Open Task Manager in Remote Desktop

How to Open Task Manager in Remote Desktop?

Using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc is the most efficient and straightforward way to directly open Task Manager remotely while using a remote desktop without requiring menu navigation or additional steps.

There are various methods to launch Task Manager in Remote Desktop; here, you can learn how to access Task Manager remotely.

7 methods to open Task Manager on Remote Desktop

Accessing Task Manager can be beneficial for ensuring the performance and responsiveness of the RDP server. However, if you buy RDP server with optimal performance, you won’t need to monitor the RDP server’s performance constantly. You can efficiently manage the remote desktop with access to the Task Manager. Here are some widely used methods to view Task Manager in Remote Desktop:

Method1: keyboard shortcuts

Using shortcut keys is a quick and straightforward solution for efficiently managing your system. There are various shortcuts available for opening Task Manager on a remote desktop, including:

Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Pressing this key combination will launch the Task Manager instantly without additional options or facing the security screen. However, this keyboard shortcut provides direct access to Task Manager if you are in full-screen mode (Ctrl + Alt + Break) because it might not work in windowed mode.

Open Task manager in remote desktop using Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcuts

Ctrl + Alt + End: This key combination simulates the Ctrl + Alt + Delete sequence on the remote computer and brings up a security screen with the option to open Task Manager from the menu.

Windows Key + X: pressing this shortcut forces the remote computer to launch Task Manager directly. (This is only available on Windows Remote Desktop sessions).

access Task Manager in remote computer via pressing Windows Key + X


Method2: Command Line

Within the remote desktop session, press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog which is another convenient way to view Task Manager on your remote desktop.

Type “taskmgr” in the Run dialog box.

Press Enter to launch Task Manager.

You can also click the “Start” menu in the taskbar, type Run in the search box, select “Run” and type “taskmgr“.

type taskmgr in the Run dialog box to launch Task Manager

In addition, typing “taskmgr” in any command prompt opens Task Manager on your remote desktop.

Method3: Right-click on the Taskbar or Start menu

You can open Task Manager with just two clicks:

1. Right click any space on the taskbar and choose “Task Manager” from the context menu to enable the Task Manager in the remote desktop.

Right click any space on the taskbar to open Task Manager on remote desktop

2. Right-click the Start menu (Windows icon), which is located at the left corner of the screen, and select “Task Manager” from the menu.

Right-click the Start menu to enable Task Manager on remote desktop

Method4: Start Menu

The Start menu from the taskbar can be useful for viewing and opening Task Manager. Open the Start menu (Windows icon), Type “Task Manager” in the search bar, and launch Task Manager from the search results.

expand start menu, type Task Manager in search bar and select Task Manager from a search result

Method5: Executing “taskmgr.exe” in File Explorer

Directly executing the Task Manager executable file is another efficient way to access Task Manager on a remote desktop. This method might not be as simple as other techniques and can be the longest way, but if other methods do not work, you can use it. Here are instructions to open Task Manager via File Explorer:

1. Open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard or selecting the File Explorer icon in your taskbar.

2. Navigate to the System32 Folder by typing C:\Windows\System32 in the address bar at the top of the File Explorer window and hit Enter.

3. Find “taskmgr.exe” (the executable file for the Task Manager) within the System32 folder using the search bar or scrolling down.

4. Double-click on taskmgr.exe to access Task Manager.

Method 6: Using the Command Prompt or PowerShell

You can also use the Command Prompt or PowerShell to open Task Manager on a remote desktop. Follow the steps below to launch Task Manager on a remote desktop using Command Prompt or PowerShell:

1. Open Command Prompt or Powershell by opening the Run dialog box via pressing Win + R and typing cmd (to open Command Prompt) or Powershell (to open Powershell) and pressing Enter.

press Win + R and typing cmd and run taskmgr to open Task Manager

press Win + R and typing PowerShell and run taskmgr to open Task Manager

2. In the Command Prompt window or PowerShell window, run “taskmgr” command and press Enter.

type taskmgr in command line window

Method7: Use Third Party Sofware

You can also use third-party software or automation tools to launch Task Manager and optimally manage the processes and functionalities of a remote desktop.

TeamViewer or CCleaner are popular third-party software that is useful for monitoring current running processes and services on your remote computer.

How to end tasks in remote desktop using task manager?

accessingTask Manager on a remote desktop lets you manage and monitor tasks on the remote computer to end the tasks that are not responding, not meeting needs, and consuming too much CPU power. After opening Task Manager on the remote desktop, follow the steps below to terminate tasks or processors via Task Manager:

1. After launching Task Manager, click the “Processes” tab and locate the task you want to end (by scrolling or search box or sorting by CPU, memory, or other resource usage).

2. Right-click on the task and select “End task.”

Note: When ending tasks, be cautious about not ending system critical processes.

Also, you can stop the specific process on a remote computer by opening PowerShell as Administrator and using ‘ Get-Process ‘ and ‘Stop-Process‘ cmdlets:

Run the following command on the remote computer to view processes:

Get-Process -ComputerName RemoteComputerName

Run the following command to terminate a specific process on a remote machine:

Invoke-Command -ComputerName RemoteComputerName -ScriptBlock { Stop-Process -Name "ProcessName" -Force }

Alternatively, you can end the task on a remote computer through the command prompt and running the following command:

taskkill /s ComputerName /u Username /p Password /pid Process_ID

Replace “ComputerName” with the name or IP address of the remote computer, “Username” and “Password” with user account credentials, and “Process_ID” with the process’s ID to be ended.

Note: having administrative privileges on the remote machine is necessary to kill the process.


Task manager is a crucial tool in Windows to monitor system performance (CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network usage), manage applications and Processes, and troubleshoot.

Using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + End is the simplest way to open Task Manager on a remote desktop. If you want further flexibility, use the command line or directly launch “taskmgr.exe” from File Explorer.

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