top, so matter how many apps you open, Task Manager will always be visible. Keep reading to see how you can do that by accessing the app’s settings and, if you have room, install a third-party app that will also do that.

  • 1 Keep Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11 by Using Settings
  • 2 Keep Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11 Using Microsoft PowerToys
  • 3.1 Further Reading
  • 3.2 Conclusion

Keep Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11 by Using Settings

The quickest and easiest way to always keep Task Manager on top is by going to the app’s settings. First, you’ll need to open Task Manager. To open Task Manager, right-click the Windows Start menu and choose the Task Manager option. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open it. When the Task Manager app opens, click the cogwheel at the bottom left .

This is going to place you in Settings. Under Windows management , you’ll see the Always on top option.

Task Manager settings

That’s all there is to it. You can test it out by opening Task Manager and various other apps. You’ll notice that while other apps get lost as you open more apps, Task Manager will always be on top.

Another way you can ensure that Task Manager is always on top is by opening the app by right-clicking on the arrow pointing up to the right of your taskbar. Once it’s open, right-click on the Task Manager icon that looks like a grey square. One of the options you should see will be the Always on Top feature. Ensure that this option is checked, and you’re good to go.

Always on top on Windows 11 Taskbar

Keep Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11 Using Microsoft PowerToys

If your computer has room for more apps, you can also keep the Task Manager app always on top by using Microsoft PowerToys . It has an Always on Top feature, and you can choose which app to apply it. Which, in this case, would be the Task Manager. Once you install the app, click Always on Top from the list of options to your left and ensure it’s toggled on.

Always on top from PowerToys

The default keyboard combination to select what apps stay on top is three by default. But you can change that by clicking on the pencil icon and changing it to two keys instead of three. Once you’ve turned it on and maybe even changed the key combination, open the Task Manager app and press the keyboard combination you set up for the Always on Top feature.

Activation keyboard shortcut for always on top

You’ll know that it worked because the Task Manager app will have a blue border around it. Test it by opening other apps; the Task Manager will always be on top. If you press the keyboard combination again, a second app will be selected and will also always be on top.

If you have the Microsoft PowerToys app open, you can also customize how the Always on Top feature works. You can do things such as:

  • Do not activate when Game Mode is on
  • Show a border around the pinned window
  • Enable around corners
  • Play a sound when pinning a window

At the bottom of the settings, you can also exclude apps from being pinned on top. Type the app’s name in the box, and it’ll be added to the list.

How to Turn Off Always on Top for Task Manager on Windows 11

Turning off Always on Top for Task Manager is as easy as turning it on. Remember that you can turn off the Task Manager by right-clicking on the Windows Start Menu , and when it opens, click on the cogwheel to go to Settings . Uncheck the box for Always on Top , and you’ve turned it off.

You can also turn it off by clicking on the arrow pointing up to the right of the taskbar. Right-click on the grey square and click on the Always on Top option. This will uncheck the option. You’ll notice that the Taskbar window will appear if it is closed. You can check if the option was unchecked by repeating the steps, and you’ll see that the check mark beside it is gone.

Always on top option unchecked for Windows 11

Further Reading

Speaking of Task Managers, it’s also possible to access the Task Manager that Firefox has. Here are the easy steps to follow to access this helpful tool and see how much impact your tasks have on the browser.

There are days when you need to open a lot of apps. When you need to read info off Task Manager, things can get a little complicated with so many open apps. But when you enable the feature that keeps the Task Manager app always on top, you can easily spot it. As you can see, there is no need to install third-party apps to make this happen. You only need to go into the app’s settings. How useful do you find this setting? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share the article with others on social media.

task manager always on top

Author Judy Sanhz

I am a tech geek who loves technology. I have been writing about tech for over a decade, covering various devices and programs. I write about Android, Apple, and Windows devices and programs. I stay updated on the latest gadgets, upgrades, features, and news. I aim to make complicated tech information easy for everyone to read. I've been with TechniPages from the beginning to help others fix their tech issues with the easy-to-follow guides.

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Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Judy Sanhz

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Apps   Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11

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  • Nov 16, 2021

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  • Option One: Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager using Keyboard Shortcut
  • Option Two: Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Task Manager
  • Option Three: Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager from Task Manager Notification Icon

Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager using Keyboard Shortcut

Enable or disable always on top for task manager in task manager.

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Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager from Task Manager Notification Icon

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How to Always Show Task Manager on Top of Other Open Windows

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Keeping the Task Manager on top of other windows while you’re working can be a real timesaver, helping you to stay organized and efficient. So, let's take a look at how to keep the Windows Task Manager “Always On Top" and avoid it from getting lost behind your other opened applications or windows.

1. Through Task Manager Settings

One way to keep the Windows Task Manager always on top is by making adjustments in its settings. This method is quite straightforward, and you can enable this setting with just a few clicks. Here's how:

Right-click on Start and select Task Manager from the menu list. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard, and it will open the Task Manager .

Once the Task Manager window appears, click on More details if it is not already expanded.

How to Keep Task Manager Always-on-Top on Windows

From the left-side panel, select the gear (Settings) icon. You will now see a checkbox labeled Always on top . Check this box and the Task Manager window will stay on top of any other window that you open.

In order to disable it, simply uncheck this box and the Task Manager window will go back to its normal behavior.

2. Using the Task Manager Notification icon

Another way to always show the Windows Task Manager on top of any other open windows is by using its notification icon.

To enable this feature, do the following:

Open the Run dialog box , type taskmgr , and hit Enter. Once you open the Task Manager, go to the bottom right corner of your screen and click on the small upward arrow icon.

Keep Task Manager Always-on-Top Using the Task Manager Notification icon

Look for the Task Manager icon and right-click on it. Select Always on top from the context menu and the Task Manager window will remain on top of all other windows.

To disable it, right-click on the Task Manager icon, and select Always on top again.

This way, you can keep the Windows Task Manager always on top and make sure that it doesn't get lost behind other open windows.

Keep Task Manager Above Other Open Windows

If you use Task Manager frequently, you can keep it always on top of other open windows. That way, you can always keep your eye on your PC's performance and see if anything amiss is going on.

  • Windows Tips

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How to Turn Task Manager Always on Top on or Off in Windows 10 & 11

By timothy tibbetts.

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Geek Rewind

Geek Rewind

Rewinding the geek's playbook

How to Enable or Disable Task Manager’s “Always On Top” Feature in Windows 11

The article provides instructions on how to enable or disable the ‘Always on top’ feature for the Task Manager app in Windows 11, ensuring it stays visible over other applications. This feature has been updated with Windows 11’s new design principles, including matching the system-wide theme. The guide includes various methods, such as using the…

This article describes steps to turn on or off “ Always on top ” to keep the Task Manager app on top of other windows in Windows 11.

The Task Manager has been part of Windows since early Windows NT 4.0 / 2000, allowing users to view tasks (processes), start-up programs, services, and the computer’s overall performance.

With the release of Windows 11 build 22557 , Microsoft has updated the design of Task Manager to match the new Windows 11 design principles, including bringing a dark theme and automatically matching the system-wide theme.

Windows has always had a setting to keep the Task Manager app on top of other windows. This is known as “ Always on top .”

Here’s how to turn it on or off in Windows 11.

Keep the Task Manager app always on top of other windows in Windows 11

As described above, Windows has always had a setting to keep the Task Manager app on top of other windows. This is known as “ Always on top .”

Here’s how to turn it on.

First, open the Task Manager app. You can also use the keyboard shortcut ( Ctrl + Shift + Esc ) to launch the Task Manager app.

While the Task Manager app is opened, right-click the app’s icon on the Taskbar (or Taskbar overflow), then select “Alway on top.”

windows task manager always on top on or off

Alternatively, select Settings at the bottom left of the Task Manager app.

windows 11 task manager app settings button

On the Settings pane, under Windows management, check or uncheck the box next to “ Always on top ” to enable or disable the Task Manager app on top of other windows.

windows task manager always on top from settings

You can also press the Alt + A keys to toggle check or uncheck the “ Always on top ” box in the Settings app.

Reference :

Microsoft.com

That should do it!

Conclusion :

  • This article outlines the steps to enable or disable the “Always on top” feature for the Task Manager app in Windows 11.
  • The provided instructions can help users optimize their Task Manager experience while working with multiple windows.
  • We encourage readers to provide feedback or additional insights through the comment section for further interaction and content improvement.

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Guide Subject

How to Make Windows 11 Task Manager “Always on Top”

Learn how to make the Windows 11 Task Manager “always on top” to monitor your system’s performance without interruptions. Follow these simple steps to keep the Task Manager window visible at all times.

To make the Task Manager in Windows 11 always appear on top of other windows, follow these steps:

  • Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Start button or Taskbar, and then selecting “Task Manager,” or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.
  • Once Task Manager is open, click on “More details” at the bottom left corner if it’s not already expanded to show more information.
  • In the Task Manager window, click on “Options” in the menu bar at the top.
  • In the drop-down menu under “Options,” you will see an “Always on Top” option. Click on it to enable the feature. When it’s enabled, there should be a checkmark next to “Always on Top.”

With “Always on Top” enabled, the Task Manager window will remain visible above all other windows, even when you switch to another application, making it easier to monitor system performance or terminate applications without losing sight of the Task Manager. Remember that this setting will persist until you disable it by following the same steps and unchecking “Always on Top.”

Conclusion: Now that you know how to make the Windows 11 Task Manager “always on top,” you can keep an eye on your system’s performance without having to constantly switch between windows. Whether you prefer using a keyboard shortcut, the Task Manager menu, or the Registry Editor, there are multiple ways to ensure that the Task Manager stays visible at all times. Give it a try and enjoy the convenience of having your Task Manager readily accessible whenever you need it.

  • How to fix audio lag in Bluetooth headphones in Windows 11
  • Access Windows 11 Desktop: 7 Fastest Ways

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How to Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11?

The Task Manager is a helpful tool in Windows 11 that is used to view and manage processes, performance statistics, app history, users, process details, and services. By default, it behaves as standard software, but it is possible to set it to display always on top of other windows. Once done, the Task Manager window will open and stay on top of all other windows on the desktop.

Keeping Task Manager on top of other windows allows you to monitor CPU usage, memory, running processes, etc. Even if some applications are opened in maximized mode, Task Manager will remain in front for as long as you want.

How to Turn On or Off Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11 using Task Manager?

To enable or disable “Always on top” for Task Manager in Windows 11 through Task Manager, use these steps:-

Step 1. Open Task Manager .

Step 2. Click the Options menu and check the option Always on top to stay Task Manager on the top of other windows.

How to Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager from Notification Area?

To turn on or off “Always on top” for Task Manager through the Notification area, use these steps:-

To do that, you can use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc  keyboard shortcut.

In conclusion, Task Manager is an essential tool in Windows 11 that allows users to monitor and manage their system’s performance, processes, and services. Enabling the “Always on top” feature can be beneficial in certain situations when users need to keep an eye on Task Manager while working with other windows. This feature allows users to view the Task Manager window continuously without having to switch back and forth between other windows. Enabling or disabling the “Always on top” feature is simple and can be done either through Task Manager’s options menu or the Notification area. Overall, the “Always on top” feature is a handy tool for users who need to troubleshoot their Windows 11 or monitor their system’s performance continuously.

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Ditch third-party recorders, i use steam to record my gameplay, my windows laptop was a battery hog until i made these changes, quick links, how to launch the task manager, task manager's simple view, the task manager's tabs explained, managing processes with the task manager, task manager menu options, viewing performance information, consulting app history, controlling startup applications, checking on users, managing detailed processes, working with services, process explorer: a more powerful task manager, key takeaways.

  • The Windows Task Manager provides valuable information about system resource usage and process statistics.
  • The Task Manager has a simple view and a more advanced tabbed interface.
  • The Task Manager can be used to manage running processes and enable or disable startup processes.

The Windows Task Manager is a powerful tool packed with useful information, from your system's overall resource usage to detailed statistics about each process. This guide explains every feature and technical term in the Task Manager.

This article focuses on Windows 10's Task Manager, although much of this also applies to Windows 11 and Windows 7, too. Most of the changes to the Windows 11 Task Manager are cosmetic, so things might look a little different.

Option to launch Task Manager from Windows 10's taskbar

Windows offers many ways to launch the Task Manager . Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager with a keyboard shortcut or right-click the Windows taskbar and select "Task Manager."

You can also press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then click "Task Manager" on the screen that appears or find the Task Manager shortcut in your Start menu.

Task Manager's simplified application management view

The first time you launch the Task Manager, you'll see a small, simple window. This window lists the visible applications running on your desktop, excluding background applications. You can select an application here and click "End Task" to close it. This is useful if an application isn't responding — in other words, if it's frozen — and you can't close it the usual way.

You can also right-click an application in this window to access more options:

  • Switch To : Switch to the application's window, bringing it to the front of your desktop and putting it in focus. This is useful if you're not sure which window is associated with which application.
  • End Task : End the process. This works the same as the "End Task" button.
  • Run New Task : Open the Create New Task window, where you can specify a program, folder, document, or website address and Windows will open it.
  • Always On Top : Make the Task Manager window itself "always on top" of other windows on your desktop, letting you see it at all times.
  • Open File Location : Open a File Explorer window showing the location of the program's .exe file.
  • Search Online : Perform a Bing search for the program's application name and file name. This will help you see exactly what the program is and what it does.
  • Properties : Open the Properties window for the program's .exe file. Here you can tweak compatibility options and see the program's version number, for example.

The Task Manager's notification area icon

While the Task Manager is open, you'll see a Task Manager icon in your notification area. This shows you how much CPU ( central processing unit ) resources are currently in use on your system, and you can mouse over it to see memory, disk, and network usage. It's an easy way to keep tabs on your computer's CPU usage.

To see the system tray icon without the Task Manager appearing on your taskbar, click Options > Hide When Minimized in the full Task Manager interface and minimize the Task Manager window.

Viewing app resource usage in the Windows Task Manager

To see the Task Manager's more advanced tools, click "More Details" at the bottom of the simple view window. You'll see the full, tabbed interface appear. The Task Manager will remember your preference and will open to the more advanced view in the future. If you want to get back to the simple view, click "Fewer Details."

With More Details selected, the Task Manager includes the following tabs:

  • Processes : A list of running applications and background processes on your system along with CPU, memory, disk, network, GPU, and other resource usage information.
  • Performance : Real-time graphs showing total CPU, memory, disk, network, and GPU resource usage for your system. You'll find many other details here, too, from your computer's IP address to the model names of your computer's CPU and GPU.
  • App History : Information about how much CPU and network resources apps have used for your current user account. This only applies to new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps — in other words, Store apps — and not traditional Windows desktop apps (Win32 applications.)
  • Startup : A list of your startup programs, which are the applications Windows automatically starts when you sign into your user account. You can disable startup programs from here, although you can also do that from Settings > Apps > Startup.
  • Users : The user accounts currently signed into your PC, how much resources they're using, and what applications they're running.
  • Details : More detailed information about the processes running on your system. This is basically the traditional "Processes" tab from the Task Manager on Windows 7.
  • Services : Management of system services. This is the same information you'll find in services.msc, the Services management console.

The Processes tab shows you a comprehensive list of processes running on your system. If you sort it by name, the list is broken into three categories. The Apps group shows the same list of running applications you'd see in the "Fewer details" simplified view. The other two categories are background processes and Windows processes, and they show processes that don't appear in the standard simplified Task Manager view.

For example, tools like Dropbox, your antivirus program, background update processes, and hardware utilities with notification area (system tray) icons appear in the background processes list. Windows processes include various processes that are part of the Windows operating system, although some of these appear under "Background processes" instead for some reason.

Option to restart Windows Explorer in the Task Manager

You can right-click a process to see actions you can perform. The options you'll see in the context menu are:

  • Expand : Some applications, like Google Chrome, have multiple processes are grouped here. Other applications have multiple windows that are part of a single process. You can select expand, double-click the process, or click the arrow to its left to see the entire group of processes individually. This option only appears when you right-click a group.
  • Collapse : Collapse an expanded group.
  • End task : End the process. You can also click the "End Task" button below the list.
  • Restart : This option only appears when you right-click Windows Explorer. It lets you restart explorer.exe instead of simply ending the task. In older versions of Windows, you had to end the Explorer.exe task and then launch it manually to fix problems with the Windows desktop, taskbar, or Start menu. Now, you can just use this Restart option.
  • Resource values : Lets you choose whether you want to see the percentage or precise values for memory, disk, and network. In other words, you can choose whether you want to see the precise amount of memory in MB or the percentage of your system's memory applications are using.
  • Create dump file : This is a debugging tool for programmers. It captures a snapshot of the program's memory and saves it to disk.
  • Go to details : Go to the process on the Details tab so you can see more detailed technical information.
  • Open file location : Open File Explorer with the process's .exe file selected.
  • Search online : Search for the name of the process on Bing.
  • Properties : View the Properties window of the .exe file associated with the process.

You should not end tasks unless you know what the task does. Many of these tasks are background processes important to Windows itself. They often have confusing names, and you may need to perform a web search to find out what they do. We have a whole series explaining what various processes do , from conhost.exe to wsappx .

Available columns on the Task Manager's Processes tab

This tab also shows you detailed information about each process and their combined resource usage. You can right-click the headings at the top of the list and choose the columns you want to see. The values in each column are color-coded, and a darker orange (or red) color indicates greater resource usage.

You can click a column to sort by it — for example, click the CPU column to see running processes sorted by CPU usage with the biggest CPU hogs at the top. The top of the column also shows the total resource usage of all the processes on your system. Drag and drop columns to reorder them. The available columns are:

  • Type : The category of the process, which is App, Background process, or Windows process.
  • Status : If a program appears to be frozen, "Not Responding" will appear here. Programs sometimes begin responding after a bit of time and sometimes stay frozen. If Windows has suspended a program to save power, a green leaf will appear in this column. Modern UWP apps can suspend to save power, and Windows can also suspend traditional desktop apps.
  • Publisher : The name of the program's publisher. For example, Chrome displays "Google Inc." and Microsoft Word displays "Microsoft Corporation."
  • PID : The process identifier number Windows has associated with the process. The process ID may be used by certain functions or system utilities. Windows assigns a unique process ID each time it starts a program, and the process ID is a way of distinguishing between several running processes if multiple instances of the same program are running.
  • Process Name : The file name of the process. For example, File Explorer is explorer.exe, Microsoft Word is WINWORD.EXE, and the Task Manager itself is Taskmgr.exe.
  • Command Line : The full command line used to launch the process. This shows you the full path to the process's .exe file (for example, "C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE") as well as any command-line options used to launch the program.
  • CPU : The CPU usage of the process, displayed as a percentage of your total available CPU resources.
  • Memory : The amount of your system's physical working memory the process is currently using, displayed in MB or GB.
  • Disk : The disk activity a process is generating, displayed as MB/s. If a process isn't reading from or writing to disk at the moment, it will display 0 MB/s.
  • Network : The network usage of a process on the current primary network, displayed in Mbps.
  • GPU : The GPU (graphics processing unit) resources used by a process, displayed as a percentage of the GPU's available resources.
  • GPU Engine : The GPU device and engine used by a process. If you have multiple GPUs in your system, this will show you which GPU a process is using. See the Performance tab to see which number ("GPU 0" or "GPU 1" is associated with which physical GPU.
  • Power Usage : The estimated power usage of a process, taking into account its current CPU, disk, and GPU activity. For example, it might say "Very low" if a process isn't using many resources or "Very high" if a process is using a lot of resources. If it's high, that means it's using more electricity and shortening your battery life if you have a laptop.
  • Power Usage Trend : The estimated impact on power usage over time. The Power Usage column just shows the current power usage, but this column tracks power usage over time. For example, if a program occasionally uses a lot of power but isn't using much right now, it may say "Very low" in the power usage column and "High" or "Moderate" in the Power Usage Trend column.

When you right-click the headings, you'll also see a "Resource Values" menu. This is the same option that appears when you right-click an individual process. Whether or not you access this option through right-clicking an individual process, it will always change how all processes in the list appear.

The View menu in the Task Manager

There are also a few useful options in the Task Manager's menu bar:

  • File > Run New Task : Launch a program, folder, document, or network resource by providing its address. You can also check "Create this task with administrative privileges" to launch the program as Administrator.
  • Options > Always on Top : The Task Manager window will always be on top of other windows while this option is enabled.
  • Options > Minimize on Use : The Task Manager will be minimized whenever you right-click a process and select "Switch To." Despite the odd name, that's all this option does.
  • Options > Hide When Minimized : The Task Manager will stay running in the notification area (system tray) when you click the minimize button if you enable this option.
  • View > Refresh Now : Immediately refresh the data displayed in the Task Manager.
  • View > Update Speed : Choose how frequently the data displayed in the Task Manager is updated: High, Medium, Low, or Paused. With Paused selected, the data isn't updated until you select a higher frequency or click "Refresh Now."
  • View > Group By Type : With this option enabled, processes on the Processes tab are grouped into three categories: Apps, Background Processes, and Windows Processes. With this option disabled, they're shown mixed in the list.
  • View > Expand All : Expand all the process groups in the list. For example, Google Chrome uses multiple processes, and they're shown combined into a "Google Chrome" group. You can expand individual process groups by clicking the arrow to the left of their name, too.
  • View > Collapse All : Collapse all the process groups in the list. For example, all Google Chrome processes will just be shown under the Google Chrome category.

CPU usage statistics on the Task Manager's Performance tab

The Performance tab shows real-time graphs displaying the usage of system resources like CPU, memory, disk, network, and GPU. If you have multiple disks, network devices, or GPUs, you can see them all separately.

You'll see small graphs in the left pane, and you can click an option to see a larger graph in the right pane. The graph shows resource usage over the last 60 seconds.

In addition to resource information, the Performance page shows information about your system's hardware. Here are just some things the different panes show in addition to resource usage:

  • CPU : The name and model number of your CPU, its speed, the number of cores it has, and whether hardware virtualization features are enabled and available. It also shows your system's " uptime ," which is how long your system has been running since it last booted up.
  • Memory : How much RAM you have, its speed, and how many of the RAM slots on your motherboard are used. You can also see how much of your memory is currently filled with cached data. Windows calls this "standby." This data will be ready and waiting if your system needs it, but Windows will automatically dump the cached data and free up space if it needs more memory for another task.
  • Disk : The name and model number of your disk drive, its size, and its current read and write speeds.
  • Wi-Fi or Ethernet : Windows shows a network adapter's name and its IP addresses (both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses) here. For Wi-Fi connections, you can also see the Wi-Fi standard in use on the current connection — for example, 802.11ac .
  • GPU : The GPU pane shows separate graphs for different types of activity — for example, 3D vs. video encoding or decoding. The GPU has its own built-in memory, so it also shows GPU memory usage. You can also see the name and model number of your GPU here and the graphics driver version it's using. You can monitor GPU usage right from the Task Manager without any third-party software.

Minimal floating CPU usage overlay in the Task Manager

You can also turn this into a smaller window if you'd like to see it on screen at all times. Just double-click anywhere in the empty white space in the right pane, and you'll get a floating, always-on-top window with that graph. You can also right-click the graph and select "Graph Summary View" to enable this mode.

Windows 10's Resource Monitor showing CPU usage of processes

The "Open Resource Monitor" button at the bottom of the window opens the Resource Monitor tool , which provides more detailed information about GPU, memory, disk, and network usage by individual running processes.

The App History tab in Windows 10's Task Manager

The App History tab only applies to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. It doesn't show information about traditional Windows desktop apps, so most people won't find it too useful.

At the top of the window, you'll see the date Windows started collecting resource usage data. The list shows UWP applications and the amount of CPU time and network activity the application has generated since that date. You can right-click the headings here to enable a few more options for more insight about network activity:

  • CPU Time : The amount of CPU time the program has used within this time frame.
  • Network : The total amount of data transferred over the network by the program within this time frame.
  • Metered Network : The amount of data transferred over metered networks. You can set a network as metered to save data on it. This option is intended for networks you have limited data on, like a mobile network to which you're tethering.
  • Tile Updates : The amount of data the program has downloaded to display updated live tiles on Windows 10's Start menu.
  • Non-metered Network : The amount of data transferred over non-metered networks.
  • Downloads : The amount of data downloaded by the program on all networks.
  • Uploads : The amount of data uploaded by the program on all networks.

The Task Manager's Startup manager tab

The Startup tab is Windows 10's built-in startup programs manager. It lists all the applications that Windows automatically starts for your current user account. For example, programs in your Startup folder and programs set to start in the Windows registry both appear here.

To disable a startup program, right-click it and select "Disable" or select it and click the "Disable" button. To re-enable it, click the "Enable" option that appears here instead. You can also use the Settings > Apps > Startup interface to manage startup programs.

At the top right corner of the window, you will see a " Last BIOS time " on some systems. This shows how long your BIOS (or UEFI firmware) took to initialize your hardware when you last booted your PC. This will not appear on all systems. You won't see it if your PC's BIOS doesn't report this time to Windows.

As usual, you can right-click the headings and enable additional columns. The columns are:

  • Name : The name of the program.
  • Publisher : The name of the program's publisher.
  • Status : "Enabled" appears here if the program automatically starts when you sign in. "Disabled" appears here if you've disabled the startup task.
  • Startup Impact : An estimate of how much CPU and disk resources the program uses when it starts. Windows measures and tracks this in the background. A lightweight program will show "Low," and a heavy program will show "High." Disabled programs show "None." You can speed up your boot process more by disabling programs with a "High" startup impact than by disabling ones with a "Low" impact.
  • Startup Type : This shows whether the program is starting because of a registry entry ("Registry") or because it's in your startup folder ("Folder.")
  • Disk I/O at Startup : The disk activity the program performs at startup, in MB. Windows measures and records this each boot.
  • CPU at Startup : The amount of CPU time a program uses at startup, in ms. Windows measures and records this at boot.
  • Running Now : The word "Running" appears here if a startup program is currently running. If this column appears entry for a program, the program has shut itself down, or you've closed it yourself.
  • Disabled Time : For startup programs you've disabled, the date and time you disabled a program appears here
  • Command Line : This shows the full command line the startup program launches with, including any command line options.

Multiple users on the Task Manager's Users tab

The Users tab displays a list of signed in users and their running processes. If you're the only person signed into your Windows PC, you'll see only your user account here. If other people have signed in and then locked their sessions without signing out, you'll also see those — locked sessions appear as "Disconnected." This also shows you the CPU, memory, disk, network, and other system resources used by processes running under each Windows user account.

You can disconnect a user account by right-clicking it and selecting "Disconnect" or force it to sign off by right-clicking it and selecting "Sign Off." The Disconnect option terminates the desktop connection, but the programs continue to run, and the user can sign back in — like locking a desktop session. The Sign Off option terminates all processes — like signing out of Windows.

You can also manage another user account's processes from here if you'd like to end a task that belongs to another running user account.

If you right-click the headings, the available columns are:

  • ID : Each signed in user account has its own session ID number. Session "0" is reserved for system services, while other applications may create their own user accounts. You usually won't need to know this number, so it's hidden by default.
  • Session : The type of session this is. For example, it will say "Console" if it's being accessed on your local system. This is primarily useful for server systems running remote desktops.
  • Client Name : The name of the remote client system accessing the session, if it's being accessed remotely.
  • Status : The status of the session — for example, if a user's session is locked, the Status will say "Disconnected."
  • CPU : Total CPU used by the user's processes.
  • Memory : Total memory used by the user's processes.
  • Disk : Total disk activity associated with the user's processes.
  • Network : Total network activity from the user's processes.

Context menu options for a process on the Task Manager's Details tab

This is the most detailed Task Manager pane. It's like the Processes tab, but it provides more information and shows processes from all user accounts on your system. If you've used the Windows 7 Task Manager, this will look familiar to you; it's the same information the Processes tab in Windows 7 displays.

You can right-click processes here to access additional options:

  • End task : End the process. This is the same option found on the normal Processes tab.
  • End process tree : End the process, and all the processes created by the process.
  • Set priority : Set a priority for the process: Low, Below normal, Normal, Above normal, High, and Realtime. Processes start at normal priority. Lower priority is ideal for background processes, and higher priority is ideal for desktop processes. However, Microsoft recommends against messing with Realtime priority.
  • Set affinity : Set the processor affinity of a process — in other words, on which processer a process runs. By default, processes run on all processors in your system. You can use this to limit a process to a particular processor. For example, this is sometimes helpful for old games and other programs that assume you only have a single CPU. Even if you have a single CPU in your computer, each core appears as a separate processor .
  • Analyze wait chain : View what threads in the processes are waiting for. This shows you which processes and threads are waiting to use a resource used by another process, and is a useful debugging tool for programmers to diagnose hangs.
  • UAC virtualization : Enable or disable User Account Control virtualization for a process. This feature fixes applications that require administrator access by virtualizing their access to system files, redirecting their file and registry access to other folders. It's primarily used by older programs — for example, Windows XP-era programs — that weren't written for modern versions of Windows. This is a debugging option for developers, and you shouldn't need to change it.
  • Create dump file : Capture a snapshot of the program's memory and save it to disk . This is a useful debugging tool for programmers.
  • Open file location : Open a File Explorer window showing the process's executable file.
  • Search online : Perform a Bing search for the name of the process.
  • Properties : View the properties window of the process's .exe file.
  • Go to service(s) : Show the services associated with the process on the Services tab. This is particularly useful for svchost.exe processes. The services will be highlighted.

Selecting columns for the Windows Task Manager's Details tab

If you right-click the headings and select "Show Columns," you'll see a much longer list of information you can show here, including many options that aren't available on the Processes tab.

Here's what every possible column means:

  • Package Name : For Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, this displays the name of the app package the process is from. For other apps, this column is empty. UWP apps are generally distributed via the Microsoft Store.
  • PID : The unique process ID number associated with that process. This is associated with the process and not the program — for example, if you close and reopen a program, the new program process will have a new process ID number.
  • Status : This shows whether the process is running or suspended to save power. Windows 10 always "suspends" UWP apps you aren't using to save system resources. You can also control whether Windows 10 suspends traditional desktop processes.
  • User name : The name of the user account running the process. You will often see system user account names here, like SYSTEM and LOCAL SERVICE.
  • Session ID : The unique number associated with the user session running the process. This is the same number shown for a user on the Users tab.
  • Job object ID : The "job object in which the process is running." Job objects are a way to group processes so they can be managed as a group.
  • CPU : The percentage of CPU resources the process is currently using across all CPUs. If nothing else is using CPU time, Windows will show the System Idle Process using it here. In other words, if the System Idle Process is using 90% of your CPU resources, that means other processes on your system are using a combined 10%, and it was idle 90% of the time.
  • CPU time : The total processor time (in seconds) used by a process since it began running. If a process closes and restarts, this will be reset. It's a good way to spot CPU-hungry processes that may be idling at the moment.
  • Cycle : The percentage of the CPU cycles the process is currently using across all CPUs. It's unclear exactly how this is different from the CPU column, as Microsoft's documentation doesn't explain this. However, the numbers in this column are generally pretty similar to the CPU column, so it's likely a similar piece of information measured differently.
  • Working set (memory) : The amount of physical memory the process is currently using.
  • Peak working set (memory) : The maximum amount of physical memory the process has used.
  • Working set delta (memory) : The change in working set memory from the last refresh of the data here.
  • Memory (active private working set) : The amount of physical memory used by the process that can't be used by other processes. Processes frequently cache some data to make better use of your RAM , but can quickly give up that memory space if another process needs it. This column excludes data from suspended UWP processes.
  • Memory (private working set) : The amount of physical memory used by the process that can't be used by other processes. This column does not exclude data from suspended UWP processes.
  • Memory (shared working set) : The amount of physical memory used by the process that can be used by other processes when necessary.
  • Commit size : The amount of virtual memory Windows is reserving for the process.
  • Paged pool : The amount of pageable kernel memory the Windows kernel or drivers are allocating for this process. The operating system can move this data to the paging file when necessary.
  • NP pool : The amount of non-pageable kernel memory the Windows kernel or drivers are allocating for this process. The operating system can't move this data to the paging file.
  • Page faults : The number of page faults generated by the process since it began running. These occur when a program tries to access memory it doesn't currently have allocated to it, and are normal.
  • PF Delta : The change in the number of page faults since the last refresh.
  • Base priority : The priority of the process — for example, this might be Low, Normal, or High. Windows prioritizes scheduling processes with higher priorities. System background tasks that aren't urgent may have low priority compared to desktop program processes, for example.
  • Handles : The current number of handles in the process's object table. Handles represent system resources like files, registry keys, and threads.
  • Threads : The number of active threads in a process. Each process runs one or more threads, and Windows allocates processor time to them. Threads in a process share memory.
  • User objects : The number of "window manager objects " used by the process. This includes windows, menus, and cursors.
  • GDI objects : The number of Graphics Device Interface objects used by the process. These are used for drawing the user interface.
  • I/O reads : The number of read operations performed by the process since it started. I/O stands for Input/Output. This includes file, network, and device input/output.
  • I/O writes : The number of write operations performed by the process since it started.
  • I/O other : The number of non-read and non-write operations performed by the process since it started. For example, this includes control functions.
  • I/O read bytes : The total number of bytes read by the process since it started.
  • I/O write bytes : The total number of bytes written by the process since it started.
  • I/O other bytes : The total number of bytes used in non-read and non-write I/O operations since the process started.
  • Image path name : The full path to the process's executable file.
  • Command line : The exact command line the process was launched with, including the executable file and any command-line arguments.
  • Operating system context : The minimum operating system the program is compatible with if any information is included in the application's manifest file . For example, some applications might say "Windows Vista," some "Windows 7," and others "Windows 8.1". Most won't display anything in this column at all.
  • Platform : Whether this is a 32-bit or 64-bit process.
  • Elevated : Whether the process is running in elevated mode — in other words, with Administrator — permissions or not. You will see either "No" or "Yes" for each process.
  • UAC virtualization : Whether User Account Control virtualization is enabled for the process. This virtualizes the program's access to the registry and file system, letting programs designed for older versions of Windows run without Administrator access. Options include Enabled, Disabled, and Not Allowed — for processes that require system access.
  • Description : A human-readable description of the process from its .exe file. For example, chrome.exe has the description "Google Chrome," and explorer.exe has the description "Windows Explorer." This is the same name displayed on the Name column in the normal Processes tab.
  • Data execution prevention : Whether Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is enabled or not for the process. This is a security feature that helps protect applications from attacks .
  • Enterprise context : On domains, this shows what enterprise context an app is running in. It could be in an enterprise domain context with access to enterprise resources, a "Personal" context without access to work resources, or "Exempt" for Windows system processes.
  • Power throttling : Whether power throttling is enabled or disabled for a process. Windows automatically throttles certain applications when you're not using them to save battery power. You can control which applications are throttled from the Settings app .
  • GPU : The percentage of GPU resources used by the process — or, more specifically, the highest utilization across all GPU engines.
  • GPU engine : The GPU engine the process is using — or, more specifically, the GPU engine the process is using the most. See the GPU information on the Performance tab for a list of GPUs and their engines. For example, even if you only have one GPU, it likely has different engines for 3D rendering, encoding video, and decoding video.
  • Dedicated GPU memory : The total amount of GPU memory the process is using across all GPUs. GPUs have their own dedicated video memory that's built-in on discrete GPUs and a reserved portion of normal system memory on onboard GPUs.
  • Shared GPU memory : The total amount of system memory shared with the GPU the process is using. This refers to data stored in your system's normal RAM that's shared with the GPU, not data stored in your GPU's dedicated, built-in memory.

The Services tab in the Task Manager

The Services tab shows a list of the system services on your Windows system. These are background tasks that Windows runs, even when no user account is signed in. They're controlled by the Windows operating system. Depending on the service, it may be automatically started at boot or only when necessary.

Many services are part of Windows 10 itself. For example, the Windows Update service downloads updates and the Windows Audio service is responsible for sound. Other services are installed by third-party programs. For example, NVIDIA installs several services as part of its graphics drivers.

You shouldn't mess with these services unless you know what you're doing. But, if you right-click them, you'll see options to Start, Stop, or Restart the service. You can also select Search Online to perform a Bing search for information about the service online or "Go to Details" to show the process associated with a running service on the Details tab. Many services will have a " svchost.exe " process associated with them.

The Service pane's columns are:

  • Name : A short name associated with the service
  • PID : The process identifier number of the process associated with the service.
  • Description : A longer name that provides more information about what the service does.
  • Status : Whether the service is "Stopped" or "Running."
  • Group : The group the service is in, if applicable. Windows loads one service group at a time at startup. A service group is a collection of similar services that are loaded as a group.

Windows 10's Services management tool

For more information about these services, click the "Open Services" link at the bottom of the window. This Task Manager pane is just a less powerful services administration tool, anyway.

Process Explorer, Microsoft's powerful and free Task Manager alternative

If the built-in Windows Task Manager isn't powerful enough for you, we recommend Process Explorer . This is a free program from Microsoft; it's part of the SysInternals suite of useful system tools.

Process Explorer is packed with features and information not included in the Task Manager. You can view which program has a particular file open and unlock the file , for example. The default view also makes it easy to see which processes have opened which other processes. Check out our guide to pausing and resuming with Process Explorer to learn more.

  • Maintenance & Optimization

Windows 10 Task Manager Always On Top

Unlocking the power of windows 10 task manager.

Windows 10 is a powerhouse of features designed to enhance user productivity and system management. One of the most critical tools in this operating system is the Task Manager. It’s a versatile utility that allows users to monitor and manage system processes, applications, and services. However, when you’re troubleshooting or monitoring system performance, having the Task Manager always on top can be incredibly useful. This article will delve into the intricacies of keeping the Task Manager on top and how it can benefit your workflow.

Understanding the Task Manager’s Role

Before we explore the “Always On Top” feature, it’s essential to understand what the Task Manager is and what it does. The Task Manager is a system monitor program used to provide information about the processes and programs running on a computer, as well as the general status of the computer. Some of its key functions include:

  • Viewing active applications
  • Monitoring performance statistics
  • Checking network usage
  • Managing startup programs
  • Shutting down non-responsive tasks

These functionalities make the Task Manager an indispensable tool for both casual users and IT professionals.

Why Keep Task Manager Always On Top?

Having the Task Manager always on top can be particularly useful in several scenarios. For instance, if you’re running a resource-intensive application and want to monitor its impact on your system’s performance without switching windows, the “Always On Top” feature is invaluable. It’s also helpful when you’re troubleshooting an application that tends to go full screen or hijack focus from other windows.

Benefits of Always On Top

  • Real-time monitoring:  Keep an eye on system resources as you work on other tasks.
  • Efficient multitasking:  Manage tasks without the need to constantly switch between windows.
  • Immediate response:  Quickly end tasks or processes that are not responding or consuming too much memory.

Activating Always On Top in Task Manager

Enabling the “Always On Top” feature in Windows 10 Task Manager is straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your Task Manager stays in view at all times:

  • Press  Ctrl + Shift + Esc  or  Ctrl + Alt + Delete  and select Task Manager to open it.
  • Once the Task Manager is open, click on ‘Options’ in the menu bar.
  • In the drop-down menu, you’ll see ‘Always on top’. Click on it to enable the feature.
  • The checkmark next to ‘Always on top’ indicates that the feature is now active.

With these simple steps, the Task Manager will remain visible above all other windows, allowing for uninterrupted access.

Practical Use Cases for Always On Top

To better understand the practicality of the “Always On Top” feature, let’s explore some real-world scenarios where it proves to be particularly beneficial:

Scenario 1: Gaming and Resource Management

Imagine you’re playing a video game that’s known to be a significant drain on system resources. By keeping the Task Manager on top, you can monitor your CPU and GPU usage in real-time, ensuring that your system isn’t being pushed beyond its limits.

Scenario 2: Software Development and Debugging

As a software developer, you might be running multiple applications and services simultaneously. With the Task Manager always on top, you can keep an eye on memory leaks or processes that are consuming an unexpected amount of resources.

Scenario 3: Video Editing and Rendering

Video rendering can be a lengthy process that hogs system resources. By having the Task Manager on top, you can monitor the progress and system load, and quickly intervene if other processes start competing for resources.

Customizing Task Manager for Better Insights

Beyond keeping it always on top, customizing the Task Manager can provide you with better insights into your system’s performance. Here are some tips to tailor the Task Manager to your needs:

  • Right-click on any column header to add or remove data points such as CPU time, memory usage, disk activity, etc.
  • Use the ‘Performance’ tab to get a graphical representation of CPU, memory, disk, and network usage over time.
  • Under the ‘Startup’ tab, disable programs that you don’t need at startup to speed up your computer’s boot time.

Task Manager Alternatives with Always On Top Feature

While the built-in Task Manager is quite robust, there are third-party alternatives that also offer an “Always On Top” feature, along with other enhancements. Some popular options include Process Explorer, System Explorer, and AnVir Task Manager. These tools often provide more detailed information and additional functionality for power users.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, you might encounter issues with the Task Manager or the “Always On Top” feature. Here are some troubleshooting steps to resolve common problems:

  • If the Task Manager is not responding, try restarting it through the ‘Run’ dialog (Win + R) by typing ‘taskmgr’ and hitting Enter.
  • Ensure that no third-party software is interfering with the Task Manager’s functionality.
  • If the “Always On Top” feature is not working, check for any pending updates for Windows 10, as they may contain fixes for known issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i set other programs to be always on top like the task manager.

Yes, there are third-party utilities like “Always On Top” that can force most programs to stay on top of other windows.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to quickly enable or disable the Always On Top feature in Task Manager?

No, currently there is no dedicated keyboard shortcut for toggling the “Always On Top” feature in Task Manager. You have to manually select it from the ‘Options’ menu.

Does the Always On Top feature affect system performance?

The impact on system performance is negligible. The Task Manager is designed to be lightweight and should not cause any noticeable slowdown when used with the “Always On Top” feature enabled.

Can I use Task Manager on a second monitor and keep it always on top there?

Yes, you can drag the Task Manager to a second monitor and enable the “Always On Top” feature to keep it visible on that screen.

What should I do if the Task Manager stops responding?

If the Task Manager stops responding, you can restart it by pressing  Ctrl + Shift + Esc  to open a new instance, or by restarting your computer.

The Windows 10 Task Manager is a powerful tool that becomes even more potent with the “Always On Top” feature enabled. Whether you’re a gamer, developer, or just someone who likes to keep an eye on their system’s performance, this feature can significantly enhance your computing experience. By following the tips and insights provided in this article, you’ll be able to leverage the full potential of the Task Manager and maintain optimal control over your Windows 10 system.

Remember, while the Task Manager is a helpful utility, it’s also important to use it responsibly. Terminating system processes or applications without understanding their function can lead to system instability. Always ensure you know what a process does before deciding to end it.

With the knowledge you’ve gained today, you’re now equipped to use the Windows 10 Task Manager to its fullest extent, keeping it always on top and your productivity at its peak.

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How to make Task Manager on Windows 10 ‘Always on Top’.

Table of Contents

If you are using Windows 10 and quite often find that the task manager sometimes gets stuck behind Non-Responding games, apps, programs, etc. This article will show you how to force Task Manager into an always-on-top position. Allowing you to always have quick access to Windows most valuable tool.

make_task_manager_always_on_top

How to Pin the Task Manager to the Taskbar on Windows 10.

Even the freshest, cleanest installation of Windows 10 doesn’t guarantee an entirely stable working environment free of Task Manager intervention. More often than not games, apps, programs, and a range of other tools and clients will go rouge for absolutely no reason. Resulting in the Task Manager being called to action.

Although software can come back from Not Responding given a little time, most people are too impatient to wait for that to happen, especially on slow devices. Unfortunately, when called to action, the Task Manager can get lost or stuck behind frozen applications, which is why there is now a fantastic little option that allows you to force Alway on Top function for the Task Manager.

Related: How to Close Programs That Task Manager Can’t Close on Windows 10.

How do you make the Task Manager on Windows 10 open as Always on Top?

For whatever reason, the Task Manager on Windows 10 hasn’t been set to be always on top by default, so you’ll have to manually enable the feature instead. To begin open the Task Manager using your favourite method. Either Ctrl+Alt+Delete, from the taskbar, start menu, or whatever other way you prefer.

Once you have the Task Manager window open in front of you, click on Options located in the top ribbon menu next to File, then make sure the Always on top option is ticked. This will make sure that the Task Manager opens as the top item on your operating system whenever it is called. Allowing you quick and instant access to End Task should a program, game or app crash during use.

Although this should reduce your need to restart your computer when problems arise, it won’t completely resolve the issue. There’s always a chance you’ll still get stuck pending a restart.

windows_task_manager_always_on_top

On a side note...

If you are also someone who uses an Android device and would like to better secure the files, documents, images, and videos on your device. Make sure you check out the following article which shows you how to turn on Safe Folders within the Files by Google app. A new feature that lets you protect content with a PIN.

How to hide files safely and securely on Android using Google’s Safe Folder option.

Jascha Lucas

windows , task manager , windows 10

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How do I make the Windows 11 Taskbar always on top?

I cant seem to access my taskbar when it is hidden by auto-hide, and when I use the shortcuts, then switch to my tabs, it immediately disappears instead of going down. Every article I've read are for older windows versions, and use taskbar properties, but I don't know how to access taskbar properties on Windows 11, as right clicking it doesn't have all the options it used to.

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The very same issue has been bugging me for weeks. I originally thought it's a side-effect by Battlefield 2042's fullscreen mode (which sometimes crashes the ShellExperienceHost handling the regular Start Menu (but not the Search version accessible through Win+S), but only recently noticed it's actually (most likely) caused by the task bar no longer being always on top.

I'm pretty sure it hasn't been that way when Windows 11 released, but I might be wrong. It made me go back to the always visible task bar, since it's just annoying when you can't access anything with the bar not popping up (due to being behind other windows and the Start menu not always showing).

Guess I'm writing a small script to just manipulate the window style on my own…

I'm having this problem as well. The taskbar is frequently obscured by other windows which makes it quite unusable. Have experienced this ever since I upgraded to Windows 11, but I have not found any solution to it. When searching I find answers regarding moving the taskbar to the top of the screen, which has nothing to do with the problem I am experiencing.

I don't understand how this apparent bug is flying under the radar?!

It's becoming very apparent that Windows 11 is the new Windows 8, with changes no one ever asked for or wanted. Here's hoping Windows 12 will be the new Windows 10 where they try to fix most of their mistakes.

I had the same problem, and went to github to find solution and found someone that made a fix to atleast GeForce window broblem, so i don't have to turn it off ingame owerlay https://github.com/dechamps/RudeWindowFixer

I want to move the taskbar back to the bottom of the screen, since what i meant for always on top was on top of all windows. But when I change the regedit back to number 03, press ok, then restart, the taskbar remains on top of the screen. When I check the regedit again, i see that the number goes back to 01. What should i do?

I am having this same issue. All the sudden it just stopped showing up when I have windows open on full screen.

This worked for me:

https://windowsreport.com/windows-11-taskbar-always-on-top/

It is basically changing a registry value in:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects3

In "Settings"

On line 00000008, byte 5, change 03 to 01...

Then in Task Manager restart Windows Explorer.

same issue here, very annoying, worst when the keyboard covers the taskbar or you swipe up to see the taskbar but the start menu pops up, and cannot do anything before u close the stat menu. also most of the time must manually open the virtual keyboard when using this waste of money as a tablet. it has been my worst Microsoft experience

I've found the answer. I've seen another forum, and it seems to be a side effect of Nvidia's Game Overlay. Disabling Nvidia's Game Overlay will fix this. Here's a link to the post I found it on: https://superuser.com/questions/1163969/windows-10-taskbar-is-not-always-on-top

165835-image-2022-01-17-211508.png

Ahh! That's helpful! I've tried all kind of things, except disabling that overlay. However, it seems as the latest driver updated from last week fixed this, at least for me it seems to be working as expected right now.

Forgot to mention, the driver I'm talking about is version version 511.23 from 14th January 2022. This fixed it for me (at least for now). So maybe you want to give that a spin and if it helps, update/select your answer as the solution.

Sadly, that version still presents this problem to me, so I'm not sure if it's fully fixed yet.

You're right! Just had it happen again, but switching windows fixed it once again. It's clearly not fixed, but definitely better (at least for me).

Thank you TiredSoul-0538, the taskbar not staying on top of other windows was driving me crazy from the first day I upgraded win 10 to 11, I disabled Nvidia overlay and it fixed my problem.

Thanks. That fixed my issue in windows 11. Let me know if a new update fixes this issue.

Aha, my hero and savior! feels good to finally see my taskbar again thanks a lot for the help! you've made someones UI 10x better

THANKS TO TIRED SOUL-0538. Nvidia Overlay pushing Windows Task Bar to NOT be on Top was REALLY annoying and iniconvenient. Turning it off fixed the problem isntantly.

Yes! This was exactly the cause of the issue for me on Windows 11!

Thank you! This fixed it. Though someone else pointed out that you DON'T need to entirely disable GeForce Experience, just open the overlay and go to Settings > HUD Layout and turn all the HUD indicators OFF.

This is the answer! TY:)

You beauty!

202891-image-2022-05-17-19-33-42.png

Ha, I was getting ticked off, this was the issue for me!

Thank you! This works without having to disable Nvidia GeForce Experience entirely.

This worked like a charm dude, thanks so much!

This was the issue for me and disabling performance overlay fixed it. You don't have to alltogether disable geforce experience in-game overlay, but just the performance indicator seems to have fixed it. DUMB.

This also worked for me. Nvidia needs to fix this.

Wow you solved it. Thankyou so much.

Hi @TiredSoul

You can check in the article below how to customize the taskbar in windows 11 and the different options you have to do this:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/configuration/customize-taskbar-windows-11

You also have the option to move the taskbar to the top using regedit, follow the instructions below:

1) Search for regedit in the Start menu and open Registry Editor.

2) Navigate to the key below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects3​

3) Right-click on the StuckRects3 key and select the “Export” option. Save a REG file to your desktop with an easy-to-identify name, such as bkp_registro_win11. This file is a backup of the registry key that will be modified, which you can restore if something goes wrong.

4) Double click on the “Settings” value on the right side.

5) In line 0008, place the mouse cursor in the fifth column, before the value 03 and press the “Del” key to delete the value 03. Then type 01 in the same place and click “OK” and close the editor .

6) Finally, restart Windows Explorer to apply the change. Open the Task Manager with "Ctrl + Shift + Esc", right click in Windows Explorer and select the option "Restart."

7) Once this is done, the taskbar will appear at the top of the Windows 11 desktop.

If you want to return the Windows 11 taskbar to the bottom of the desktop, just double click on the REG file you exported and finally restart Windows Explorer.

--If the reply is helpful, please Upvote and Accept as answer--

Uh, I'm pretty sure "always on top" here refers to "make the Task Bar overlap/in front of all other windows". There's no extra option for that, since it's been like that since Windows 95 (as long as it's not auto-hiding right now), but in Windows 11 this has been broken for some time now. At least for me and apparently a few others.

@Mario Liebisch is correct. By always on top, I meant always on top of other applications, not at the top of the screen.

Thanks, this is helpful however when I did this I lost the view when I open more than one file, ex. if I open 3 excel file I lose the view and when I click on those file nothing appear and I use the Alt Tap to navigate between my files

This works great only for main monitor. If you have two or more monitors, the taskbar stills on bottom on them.

I agree - this how to is not giving a solution to the problem. I looked for a setting somewhere to ensure the taskbar is always visible - i.e. always in front or always on top (not position on the screen). There is no setting. The work around is to hit the windows button on the keyboard and this pops the taskbar to the front.

it seems to me that "stuckrects3" isnt available on the path you mentioned. is there anything i can still do?

and startmenu animation continues comes from of down to up ....

For dual screen setups, head over to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MMStuckRects3. Look for a item named SAM0D37#5&3664bf47&0&UID4354 and follow the same steps as above.

Thank you!!

Regedit worked like a charm.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue in this Feedback Hub thread and promised a solution to be included starting with build 22567 .

For the time being, you can also use this tool , which runs in background and tries to fiddle with windows styles to avoid the issue. I've been using it for quite some time and only some games bug out the task bar, but this can be fixed by hitting the Windows key once or twice to make the start menu pop up and close. After that the cursor makes it reappear as expected.

Tapping the Windows key pops the Taskbar over top of a window such as a video that is set to fullscreen.

I have the taskbar set to show only the icons for the apps that are open on 'that' monitor. I might have 5 windows open on one monitor and three on another monitor. When I run a video fullscreen the video window covers the taskbar, and I can't access the other 4 apps I have on the monitor. I was having to take my video out of fullscreen. MarioLiebisch's recommendation to hit the Windows key solved my issue!

I have tried mucking around with the regedit and followed the online articles and videos but still the new updates on the Windows 11 revert back to the defaults. I now absolutely hate the windows 11 ! hate how the new windows 11 doesn't allow you to move your task bar to the top. Having the task bar at the bottom is not ergonomic and it hurt my neck. What happened to having the option to customize your windows

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Make any windowed application 'Always On Top' without keyboard shortcut?

I've checked the previous question here , but unfortunately:

  • DeskPin mostly doesn't work since Windows 8, and it still doesn't work in Windows 10
  • PowerMenu hasn't been updated since 2002, and does not seem to work in Windows 10
  • AutoHotKey and AlwaysOnTopMaker requires a keyboard, there is no visual indication that a window is marked as Always on Top or not

I found a program called TurboTop that can do this from system tray, but in Windows 10, TurboTop list all programs that is not even running in its list, twice. It is a mess.

WindowPinner does it better, but it still include not running programs in the list.

Is there any solution that work GUI way without requiring keyboard, like long pressing/right click on title bar and select Always on Top? If you're used to Ubuntu Linux you know this functionality.
  • window-manager
  • desktop-customization

beppe9000's user avatar

  • 1 Pinwin is some kind of spiritual successor to deskpin. –  mirh Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 16:51
  • DeskPins works well in Windows 10 and 8.x. –  G4mo Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 22:28

11 Answers 11

Dexpot does that, it enables a "Clever use of title bars":

The title bar as well as the minimize, maximize and close buttons can be assigned with further functions (Role up, Minimize to system tray, etc.).

Always on top is one of the functions. You could, for example, make a right click on the maximize button activate the always on top.

Anderson Nascimento Nunes's user avatar

  • 8 Dexpot is free for personal use only. –  John Dvorak Commented May 18, 2016 at 16:51
  • 3 Just want to add a better option for this, you can use AquaSnap, it is even easier since you just have to shake the window to make it always on top instead of right clicking/long tap. –  Nur Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 8:14
  • 1 @Nur this is also personal use only and useless if you have to bring your own hardware to work. –  John Dvorak Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 0:42
  • 2 @JanDvorak Take a look at my answer - it's GPL, free to use as you please (shameless plug: I'm the author) –  Joshua Parnell Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 9:08
  • 2 @JoshuaParnell Unless it can insert itself into the window's context menu, I'm sticking with Turbotop, for the reasons outlined in the comments to your answer. –  John Dvorak Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 11:42

Download the AlwaysOnTop installer and install it (choose the latest release). Run the app from Start -> All Programs -> AlwaysOnTop. It sits in the system tray. Click the icon in the tray, click "AlwaysOnTop", and then click the window you want to stay on top (the cursor will be the cross while waiting for the window).

Full disclosure, I am the app author and this was built using .Net (C#). Full source can be found at the link as well.

Joshua Parnell's user avatar

  • 37 "Download this. Run the exe, ..." almost has the same effect on me as if you'd said "Take this syringe and inject the contents into your blood stream ..." –  olafure Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:10
  • 4 it's compiled as 32 bit - if you don't trust the compiled executable (and I'm not insinuating you don't, just putting this here for future readers), it is possible to decompile an executable made with AutoIt into the source au3 file (which can be read with notepad, notepad++, etc). –  Joshua Parnell Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 1:36
  • 3 @srgb I wholeheartedly agree. I believe this to be because it is built in AutoIt. I have recently increased its functionality (slightly), but because AutoIt applications' GUI's require a constant while loop to remain active, this can consume CPU as more functions are added. I plan to rewrite this app in C# as I have time. –  Joshua Parnell Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 21:44
  • 3 @srgb does this look a little better? prnt.sc/dpmoei Rewritten in C#, as promised. I haven't had near as much time to do this as I had hoped, holidays and all. –  Joshua Parnell Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 8:47
  • 6 There is a pretty big issue with this app, on Windows 10 it causes the keyboard to stop accepting input likely due to trying to register a keyboard hook. See Keyboard not working while using it. #15 . –  user692942 Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:47

This is off the OP's original question, but seems like a good place to share information about 'always on top' utilities, even if it does require a few clicks.

From a programming standpoint, writing a simple utility like this is a very simple exercise. Maybe that's why there are so few solutions out there, or perhaps why there are so many home grown ones.

It's hard for me to trust utilities that are downloaded from somebody's Google Drive or Dropbox account. But I do trust Nir Sofer of Nirsoft . He has a tiny app called WinLister where we can set a window to be always on top. It's not very user friendly if you do it often, but I only occasionally need to pin a window to the top, so it works for me.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/winlister.html

Baodad's user avatar

  • 1 I like that you reasoned why this simple feature is missing from pro apps but so common in home grown apps. That helps explain why apps for this feature may be hard to find from more reputable software companies and why the apps you do find make you cringe with virus fear. Also, I can confirm that this app suggestion does work with Windows 10 Store apps. –  Thomas Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 3:04
  • 1 winlister stops working the instant I open it. Both x64 and x86 version, even as admin. Win 10. –  lucidbrot Commented May 27, 2017 at 17:17
  • works for me on windows server 2016 64 bit. thank you! –  mit Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 14:12
  • 2 Make sure to set compatibility mode to Windows 8 when you are on Windows 10. –  Seva Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 8:40

You can use AutoHotkey and make a script with just a single line of code:

Ctrl + Space Will toggle a window to stay on top.

Have a look at the full syntax:

WinSet, AlwaysOnTop , OnOffToggle, WinTitle, WinText, ExcludeTitle, ExcludeText

A activates WinTitle A which means the Active Window .

Read more on Winset command here: https://autohotkey.com/docs/commands/WinSet.htm

If you're unfamiliar with AutoHotkey, download it from here: https://www.autohotkey.com/

And learn to use it: https://autohotkey.com/docs/Tutorial.htm

Explaining AutoHotkey would not be relative to this answer, and the tutorial link will explain much better than I can.

Using a hotkey for toggling AlwaysOnTop is the most convenient, but if you intent to not use your keyboard, here's a GUI way to do this since it was requested:

Just right click on the Autohotkey script icon on your taskbar, and click "Toggle Always On Top".

Shayan's user avatar

  • Also check itechtics.com/10-tools-to-always-on-top-any-app-in-windows-10 for more. –  Shayan Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 14:47
  • Confirmed this works as expected. Thanks for an elegant solution. –  7h3rAm Commented May 16, 2020 at 13:51
  • 1 OP wanted a solution that didn't require a keyboard shortcut. –  Steam gamer Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 18:21
  • @Steamgamer OP got an answer 4 years ago. –  Shayan Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 19:11
  • 1 Didn't realize, but this still doesn't answer the actual question, which some have come to find, –  Steam gamer Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 13:20

I have been using VirtuaWin since many years for this. It allows me to middle click on the title-bar of any window to make it stay 'always on top'. Works fine on win 10. Free, open source.

charsi's user avatar

  • This work great! Thanks, but the problem is it requires middle click which require wheeled mouse, anyway to change it to right click (integrate with default context menu) so it can be performed with touchpad or directly on the screen? –  Nur Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 6:19

With CClose , you can hold left click on a window's title bar to toggle it always-on-top. Simple as that.

RandomMeow's user avatar

Another great portable&freeware tool from Nirsoft - NirCMD - allows to set top-most state via command line as in the following sample, making active foreground window sit on top till it is closed (or returned to normal via sending "0") -

Best combined with a timeout, command will wait a bit (2 seconds) till you switch back to the desired window -

Personally, I use an awesome launcher ControlPad that sits in tray and waits for my action. I binded a dot . on my keypad to make any window on top (following command is specific for that launcher app only!) and double dot to disable that state

This NirCMD utility is very handy in many other occasions, so while it is already present why not employ it for this use case?) It really did help me!

Anton S.'s user avatar

Yes, try WindowTop from here: http://windowtop.info/

from softpedia review (source: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/WindowTop.shtml ) :

there are several functions at your disposal. These are accessed from a new menu attached to every window’s title bar. Menu options only appear on mouseover, and the container can be moved across the title bar.

It works really well on windows 10

gil123's user avatar

You can use maComfort .

After installing, in addition to many features, you can middle mouse click on the title bar and choose the "always on top" option. You can disable it the same way.

Gareth's user avatar

This perhaps doesn't exactly address OP's request, but Stick-It! is a great option for keeping certain windows on-top of others.

Key features:

  • Works with Windows 10 (tested, even though the landing page for the software doesn't state as such)
  • System tray controls
  • Doesn't retain on-top window settings through log out/restart/shut down

Windows are selected to keep on-top by right clicking on the system tray icon the software sets up, selecting "Stick-It!", and then simply clicking anywhere in the window of choice, which wiggles the window side to side for a second or two.

G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica''s user avatar

Again using AHK, a similar solution like @Shayan purposed, but a better version given that you don't want shortcuts involved.

Meow's user avatar

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task manager always on top

IMAGES

  1. Turn On or Off Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 10

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  2. How to Turn on 'Always on Top' for Task Manager in Windows 10?

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  3. How to keep Task Manager always on top in Windows 11/10

    task manager always on top

  4. How to Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11

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  5. How to Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11

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  6. How to keep Task Manager always on top in Windows 10

    task manager always on top

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  2. Explore Hidden Task Manager Features and Its Customizations

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  4. How to have task manager always show on top(windows 11)

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  6. When your manager always pins the errors on the team..😤🚫 #WorkLife #fyp #startup #creativeideas

COMMENTS

  1. How to Make Windows 11's Task Manager "Always on Top"

    Learn how to enable the always-on-top mode for the redesigned Task Manager in Windows 11. This will help you launch the Task Manager above other windows and escape frozen apps.

  2. How to Turn on "Always on Top" for Windows 10's Task Manager

    Learn how to keep Task Manager visible on screen while troubleshooting your PC with one simple setting. Follow the steps to activate or deactivate the "Always on Top" option in the full Task Manager window.

  3. Turn On or Off Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 10

    Learn four different ways to make Task Manager always on top while open in Windows 10. You can use keyboard shortcuts, Task Manager options, notification icon, or registry editor.

  4. How to keep Task Manager always on top in Windows 11/10

    In Windows 11, you can enable or disable Always On Top using the Task Manager Settings as follows: Open Task Manager. Click on the Settings icon on the bottom left side. The Task Manager Settings ...

  5. How to Make Task Manager Always on Top on Windows

    Learn how to keep Task Manager visible on top of other windows on Windows 10 and 11 using settings or PowerToys. This guide also shows how to change the Task Manager startup page and use keyboard shortcuts.

  6. How to Keep Task Manager Always on Top on Windows 11

    Learn how to make Task Manager visible on top of other apps by using settings or Microsoft PowerToys. This way, you can easily monitor tasks, processes, and performance on Windows 11.

  7. Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11

    Learn how to make Task Manager stay on top of other windows on your desktop in Windows 10 and Windows 11. Follow the steps using keyboard shortcuts, Options menu, or notification icon.

  8. How to Always Show Task Manager on Top of Other Open Windows

    Open the Run dialog box, type taskmgr, and hit Enter. Once you open the Task Manager, go to the bottom right corner of your screen and click on the small upward arrow icon. Look for the Task Manager icon and right-click on it. Select Always on top from the context menu and the Task Manager window will remain on top of all other windows.

  9. 5 Ways to Make a Window Always-on-Top on Windows 10 or Windows 11

    Programs that accept plug-ins may also have an always-on-top plugin you can install. The Windows Task Manager is one built-in application that has this option on Windows 10 and Windows 11, for example. To make the Task Manager always-on-top on Windows 10, click Options > > Always on Top in the Task Manager window. (If you don't see the Options ...

  10. How to Turn Task Manager Always on Top on or Off in ...

    Learn three ways to make Task Manager always on top when in use: Options, taskbar icon, or keyboard shortcut. Watch a video tutorial or follow the steps with screenshots.

  11. How to Enable or Disable Task Manager's "Always On Top" Feature in

    While the Task Manager app is opened, right-click the app's icon on the Taskbar (or Taskbar overflow), then select "Alway on top." Windows task manager is always on top or off. Alternatively, select Settings at the bottom left of the Task Manager app. Windows 11 task manager app settings button. On the Settings pane, under Windows ...

  12. How to keep Task Manager always on top in Windows 11/10

    If you enable Always on top mode in Task Manager in Windows 11/10, the Task Manager window will launch and stay on top of all other windows on the desktop, u...

  13. How to Enable Windows 11 Task Manager Always on Top

    1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Task Manager. 2. Click the Settings gear icon at the bottom left of the Task Manager. 3. Under Windows Management, tick the Always on top checkbox. There you have it. Enabling Always on top is a straightforward process.

  14. How to Make Windows 11 Task Manager "Always on Top"

    To make the Task Manager in Windows 11 always appear on top of other windows, follow these steps: Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Start button or Taskbar, and then selecting "Task Manager," or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.; Once Task Manager is open, click on "More details" at the bottom left corner if it's not already expanded to show more information.

  15. How to Keep the Task Manager Always on Top in Windows 10?

    Step 1. To make Task Manager remain on top of other applications, launch Task Manager in the More details view mode. Step 2. Now, press Alt + O from the keyboard. It automatically opens the Options menu. After that, press the A key from the keyboard. The Task Manager immediately comes in always on top mode. To disable or turn off the always-on ...

  16. How to Enable or Disable Always On Top for Task Manager in Windows 11

    Step 2. Right-click on the Task Manager icon on the taskbar notification area, and select or deselect "Always on top" to enable or disable Always On Top for Task Manager. Conclusion. In conclusion, Task Manager is an essential tool in Windows 11 that allows users to monitor and manage their system's performance, processes, and services.

  17. Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

    Always On Top: Make the Task Manager window itself "always on top" of other windows on your desktop, letting you see it at all times. Open File Location: Open a File Explorer window showing the location of the program's .exe file. Search Online: Perform a Bing search for the program's application name and file name. This will help you see ...

  18. Windows 10 Task Manager Always On Top

    With the Task Manager always on top, you can keep an eye on memory leaks or processes that are consuming an unexpected amount of resources. Scenario 3: Video Editing and Rendering. Video rendering can be a lengthy process that hogs system resources. By having the Task Manager on top, you can monitor the progress and system load, and quickly ...

  19. PowerToys Always On Top utility for Windows

    When you activate Always On Top (default: ⊞ Win+Ctrl+T), the utility pins the active window above all other windows. The pinned window stays on top, even when you select other windows. Unpin a window. To unpin a window pinned by Always On Top, you can either use the activation shortcut again or close the window. Settings

  20. How to make Task Manager on Windows 10 'Always on Top'

    Either Ctrl+Alt+Delete, from the taskbar, start menu, or whatever other way you prefer. Once you have the Task Manager window open in front of you, click on Options located in the top ribbon menu next to File, then make sure the Always on top option is ticked. This will make sure that the Task Manager opens as the top item on your operating ...

  21. How do I make the Windows 11 Taskbar always on top?

    6) Finally, restart Windows Explorer to apply the change. Open the Task Manager with "Ctrl + Shift + Esc", right click in Windows Explorer and select the option "Restart." 7) Once this is done, the taskbar will appear at the top of the Windows 11 desktop.

  22. windows 10

    Download the AlwaysOnTop installer and install it (choose the latest release). Run the app from Start -> All Programs -> AlwaysOnTop. It sits in the system tray. Click the icon in the tray, click "AlwaysOnTop", and then click the window you want to stay on top (the cursor will be the cross while waiting for the window).

  23. Task Manager Should Default to -Always on Top-

    For most users, Task Manager is not a tool that needs to be used very often. If the task manager is always on top by default, and the user only connects to one external display device, the task manager on top will interfere with the display of other applications. This may restrict the user's daily work efficiency and reduce the user experience.