I had been playing a game and it stuck. So I press Ctrl-Alt-Del and menu appears. I select task manager and it opens, but, since my frozen application is fullscreen, the task manager is below it, so I get no access to task manager window.
No amount of pressing Alt-Tab, Alt-F4, Alt-Enter, Alt+mouse drag did help. I ended up pressing reset.
What was I supposed to do?

  • same problem occures in Win8.1 as well – CsBalazsHungary Feb 24 '17 at 14:17
  • @BarafuAlbino - Do you have multiple monitors? At the time did you have Task Manager set to "Always on Top"? – Ramhound Feb 27 '17 at 21:26
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    One thing that does sometimes help is Win+D to minimize all windows and bring up the desktop – Art Gertner Feb 27 '17 at 21:46
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    open task manager and select: options > always on top not a solution to your problem, but it will work – redbeam_ Feb 27 '17 at 21:56

Try telling the Task Manager to always be on top.

  1. Open up the Task Manager before you start your application/game.
  2. Click "Options" ("Možnosti" in the picture below)
  3. Check "Always on top" ("Vždy navrchu" in the picture below)

Next time you should be able to view it. Also try Alt-Tab-ing out of the app/game, so the focus is on something different.

I tested it on Windows 8 on Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, which is a game you need a special program to minimise :D .

image tutorial (my Windows is in Slovak)


This will terminate all non-responsive programs and allow you to resume normal functionality:

taskkill /f /fi "status eq not responding"

You can run it from command prompt or start menu.

  • A useful tip. However, if Windows got so locked up that I could not get to Task Manager, I doubt Console would be operable too. May be there is some hotkey sequence to open console no matter what, like Ctrl-Alt-F# in Linux? – Barafu Albino Mar 5 '17 at 5:07
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    Command prompt can be practically opened from almost anywhere: howtogeek.com/235101/… And yes, it will be functional. – Overmind Mar 6 '17 at 9:03
  • Thanks for the link, I have read it. However, all those shortcuts open the same console prompt in a window. When fullscreen games lock up, you have no access to any other window. It is possible to open console in window, but impossible to type anything into it. I was hoping more for some shotrtcut to cycle GUI system, or open console fullscreen outside of GUI, or some other emergency measure. – Barafu Albino Mar 7 '17 at 6:12
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    You don't actually need to see the window; if you manage to launch it, it's fine. Make a .bat file with the command I listed in the answer and name it something like 1.bat. Copy in to Windows folder. Then you can use it at any time just by typing 1 + enter in the cmd. – Overmind Mar 7 '17 at 8:13
  • You can just press Win + R, type anything you need and hit Enter. The only drawback is that you possibly won't be able to see what you are typing. – ᄂ ᄀ Aug 28 '18 at 5:10

When the game is frozen up, open task manager, then press windows key + D, the bottom bar should have popped up, now bottom right you’ll see a little black box filled with changing levels of blue(might need to click the arrow to open full menu). Right click and set to always on top and boom! The task manager pops up in front of the frozen program ;)


You said it in the comments... They are right,
Opening the Task Manager before you start the full screen app or game and confirm that under Options > Always On Top is selected.
This should solve your issue, I personally have two monitors so I make it show up on the opposite monitor from the full screen game ( I have the same problem some times with my Skyrim )

enter image description here


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