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I've tried all of the above to open my task manager and nothing works. I don't get any errors it just never opens. I've checked the registry key already and it is not set to 'Disable'.

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Do you see it in the context menu when right-clicking while over a blank spot of the task bar? Does it start when selected via that? Can you start it by searching for "taskmgr" under the Start menu? – mgkrebbs Jan 27 '14 at 3:54
Are there any errors when you try to start it from cmd.exe ? – Lawrence Jan 27 '14 at 6:35

For Windows 7 you can check your registry for this path and make sure it is set correctly. Follow the steps below to open your task manager.

Windows 7 - Go to Start, then in your search box on your start menu type regedit and hit enter.

Now that your registry editor is open, Browse to the location below. You should be able to find the folder called taskmgr.exe as shown below at the end of the registry string. If you find the folder, you're done with this part of the check.

If you DO NOT find the folder called taskmgr.exe, then create one by right clicking on the folder called "Image File Execution Options" and then choose New, Key and name it taskmgr.exe. You might have to reboot to make the changes take effect and then test your Task Manager again.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\taskmgr.exe

If the task manager fixes failed, you can use Process Explorer as a workaround until you get the virus removed, then try the fix again. It works the same as Task Manager. Process Explorer is owned by Microsoft. You can download Process Explorer from Microsoft by clicking on this link to visit the Download Page


If you can't download or do not want to, use Process Explorer. Use your command prompt as the task manager to end processes.

You can look at all running process in the command prompt following the steps below:

click on start
click on run - (For Windows Vista and Windows 7, browse to c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe and right click on cmd.exe and choose "run as administrator", then skip to step 4)
type cmd into the window and hit enter
Now in the black window with the blinking cursor, type  "tasklist"    <-- without the qoutes
You should not have a list of tasks running on your computer
Now type "taskkill /IM theprocess.exe /f"  - look at more examples below

    Without the qoutes, and REMEMER to replace the word notepad.exe with the name of the process you want to end. This will force quit any running process. Some processes may take a minute to close. More examples below.
    taskkill /IM anotherprocess.exe /f
    taskkill /IM andanother.exe /f
    taskkill /IM andanother.exe /f
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This probably won't work. It's probably a deeper underlying issue, but try Ctrl + Shift + Esc. If you have permission as well, it will open the Task Manager straight away.

As an alternative to the task manager, try Process Explorer.

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I recommend renaming procexp.exe to px.exe or something else, because active viruses block this executable quite often. You can fool them by renaming it. – Vitas Jan 27 '14 at 8:01
@Vitas, thanks for that, never knew that virus' bothered with procexp, nor have I personally come across it. – Dragazarth Jan 27 '14 at 13:36

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