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How to Add Task Manager to the Windows Vista System Tray

The Task Manager is a handy tool that lets you monitor the way applications are using your computer's resources and close "frozen" programs. You can place the Task Manager in the Windows Vista system tray if you want to keep it handy while you work but you don't want to have it open on your desktop all the time.

  1. Start Task Manager in any convenient way.

    You can bring up the Task Manager in many ways.

    • You can click Start, type taskmgr in the Start Search text box, and press Enter.

    • You can use the Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard shortcut and then select Start Task Manager from the logon screen menu.

    • You can choose Start→Control Panel→System and Maintenance→Performance Information and Tools. From the resulting dialog box, click the link at the bottom marked Advanced Tools. Then click Open Task Manager.

  2. Choose Options and check the line marked Hide When Minimized.

  3. Click the Minimize button (which looks like an underscore) in the upper-right corner.

    When you minimize Task Manager in this way, it doesn’t appear in the Vista taskbar like other programs do. Instead, a bouncing green CPU utilization bar appears in the system tray, near the clock.


Double-click the Task Manager icon in the notification area, and the full Task Manager appears.

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