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Windows XP Misc - Cannot Enable the Task Manager

SUMMARY: Does CTRL+ALT+DELETE fail to display the Windows XP Task Manager? Perhaps it has been disabled.

By pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE on a Windows XP machine you will normally bring up the Windows Task Manager. This displays the current CPU usage, the list of running programs, and the list of running processes on your system.

The Windows Task Manager is very useful if programs stall on your machine and you cannot close them. However, performing this technique may cause you to lose unsaved data, or it could corrupt files still opened by the application, so be careful!

Right-click on a stuck program in the "Applications" tab or on a stuck process name in the "Processes" tab and "End Task" or "End Process".

Though this doesn't work 100% of the time, closing processes this way sometimes keeps applications from hanging forever and potentially crashing the system.

In some circumstances the Windows Task Manager may not function. If you are on a networked machine or sharing your machine with others and you are not an Administrator, you may be prevented access to this feature. However, if you are the Administrator of a machine and still cannot access the Windows Task Manager, Microsoft has a couple of suggestions you can try to restore its functionality:

"Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator" error message -


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