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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.

share|improve this question
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
happened to me first time ever.. and my cpu was at 100% for a while , one application was really hogging the cpu in one of those "close program or wait for it" states... So this pause seems to have happened in response to cpu usage, not memory usage – Mikey Oct 23 '14 at 14:24
up vote 34 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.

share|improve this answer
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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