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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.

  • 4
    Is the updating Paused (in View menu)? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 4 '12 at 4:53
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    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
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    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.Monica Dec 6 '12 at 21:21
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    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
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    It seems to me that the Windows 8 Task Manager goes into paused mode when the computer gets locked. – LietKynes Feb 25 '14 at 9:53
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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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  • 2
    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
  • I'm also wondering how it got paused. It seems like a bug, or maybe a keyboard shortcut that I don't know about that I might've triggered by mistake. – 9a3eedi Sep 29 '17 at 20:47

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