Geek Squeak – How To Make The Windows 8 Task Manager Become A Desktop Widget

August 20, 2014

This geek squeak is a quickie, but is pretty neat.  If you have Windows 8, right click on the Windows 8 taskbar at the bottom of your screen, and click on Task Manager.  When Task Manager loads, click on the Performance tab. On the left side of the Performance Tab you will see graphical user interface for the CPU, Memory, Disk, Ethernet, etc… Left double click on on any of those and voila you will get a sized down widget version of the performance tab in a  floating window that can be moved around and is handy when it comes to troubleshooting problems.

To return back to the full size version of the Task Manager, just left double click anywhere inside the floating window.

Four Ways To Easily Get To The NEW and IMPROVED Windows 8 Task Manager

December 18, 2012

The NEW and IMPROVED Task Manager that we find in Windows 8 was designed in such a way to not overwhelm the end user and can be quite useful, especially when you need to shut down a task (or program) that is not playing well with your computer. When you first open the Task Manager in Windows 8, you are going to initially find a very basic interface (see below) that will only show what tasks (or programs) are currently active. This basic interface was an on purpose design, with the idea that it makes it easy for the non-technical type of person to get to the task manager, review and shut down  tasks (or programs) quickly, then get out.

Task Manager - Basic Interface

To get to the more expanded (advanced) options to the Task Manager, you will need to click on “More Details”, which in turn will give you what you see in the screenshot below.

Task Manager - Advanced Interface

The expanded view is more for the technically inclined individual; however, I encourage new visitors to the Task Manager to not be afraid and go for the tour. You will find tabs for the processes running on your computer, performance gauges, Windows 8 App History, the programs starting up on your computer (which you can disable for troubleshooting purposes), Users, Details (on the programs and processes that are running), and Services.  I especially like the Details tab where if I see a process or program that is running that I am not sure of, I can right click on that process or program and perform a Google search to see what exactly the program or process is. So you see, the Task Manager has come a long way and can be used as a great troubleshooting tool.

Now that I have briefly covered the Task Manager, here are four ways to open the Task Manager up in Windows 8?

  1. At the Windows 8 Start Screen, simply start typing “Task Manager”.  You will see the screen populate with a “Task Manager tile.  Click on the tile…
  2. From the Windows 8 Start Screen or the Windows 8 Desktop use the hotkey Ctrl – Shift – Esc on your keyboard.
  3. At the desktop level, move your mouse pointer to the bottom left corner of the screen until you see the Start Screen Button appear. When the button appears, right mouse click on the button and select Task Manager from the menu.  Also note the other options on that menu.
  4. Believe it or not, this is the one I use the most. I guess it is because I have used it from day one when Windows was born. It is what I call the “three finger salute”.  Hit the Ctrl – Alt – Del keys simultaneously on the keyboard. You will be taken to the solid colored screen (usually blue by default) where you can select Task Manager.  To come out of that screen, simply Esc on the keyboard.



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Use Google Chrome’s Task Manager To Get Details About Specific Running Processes

July 19, 2012

The browser I primarily use is Google Chrome. A feature in Chrome, that is little used and can be quite handy, is the built-in task manager. The Chrome Task Manager can provide you with details about the specific processes that are running (plus CPU, Network bandwidth being consumed, and a multitude of other options).

The easiest and quickest way I found to get to the task manager is simply right mouse click on Chrome’s tab bar (at the top of the screen) and select Task Manager.  You can also get to the Task manager by clicking on the wrenchtools menuon the browser toolbar, by selecting Tools and then Task Manager OR use the shortcut keys Shift+Esc.

Chrome's Task Manager

Chrome’s task manager is quite useful to determine what processes (i.e. tabs, extensions, etc.) is consuming the most memory and CPU cycles. This can be quite helpful when you suspect that there is an errant application or process running that is causing Chrome to misbehave.

To force a webpage or application to close in Google Chrome, select the webpage, then click End process. Sometimes multiple websites might share a single process, depending on how you opened them.

You can also right mouse click within the Task Manager Window to toggle on/off other options that may be helpful when troubleshooting.

Chrome's Task Manager



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A FREE Personal Information Manager Solution

September 23, 2010

I recently had someone ask me; “Are there any software packages out there (for FREE) that I can use to manage events in my life (such as a calendar, task manager, notebook, reminders, etc…)? I was quick to the draw to the answer and immediately blurted out EPIM – Essential Personal Information Manager. I know there are many online options available today to help manage our life; however, there is just something about putting personal (and private) information about myself out there (online) that just does not sit well with me.

Folks, if you are looking for a software download, for FREE, that will help you manage calendar events in your life, help you manage tasks, help you keep notes, and help you keep contact information (addresses); I highly endorse EPIM. There is even an email client built into EPIM, which to be honest, I turned off and do not use.

I have been using EPIM for years and the most impressive feature that I love about this software is the powerful search feature that is built in. The amount of personal information (such as addresses, notes, tasks, events) that I have accumulated since I started using EPIM is quite a bit; however, I can bring up an information in EPIM’s database very, very quickly. As I type in the search box, the information starts to magically appear. Another draw to me about EPIM is the notekeeping component that allows you to keep unlimited notes in a tree-like multi-level structure.

EPIM is available as a full install on your PC or available as a portable application. It is impressive that such quality software is packaged into a file size of less than 10 MBs. I currently use the portable version of EPIM on my flash drive and would be absolutely lost without it. Oh, I forgot to mention, you can password protect access to your information, as well.


  • Excellent usability. Shortcuts that are fun to use and boost your productivity. Easy, intuitive tools arranged right where you need them. Link any item to any other items. Email to Notes, Contacts to Tasks, etc.
  • Security. All data can be password-protected and the database file is encrypted with multiple encryption algorithms, with the advanced industry standard AES (Rijndael), 128-bit key, and Blowfish 448-bit* key.
  • Versatile import and export capabilities. You can import and export HTML, RTF, CSV, TXT and TreePad. You can perform complete synchronization with Microsoft® Outlook**; and you can import from Outlook Express.
  • Available in many languages: Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
  • System tray icon with a hotkey for starting and configuring the software.
  • Sticky Notes- place any of your Notes onto Desktop and get rid of yellow paper on your desk!*
  • Open-source Firebird database. Advanced users and system administrators get great flexibility in managing databases.

Scheduler (Tasks):

Scheduled Tasks

  • Color-coded, easy-to-read day, week, month, year schedules, with easy set up of recurring tasks or events.
  • Completion date, priority, and category properties for each task.
  • Integrated synchronization with Microsoft Outlook** and import and export with Outlook Express.
  • Full drag-and-drop support for fast rescheduling.
  • Easy printout by days, weeks or months, with saving to HTML.

To Do List (To Do):

To Do List

  • Tree-like, flexible to do structure that holds category, priority, completion status, due date, and even reminders for you.*
  • Fast and powerful search to find your to do list quickly.
  • Easy sorting and categorizing tools.
  • Printing that gives you exactly what you see on your screen. Take your to do list with you as you run out the door.

Outliner (Notes):


  • Tools to organize your data the way you want! Flat, table, tree-like multilevel data structure or any combination you want. Multiple tree and leafs* for each note allow a powerful hierarchical storage.
  • No limit on the number of folders and notes. Don’t worry about running out of room.
  • Inserting photos, drawings, any kind of pictures, tables, any nicely formatted text: fonts, subscripts/superscripts, colored text background, multilevel bullets and numbering, Unicode, background images.
  • Quick searching for any note by its subject, date, word or phrase.
  • Powerful printout and save features.
  • Clickable (active) hyperlinks in any document.

Contact Manager (Contacts):

Contract Manager

  • Number of records that outstrip the Outlook Address Book.
  • Flexible set of fields, allowing you to easily add your own.
  • Complete import/export to and Windows Address Book and CSV format.
  • Powerful and fast search and sort features.
  • Adjustable views so you can see your information the way you want.



  • Full support for POP3 and IMAP accounts.
  • Integration with Conteacts and other modules.
  • Signatures, mail sorting rules,- everything you need to work efficiently.


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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#63)

June 9, 2010

If you have a passion for computers and information technology, then the place to be is at the sites listed below. Each week What’s On My PC features links to recent postings, called “Geek Squeaks’” that are authored by the members of the What’s On My PC blolgroll. Truly a blessing to be associated with this group!

Geek Squeaks'

Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
How To Lock Down Facebook Privacy Settings

Tech-for Everyone
Software License Giveaway: Genie Timeline Professional

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
In The News – VISA Launches A Highly-Secure Card In Europe

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Styling Windows XP (Part 2): How to Change the Visual Style

Canadian Tech Blogger
Norton Launches Norton DNS

I Love Free Software
PDF Hammer – Free Online PDF Editor

Worthy Tips
Extend Recycle Bin power with RecycleBinEx

Netbook Freeware
Best 10 Free System Optimization and Diagnostic Tool for Netbooks

404 Tech Support
New 0-Day Attack Targets Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and Flash

TTC Shelbyville
Use the Task Manager to Analyze Your Computer

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites June 8

AKS-Feel The Change
Handy Backup Server – reliable backup solution for enterprise network (Review)

Carol’s Vault
Free Fashionable WordPress Theme | Themesbell
How to Remove AV Security Suite

Plato On-Line
Your Brain On-line
Mini-ITX PC (Antec ISK 300-150, ZOTAC GF9300-G-E)

Dual Monitor Tools Manages
Your Multiple Monitors with Open-Source Tools

Bill Mullins’ Web Blog – Tech Thoughts
Download Dmailer Backup –
A Free Handy Dandy, Easy Backup Utility

Crazy World of G

Right On Technology
AT&T Stops Unlimited Data Plans, Introduces Tiered Rates

thePC Security
New MSN Hotmail Account Security Features by Microsoft

What’s On My PC
Over 33,500 High Quality Clipart Images


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System Explorer – A FREE Task Manager

January 10, 2010

image System Explorer is FREE task manager program that provides detailed information about the operating status of your PC and is an excellent tool to include in your tech toolbox (portable version available).

Task Manager programs, such as System Explorer, are applications that typically provide detailed information about the stability of your computer (such as performance and running applications, processes and CPU usage, commit charge and memory information, network activity and statistics, logged-in users, and system services). Typically we get to the Windows Task Manager by hitting the “CTRL+ALT+DEL” hotkey combo.  Most users typically go to the Task Manager in Windows to halt programs that are not playing well.

System Explorer is like the Windows Task Manager, but is a whole lot more…  Things that you can do with System Explorer are:

  • Task Management
  • Startups Management
  • System Performance Monitoring
  • Internet Explorer Addons Management
  • Services Management
  • Start applications faster with System Explorer Launcher
  • Force start idle system tasks to cleanup and speedup system
  • Optimise physical memory usage
  • Reveal malware or viruses in your system
  • Network Connections Monitoring
  • Processes Management
  • Search faster with System Explorer Launcher
  • Make System Report
  • Check File Security
  • Screenshot


    Detailed informations about Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Addons, Uninstallers, Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files.

    Easy check of suspicious files via VirusTotal or Jotti service.

    Easy search details about file/process via online databases.

    Launcher (“New Task…” dialog) with integrated AutoSearch and AutoCompletion.

    Action History for monitoring processes activities.

    Performance graphs for monitoring usage of system resources in time.

    System Snapshots for easy finding of system changes.

    System Report builds rich text report containing major informations about your System.

    Multilanguage and Plugins Support.

    Version 2.0 brings brand new user interface and Windows 7 support.

    **NEW** Security feature with online File Reviews.


    OS: Windows XP,Windows Vista or Windows 7


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    An Insane Portable Task Manager for FREE

    October 16, 2009

    Anvir Task Manager Free – a task manager with an insane list of options and features that gives you full control of your computer.


    I love playing around with the various task managers and this one is no exception. As a matter of fact, I put Anvir Task Manager into the exceptional category for task managers.

    If you dare to try this task manager, I encourage you to download the portable version that requires no installation. Simply download [ link ] AnVir Task Manager Free Portable, unzip the archive and run.

    What I find interesting about this task manager is that it it like finding easter eggs. In conjunction with the normal monitoring features you find in a task manager (such as Startup, Applications, Processes, Services, etc…), AnVir has some hidden features such as a tweaker that gives you access to hundreds of Windows XP and Vista settings. Another feature for example; Anvir Task Manager, when running in the background, places (3)-three small buttons adjacent to the minimize, restore and close button at the top right corner any window you have open. One button allows you to minimize the window to the system tray, another allows you to pin the window so that it stays on top and another minimizes the window to a square floating icon on your desktop. Another easter egg buried in this task manager is the ability to generate a HiJackThisPro log that can be used for online troubleshooting assistance.

    Anvir Task Manager, when running will place a couple icons in your system tray. One icon readily gives you your CPU Usage and Processes; and another icon readily gives you a drive listing, disk load of each drive and free space on each drive. If you “right mouse click” on either of the icons, you can preview a list of most recently launched programs.

    An option to definitely explore is that you can “Check any file with AntiViruses on Virus Total” which is handy when you need to analyze a suspicious file. Analysis of suspicious files can be quickly accomplished when troubleshooting file sources in the startup, processes and services areas.

    For a complete feature list (see below). Anvir Task Manager is available in a FREE edition and several paid editions (Task Manager, Task Manager Pro, Security Suite). Click [ here ] to compare the various editions. For everyday use, the AnVir Task Manager Free Portable Edition should be sufficient to meet your diagnostic needs.  Overall this app is my choice task manager.

    [ click for screenshot ]


    Features of the FREE edition:

    Basic Security analysis of processes, startup programs and Windows services

    Startup monitor: alerts on new startups, block undesired startup programs

    Check files on with 30+ antivirus engines

    Startup manager: manage all programs running on startup including services and Internet Explorer toolbars

    Save HijackThis log with additional info

    Tweaker that gives direct access to hundreds of XP / Vista settings including settings that cannot be accessed in Windows at all without editing the registry directly

    Drive’s free space as a colored horizontal bar in Windows “My Computer” (Vista style icons on Windows XP)

    Click on title of any application:

    • hide window to system tray
    • make window semi-transparent
    • pin window ‘always on top’
    • change window size to 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768
    • change priority of the process

    List of recently used folders in “Open”/”Save” dialogs

    Minimize windows to system tray and save taskbar space

    Quick access to last launched programs and last opened folders in system tray

    Monitor processes, services, Internet connections, CPU, disk, memory, DLLs, drivers,locked files, windows

    Icons and tooltips in tray for CPU, memory, network, disk load, HDD temperature, and battery

    Find locked files and DLL

    Log of processes start and stop

    Graph of processor, memory and disk activity for each process and for computer

    Compatible with all popular antivirus, complement antivirus software or make it unnecessary

    Can replace Windows Task Manager

    Can run as portable application


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