What is the best way to list all currently running Metro apps in Windows 8, included those which have been minimized by dragging them down to the bottom of the screen?

Initially, I assumed the "Switcher" bar on the left hand side provided a convenient way to see all Metro apps; however, it now seems that any apps that are minimised do not appear anywhere except the Task Manager.

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In the Metro interface, running apps have the same icon as ones that are not running (correct me if I'm wrong). Add to that the fact that minimized apps do not show up in the Switcher bar, or even when you alt + Tab or Windows + Tab, and you have a recipe for confusion.

Do I have to rely on the Task Manager to find apps that are running in the background? What an astoundingly terrible operating system this is. No wonder recent statistics show the majority of Windows 8 users never use the Metro UI or run any Metro apps.

Any advice would be appreciated.


In the past (before the Windows 8.1 update), dragging an application down from the top would completely close the application and remove it from memory. In Windows 8.1 update, that has changed. Now when you pull an app down from the top of the screen it is removed from your list of currently active apps and put to a system sleep mode. In this state the app is not sucking resources (or just very little). But if you decide to open the App again it will open much faster and continue from where you left.

I also do not like this, so i close the Apps in Windows 8 with Alt+F4.

  • Thanks for the explanation. I love how MS seem to be almost deliberately making Windows 8 complicated. So we've got Metro apps and Desktop apps (two confusing and unnecessary parallel universes) and Metro apps that look like they are closed but are actually sneakily running in the background. This makes the app "Switcher" fairly redundant, as it can only switch between apps that were not minimized! My head is spinning already. What a crock!!!!! – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Oct 22 '13 at 17:53
  • @Austin''Danger''Powers Microsoft explained the change here: channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Defrag-Tools/… – magicandre1981 Oct 23 '13 at 4:23
  • @Austin''Danger''Powers yeah it is getting more and more complicated. – Devid Oct 23 '13 at 8:30
  • @magicandre1981 thanks for the video. Very interesting. It looks like even those programmers had to really think to get their head around what was going on. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I like to fully close programs when I'm done with them. Using Alt+F4 or Task Manager instead of clicking on the convenient red X seems like a step backwards for me. I've got an SSD, so programs open quickly enough without needing to be running in the background. This feature (along with the rest of the OS) seems more targeted at mobile devices with limited resources. PC users were an afterthought. – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Oct 23 '13 at 19:31
  • @Austin''Danger''Powers I agree with you. But you can still use the mouse gesture to close the app: askvg.com/… Hold it for a second and wait for the icon flip. – magicandre1981 Oct 24 '13 at 3:56

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