Windows 8 Task Manager for Surface – Part 2

In my last post, I started showing you the Windows 8 Task Manager and what you can do with it.

Frankly, the post was getting way too long and in the interest of not boring you to death, before you got through it I decided to break it into halves.

Let’s face it, information about the Windows 8 Task Manager is useful but not very exciting.

In this post, we’ll go over the remaining tabs. I listed them below for your convenience…

  • The Startup tab
  • The Users tab
  • The Details tab
  • The Services tab

So, let’s get started. First up… the Startup tab.

Windows 8 Task Manager: Startup

The Startup tab is another new addition with Windows 8. It gives you an easy place to see all of the programs that have been set to automatically start when you turn on your Surface. It will look a lot like the screen-grab below (though the programs will likely be different).

As you might imagine, being able to see and prevent unnecessary programs from running at startup can be really handy in speeding up your Surface.

In an effort from preventing you from accidentally deleting something you need, you won’t be able to actually delete the startup entries from here. However, you can disable them to prevent them from running all the same.

Here’s how you do it:

  • From the Startup tab in Task Manager, tap and hold on the entry for the program you want to disable.
  • Select Disable from the menu that appears. Like in the Process tab, you can select Search Online to see if the process is something you want to disable before you do it.

Windows Task Manager: Startup Tab

  • Repeat until all of the programs you want to prevent from running at startup are disabled.

If you ever decide you need a program to run at startup after all, just repeat the process but select Enable instead.

Simple but powerful. OK, on to the Users tab.

Windows 8 Task Manager: Users

The Users tab lets you not only see who else is logged onto your Surface but, if you are logged in with Admin rights, also lets you log them off, kill processes they may have been running or even send them a popup message the next time they try to log back in.

You can see an example of what the Users tab looks like below.

If you tap and hold (right-click) on your own entry you’ll see the menu below.

From here, you can do a few things by tapping on one of the options. Please note that you may not see them all unless you have administrator rights to your Surface.

  • Expand will show you all of the processes running under your account. Much like the processes tab, you can manipulate them as you might need to.
  • Disconnect simply ends your session and logs you out of your Surface.
  • Manage User Accounts lets you bring up the control panel tools for managing user accounts. From there you can change permission, change passwords, create or delete user accounts, etc.

If you select another logged in users entry, you’ll get different a few additional options as seen in the figure below.

  • Connect lets you connect to the session. It’s functionally the same as Switch User Account for folks using a Surface Tablet except that you’ll need the accounts’ full password to connect.
  • Sign Off simply signs the user off the Surface.
  • Send Message is kind of cool. It sends a popup message to the other user. Usually, they’ll see it when the try to log into the Surface.
  • Switch User Account is, as I mentioned above, functionally the same as Connect on Surface tablets. The advantage of using it is that you can use a PIN or Picture Password to switch to the other account (if there is one setup).

Windows 8 Task Manager: Details

The Details tab shows you the running programs and processes on your Surface. It offers some useful features for advanced users (like setting process priorities or processor affinity) but, for 95% of folks out there it offers nothing that the Process tab doesn’t.

Windows 8 Task Manager: Services

Finally we’ve arrived at the last tab. The Services tab allows you to start, stop, or restart services quickly and easily. It’s another tab that only advanced users will regularly use. It’s a really handy way to start, stop, or restart troublesome services.

Like the Processes tab, it will let you easily search online to discover what a service does. It will also allow you to correlate a service to a running process by selecting the Go to Details option in the contextual menu.

Well, I hope you find this information helpful if you need to dig into the Windows 8 Task Manager on your Surface tablet.


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