[Tip] Tweak and Customize Windows 8 Task Manager Functionality

If you are using Windows 8 or if you are regularly reading this blog, you might be aware of the new redesigned Task Manager present in Windows 8. Microsoft has changed lots of things in Windows 8 Task Manager which make this new Task Manager better and more advanced than the old Task Manager present in previous Windows versions.

Windows 8 Task Manager shows better details of running processes, allows you to disable startup items and also allows you to directly restart Windows Explorer process which is a very useful and a welcomed feature of Windows 8 Task Manager.

But there is a slight problem in this new Task Manager which I found a little irritating. It shows the running processes in groups such as apps, background processes and Windows processes. Although it looks organized but if you need to look for a particular process, it takes more time compared to the time used in old Task Manager versions because first we need to identify which group contains details of that process.

Following screenshot shows how the various processes are shown in groups in Windows 8 Task Manager:


Another problem in new Task Manager is the removal of original file name of the running processes. Windows 8 Task Manager shows labels of the processes such as "Service Host", "Client Server Runtime Process", etc instead of their actual file names such as svchost.exe, csrss.exe, etc. Previous Task Manager versions used to show file names of processes which helped better in identifying processes.

If you also think the same and want to disable grouping feature from Task Manager and bring back the actual file names in Windows 8 Task Manager, then this tutorial will help you.

Today in this tutorial, I'll tell you 2 very simple steps to customize Windows 8 Task Manager to:

  • Disable grouping feature in Task Manager
  • Show actual file names of processes in Task Manager

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

1. First of all open Task Manager. Right-click on Taskbar and select "Task Manager" option. You can also directly open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys together.

2. Now click on View menu and uncheck "Group by type" option as shown in following screenshot:


That's it. It'll immediately turn off process grouping feature and Task Manager will start showing all processes without grouping similar to previous Task Manager versions as shown in following screenshot:


3. Now it's turn of adding process file name to Task Manager. Right-click on the area where column names are displayed such as name, memory, disk, network, etc and then enable the option "Process name" as shown in following screenshot:


That's it. Now Windows 8 Task Manager will also show file names of running processes along with their labels as shown in following screenshot:


In my opinion, disabling grouping feature and showing actual file names helps better in working with running processes. What's your opinion? Feel free to share your comments...

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • The "Details" tab can serve that pruposes without any "tweaks".

  • by clicking the cpu or memory option except the Name option it automatically disable the group view

  • Thanks VG for the tip. I was missing the process exe names in Windows 8 task manager.

  • very seldom I need to close some process or terminate a service. and i find them by a displayed name easily. no other use for task manager

  • Is there tricks like this for Windows 7?


    this website or the world does not revolve around you. remember that while there are some that already are familiar with hidden tricks, the rest do not know stuff like this.

  • Kyle, Windows 7 Task Manager already displays task names and doesn't group them...

  • The fact that Microsoft has turned off Process names by default is actually a major security risk. Processes can 'mask' themselves so they have a well known name to fool people.

    At least it's still possible to turn it on.

  • There are some nice things about the new task manager but more negatives than positives for me: social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/no/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/ffd1009f-3a15-4cd1-adef-f9fc1a388b59

  • ^^ It was helpful for me. Oh I'm not a noob.

    Nice read.

  • please can anybody teach me better, or give me the cheat for changing from window7, to window8.

  • why not use sysinternals proces explorer and/or auturuns
    fine tools to what's happening
    Greet from NL

  • Task Manager doesn’t remind the last opened tab, so if you use, for example, only Details mode then you’ve to always waste your time by first clicking on the tab you usually use. Also, if for some reason the new Task Manager closes forcibly, it forgets all the settings you set before.

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