Chapter 44. Managing Programs and Processes

You are no doubt familiar with the terms application and program. These two terms describe program code that, whether one component or several components, serve a specific function. For example, a word processor is an application. Some applications, however, comprise multiple processes running at the same time. In addition, a process can comprise multiple threads of execution, each performing a specific task. Though you typically concern yourself with programs, you sometimes need to think about the processes that make up a program, particularly if one of those processes fails. That's where Task Manager comes into play.

Task Manager is a program included with Windows 7 for viewing and managing running programs and processes. You can use it to seek out performance bottlenecks, close hung programs and processes without restarting the system, and more.

Getting to Know Task Manager

Task Manager is a program that lets you view and manage running programs and processes, as well as view performance data for your computer and network. You can start Task Manager in several ways:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and click Start Task Manager.

  • Right-click the clock or an empty spot on the taskbar and choose Start Task Manager.

  • Click Start and enter taskmgr.


If a program is hung (frozen), right-clicking the taskbar ...

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