You can’t launch Task Manager from the Taskbar in Windows 11

Windows 11 Task Manager

You could be forgiven for thinking that two features that have the word “Task” in their name would play nicely with one another. Apparently not.

Redmond is introducing all sorts of changes with Windows 11, and the stingiest ones relate to the UI.

User interface is something that makes or breaks an operating system. Or, any software product for that matter. People are used to how certain things are done in Windows, and changing the workflow often leads to outcries.

As Microsoft has learned over the years.

Or, has it?

One example that highlights this fact concerns the Task Manager, which is a must-have tool in the arsenal of pro users that want to keep an eye on any processes that hang their PC. The applet also comes in handy to keep tabs on the overall hardware situation of a system.

In previous versions of Windows, launching this tool was as simple as right-clicking the Taskbar, which offered a context-menu with a direct shortcut for the Task Manager.

In Windows 11, however, this option is gone.

Windows 11 Taskbar Menu


Just like that!

Instead, you just have this little menu in its place. That’s because Microsoft has disabled the context menu for the Taskbar in order to keep things neat and simple. But this comes at the expense of usability, as launching Task Manager via this route is no longer possible.

In fact, this suggestion in the Feedback Hub calls for the company to bring back the shortcut in the Taskbar context menu.

Windows 11 Task Manager Menu

Of course, the Task Manager has not gone anywhere in Windows 11 — just the process to invoke it has disappeared. One of the process, rather. You can simply do this thing on the Start Menu itself, as the shortcut to the applet is available there.

Or, you can also use the dedicated hotkey combination in Windows 11 to bring up the Task Manager.

Simply press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys at once to launch it.