CTRL+ALT+DEL = Task Manager in Vista?

Why can’t the ole three-finger shuffle directly bring up the task manager in vista like it did in XP? Here is how to find your friendly task manager in vista with one shortcut.


CTRL+ALT+DEL no longer brings up the task manager in vista. Sorry.

Since vista is is of the NT lineage, this has been changed to the NT behavior. Who know why. Complain and whine. Complain and whine.

Or just learn the new keyboard combination for the task manager:

CTRL+SHIFT+ESC

Go ahead and practice it a few times now.

You can also right click on the task bar to pull up the task manager as well…

vista_task_manager_task_bar

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

38 Responses to “CTRL+ALT+DEL = Task Manager in Vista?”

  1. October 26, 2008 at 5:24 pm, cal said:

    I’ve tried both and neither works!!

    Reply

  2. November 08, 2008 at 11:06 am, microsoft hater said:

    I hate microsoft.
    It’s just one of the examples of : “use the computer how we tell you or else!”
    if you are use to CTRL+ALT+DELETE there is no option to make it open the task manager again, microsoft thinks it’s best that you press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, and if you oppose, sucks for you.

    Reply

  3. November 09, 2008 at 1:44 am, Joey said:

    I hate that they changed the keyboard shortcut, but thanks for letting me know about the new one…although I should really be thanking Google lol :P

    Reply

  4. November 09, 2008 at 1:45 am, Joey said:

    One good thing about the new shortcut is that you can do it with your left hand ONLY, which means that you can keep your right hand on the mouse. I hated that I had to use both hands for Ctrl-Alt-Del.

    I still hate having to get used to the change though.

    Reply

    • July 08, 2011 at 4:37 am, Lord_Arco1 said:

      — “One good thing about the new shortcut is that you can do it with your left hand ONLY, which means that you can keep your right hand on the mouse. I hated that I had to use both hands for Ctrl-Alt-Del.

      I still hate having to get used to the change though. ” —

      Haha you could still use just one hand for ctrl+alt+del if you use the right side ctrl+alt instead of the left ^^
      You can easily reach del from there with the same hand.

      Reply

    • July 08, 2011 at 4:37 am, Lord_Arco1 said:

      — “One good thing about the new shortcut is that you can do it with your left hand ONLY, which means that you can keep your right hand on the mouse. I hated that I had to use both hands for Ctrl-Alt-Del.

      I still hate having to get used to the change though. ” —

      Haha you could still use just one hand for ctrl+alt+del if you use the right side ctrl+alt instead of the left ^^
      You can easily reach del from there with the same hand.

      Reply

  5. December 04, 2008 at 6:34 am, cron said:

    Shortcut works for me, thank you very much! It’s even the same in Windows 7.

    Reply

  6. January 09, 2009 at 7:44 pm, Jay said:

    Is there a way to change the default save location for the Process Memory Dumps from vista’s Task Manager?

    Reply

  7. February 09, 2009 at 9:51 pm, up4change said:

    Brilliant…. thanks for this, I’m happy again! As for those whining about change, life would be exceptionally dull without it, so get out there-go on now… and embrace it, go for a drive in a car or maybe turn on your computer ? either that or get back on your donkey with your abacus but quit whining whatever you do.

    Reply

    • August 16, 2010 at 3:30 am, goldwinger said:

      Change for the sake of change is foolish.

      Reply

  8. February 28, 2009 at 1:27 am, Matt said:

    simple as lol

    Reply

  9. March 06, 2009 at 5:51 pm, Arsnof said:

    Wait… what? Why didn’t I know this sooner?! Thank you, internet person!

    Reply

  10. March 27, 2009 at 6:34 am, schwab said:

    thank-you! i’ve had a few programs crash on me and ctr-alt-dlt wasn’t working. hard resets suck.

    Reply

  11. April 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm, gail said:

    WOW! I LOVE YOU–this has driven me NUTS!

    Reply

  12. May 16, 2009 at 8:29 pm, evo' said:

    Great! Thanks.

    Reply

  13. July 07, 2009 at 7:44 am, pubaction said:

    I think this is much better, because you only need one hand to do this.

    Just keep practicing it and very soon you gonna love it.

    Also in most keyboards or laptops the Del key is always in a different location.

    But these keys are mostly in fixed location, however the ctrl key could be the exception.

    Reply

  14. July 08, 2009 at 9:00 pm, rose said:

    ah, much better. thanks!

    Reply

  15. July 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm, jim bo said:

    neither work and i cant even click anything on the task bar for sum reason:/

    Reply

  16. July 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm, Anonymous said:

    That is a virus, try to make a system restore since last time you open task manager without problem, if you don’t remember, try more time to be sure it will fix it, remember, if you install something after the day you choose to restore your computer, will be uninstales from the registry, so means that them doesn’t will run!!!! but you will still have it on the computer, you don’t will lose any documents, 100% sure.

    Reply

  17. August 01, 2009 at 2:25 pm, ReactOS said:

    That is lame & not a solution, I don’t like or want to press Ctrl+Shift+Esc (too many keys on one hand), I want to press Ctrl+Alt+Del & get Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt with left hand, Del with right)…it would be fine if they were flipped tho…

    Ctrl+Shift+Esc = “That Screen” (What Vista does now for Ctrl+Alt+Del)
    Ctrl+Alt+Del = Task Freaking Manager

    Heck even if Ctrl+Alt+Ins were Task Manager it would be better, Ctrl+Alt+Ins is alot closer to Del, to be able “to get used to” (conform much?)…to be clear, either of these (or a option somewhere to, um, CHOOSE) would be good/fine…

    Ctrl+Alt+Del = Task Manager
    Ctrl+Alt+Ins = “That Screen”

    …OR…

    Ctrl+Alt+Del = “That Screen”
    Ctrl+Alt+Ins = Task Manager

    I may see if AutoHotkey can help me here, if I succeed, I will post a link to a script here, to put the CHOICE back into the USERS hands!

    Reply

  18. August 15, 2009 at 5:19 am, usws said:

    Needing to click through to open the task manager makes it so hard to close unresponsive programs especially when Vista slows downs as well. Thanks for the tip.

    Reply

  19. November 08, 2009 at 6:58 pm, lazycoder said:

    Thanks mate I dint know abt the Ctrl+Shift+Esc nice info, better than bringing up the vista options screen

    Reply

  20. November 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm, Anonymous said:

    you are the greatest

    Reply

  21. November 20, 2009 at 8:56 pm, Name said:

    Thank you

    Reply

  22. December 01, 2009 at 10:58 am, Anonymous said:

    if you have vista you can do so “open run from start menu and write, regedit, then push on HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then choose software,then microsoft, then windows, then current version,then policies, then system, then change task maneger from default to enable.”

    Reply

    • October 12, 2010 at 2:57 am, eddie said:

      Ooooh!! ANOTHER freaking dumba55 registry hack? Say it isn’t so! Imagine the f@% morons at micro$oft putting this in an option menu somewhere… ah, nope.

      If the fools at micro$oft made a car, each year something different would be changed.

      In this year’s model, the brake pedal is in the trunk. GET USED TO IT you stinking sheeple! We’re Micro$oft, after all, and we can do no wrong. Ask Hack_Vista, for example, and s/he’ll tell you what an idiot you are.

      Reply

  23. December 02, 2009 at 5:12 pm, Anonymous said:

    Awesome! Thanks!

    Reply

  24. February 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm, csaba said:

    oh wow, nice! I am no longer whining! thanks (:

    Reply

  25. June 05, 2010 at 3:42 pm, Estee said:

    I have Vista Home Premium and I access Task Manager with CTRL + ALT + DEL with no problem. But right clicking on the desktop doesn’t bring it up in the menu box that pops up. So one can still get task manager with the short cut. I do.

    Reply

  26. June 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm, Anonymous Coward said:

    Thanks. I was really mad about this for a couple of weeks. I’ve reached the point at my tweaking hierarchy in adapting to the new Windows when it’s come time for me to address this one, and I was led to this page. What a nice solution… On my laptop’s keyboard, ctrl+shift+esc is actually a bit more ergonomic, using the right hand for ctrl+shift. I actually like it better. I expect it might take some time to recondition myself though. Anyway, thanks for the tip.

    Reply

  27. July 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm, bodo said:

    Te combination CTRL+SHIFT+ESC Works in Windows XP Too!

    Reply

  28. August 16, 2010 at 3:29 am, GoldWinger said:

    Gotta love Microsoft and their “we must protect you from yourself” attitude.

    I screwed up Task Manager trying to get Ctrl-Alt-Del to work as I am used to. I went from Me to XP and Ctrl-Alt-Del opened TaskMgr for me. I used NT for about a week in 93 and wasn’t impressed so I never looked back.

    Anyway, I was asking about straightening out TaskMgr on another forum and most of what I got from the “gurus” was not help about my problem but lectures about how TaskMan has always started with Ctrl-Shift-Esc. I guess if you were born in 1995 that is true.

    Microsoft keeps adding stuff that is useless to the home user or even the small business owner. How many people really need multiple users on a PC? Or passwords outside of the office?

    There should be an install option to say, “I don’t want or need security crap.”

    Also why do they change things like Media Player? 12 is nothing like 11. They trumpeted the mini-taskbar player and now that’s gone.

    Sorry . .. I’m starting to rant.

    Reply

  29. December 27, 2010 at 3:41 am, Anonymous said:

    Do it twice. like Alt +Ctrl [then while holding alt +ctrl, press delete twice.] , it should bring you to this thing where it says switch user, etc, at the bottom is start task manager click that, it’ll show this weird thing running but look at the tabs and click applications, and there you go,Task manager. takes a while to get there but it works :)

    Reply

  30. February 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm, n0s said:

    Doesn’t work. In a fullscreen application in W7, CTRL-SHIFT-ESC minimizes the window, hides the mouse pointer and does NOT open the task manager. It only works if you are already on the desktop.

    Reply

  31. November 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm, Thoracias said:

    Running Vista and I was always able to open Task Manager with the old Control-Alt-Del until last week. (There WAS a Microsoft update though.)
    Now TM won’t open no matter what I do. It SAYS it’s running in the task bar but only shows the CP usage icon. I can’t actually SEE task manager and make changes. Any help appreciated!

    Reply

  32. August 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm, Parash Rai said:

    my system was working slow so i went to the Windows Task Manager and was deleting the programs running in the back ground and suddenly the screen went blank and only the Ctrl, Altr & Delete buttons are working i have tried to Boot my computer by pressing F8 key while restarting and booting the computer from the Last Known Good Configuration but it does not work can anyone help he my email is loverboyparash@gmail.com Thanks

    Reply

  33. August 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm, Parash Rai said:

    hi everyone I am using a Windows 7 Ultimate OS in my computer and some days back while working on my computer, my computer was working slowly so i went to Windows Task Manager to end task of some programs running in the back ground and while doing so my computer screen went black and the key board does not work except for the Ctrl, Alter & Delete button which takes me to the Windows Task manager can anyone help me I E mail ID is loverboyparash@gmail.com Thanks

    Reply

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