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Several times I've seen the task manager appear frozen in Windows 8. It doesn't update, and generally shows double-digit CPU usage. Closing it and reopening it doesn't usually help, but rebooting generally does. How does this happen, and how do I fix it?

I can confirm that the task manager update speed is changed to "Paused" (Windows 8 Enterprise, not sure if this also happens in Windows 8.1) when the screen saver is activated.

Personally I consider this a bug because the the update remains paused after the screen is unlocked.

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Is the updating Paused (in View menu)? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 4 '12 at 4:53
Yep, and changing that then fixes it. But I don't know how it gets into that state in the first place. Maybe there's a hotkey for changing the view to Paused? –  Yostage Dec 4 '12 at 6:10
I've noticed mine pausing when memory usage gets very high. I suspect Windows does this automatically to prevent Task Manager from taking up that much more processor/memory if it's invoked on a heavily loaded system to avoid sending over the edge into an outright freeze/stall/crash. On restart the system should be in a less heavily used state and so be unpaused. –  K.A Dec 6 '12 at 21:21
I find this incredibly obnoxious. Would love to hear if there's a way to force it to never pause. –  Thomas Jan 18 '13 at 2:10
It cannot be pausing when resources are being hogged... if that were so, then every time I noticed it being paused, Memory or CPU would be capped because it paused during the bad time. But it's often indicating very low usage (no problems) which is confusing when I glance at it to see why my computer is behaving poorly now. –  Myrddin Emrys Oct 23 '13 at 22:33

1 Answer 1

up vote 23 down vote accepted

I've found my task manager doing this as well. Not sure how it got paused, but when I set the update speed to normal it gets going again.

Edit: To change this setting, go to View > Update Speed in the top menu.

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Unpausing it definitely fixes it. Still no idea why it gets paused, but I like K.A.'s hypothesis above. –  Yostage Jan 6 '13 at 23:45

protected by nhinkle Sep 5 '14 at 15:09

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