Does anyone know how to restore the default task manager in Windows 7/8? I've installed a 3rd party Task Manager (Process Hacker) but I want to switch back and I can't figure out how.

  • 1
    Just uninstall it through control panel.
    – avirk
    Nov 4 '12 at 13:54
  • 1
    I'd like to be able to switch between the two without uninstalling.
    – Boots
    Nov 4 '12 at 13:58
  • ok, so I uninstalled just to see what would happen and now I get "Windows cannot find 'c:\windows\system32\taskmgr.exe'"
    – Boots
    Nov 4 '12 at 13:59
  • superuser.com/questions/271351/cant-open-task-manager I followed those instructions and I'm back to stock now! So it was sort of a two step process, uninstall Process Hacker then run Process Explorer and do the replace task manager option twice.
    – Boots
    Nov 4 '12 at 14:03

Delete the registry following registry entry:

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

Just tested it with process Explorer. The entry doesn't exist on Windows 7, unless I select "Replace task manager" within Process Explorer.

  • Isn't the question about Process Hacker rather than Process Explorer? Jul 7 '17 at 8:00
  • Here is the path i found on my Windows 10 PCComputer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\taskmgr.exe
    – Gopinath
    Nov 30 '17 at 22:32
  • @DmitryGrigoryev it is the same principle. Both programs aim to replace the default taskmgr.exe Process Explorer 64bit has a bug where it does not restore default taskmgr on Windows 10, so Bonsi's solution works perfectly!
    – Antony
    Sep 28 '18 at 2:57
  • 1
    I didn't delete taskmgr.exe instead I deleted taskmgr.exe/debugger. Works fine.
    – Kashyap
    Jun 26 '20 at 16:25

I followed the instructions in this post and I'm back to stock now. So it was sort of a two step process,

  1. Uninstall Process Hacker

  2. Then run Process Explorer and do the replace task manager option twice.

  • The key is to run the replace option twice; that is, if you've ran the replace option, run it again.
    – wulfgarpro
    Mar 22 '18 at 23:41

Uninstall Process Hacker and get the portable version, this will not replace the default Task Manager.

  • It can be configured to do so. options - > advanced -> Check "replace task manager with process hacker"
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 2 '16 at 20:04

To run both (since it seems that it overwrites the original task manager), copy the default task manager to another location before you install process hacker... then you can run it by clicking the icon like any other program


Just go to options/advanced tab. Uncheck "replace task manager with process hacker"

  • Not sure why this is downvoted. I don't use process hacker, but I would expect this to work. Jul 7 '17 at 7:58

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