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Enable / Disable Task Manager

 Why is Task Manager Disabled?

When Task Manager option grayed out on the taskbar right-click menu. There is a registry key that will disable TaskMgr, although it’s not always clear how or why it was set to disable. In many cases the problem is related to spyware, so you should also scan your computer.

Windows Task Manager is used to view details about processes running on your computer. Since it can be used to terminate programs that are misbehaving or are viruses disguised in the form of harmless programs, most spyware and viruses disable it to prevent themselves from being closed through it. Some administrators also disable TaskMgr to prevent users from closing important security programs like antiviruses and anti-malwares.

In such situations, running the Task Manager will give the “Task Manager has been disabled by Administrator” error. However, there are some techniques you can use to re-enable task manager and close those harmful programs manually. This article contains few such simple techniques you can use to regain access to TaskMgr privileges.

Why is task manager grayed out?

This could be due to

  1. Windows infected by Virus
  2. Disabled from Registry or Group Policy

if it is due to virus then it Windows should be scan with antivirus or it could be fixed by some tool. While Registry trick is given below

Manual Registry Hack

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then navigate down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Task Manager

On the right-hand side is a 32-bit REG_DWORD value named DisableTaskMgr with one of two values:

  • 1 – Disable task manager
  • 0 – Enable task manager

Just double-click and change the value, or even delete the key. The change should take place immediately.

Enable Task Manager from Registry in Windows 8, 7, XP or Vista

Registry Editor is an inbuilt Windows tool that is used to modify registry keys which tell Windows how it should work. A simple registry modification can be used to bypass the Task Manager block. To do so, just follow the steps:-

    1. Click on Start. Go to Run. If you use Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista, go to Search.
    2. Type regedit and press Enter. Registry Editor will start. If Registry Editor is also disabled, you will first need to enable registry editing.
    3. Through the left hand navigation pane, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\ Current Version\Policies\System. If the System key is not there, you will need to create it.
    4. In the work area, locate “DisableTaskMgr”. If this value is not there, you will need to create a new DWORD value called DisableTaskMgr. Double click on it. A window will pop up.
    5. Enter its value data as 0 and press OK.
  1. Close Registry Editor. If Task Manager is still disabled, restart your computer.

Enable Task Manager from the Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc)

Group Policy Editor is a feature in Windows which is used to edit local policy settings. It can also be used to enable . To do so, just follow the steps given below:-

  1. Open Start Menu. Windows XP users click on Run. Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Vista users, go to Search.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter. Group Policy Editor Window will show up.
  3. From the navigational pane at the left hand side, go to: User Configuration>Administrative Templates>System>Ctrl+Alt+Del Options.
  4. In the work area, double click on “Remove Task Manager” and set its value to Disabled or Not Configured.
  5. Restart your Computer or Log Off and Log back On to apply the changes.

Group Policy Editor is not available on home editions of Windows.

Enable Task Manager by Running a CMD Command

Command Prompt can also be used to directly enable.

    1. Open Notepad.
    2. Copy the code given below and paste it.

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System  /v  DisableTaskMgr  /t REG_DWORD  /d /0 /f

  1. Save the File as TaskManager.bat.
  2. Run TaskManager.bat as Administrator if you use Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista. In Windows XP, simply open the file. A command prompt window will flash for a second and then disappear indicating successful execution. After running the batch file, you will be able to again use Task Manager. If Task Manager is still not available, restart your computer.

Create a Registry(.reg) file for enabling Task Manager

If you are unfamiliar with manually editing the Registry, you can create a Registry file which will automatically modify the Registry Key to re-enable Task Managing. To create one such file:-

    1. Open Notepad or any other text editor.
    2. Copy the code given below and paste it as it is in it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] “DisableTaskMgr” =dword:00000000

  1. Save the file as Enable Task Manager.reg or *.reg.
  2. Open the file by double clicking on it.
  3. Registry Editor will ask you for confirmation. In the confirmation Window, click Yes.
  4. Task Manager would immediately be accessible. If it is not, restart your computer.

The techniques mentioned in this article work on Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista

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About engrsajidrehman

SAJID REHMAN is an Electronics Engineer and working in his field for many years. His in depth field of experience is hardware Repairing and troubleshooting, especially AC/DC Drives, Electronics Controllers, Computer hardware and other PCBs. Beside all this he is a Web Designer, Graphics Designer and Content writer. You can contact him on Google and Linkedin. Thanks