Get classic old Task Manager in Windows 10

Many users are not happy with the new "modern" task manager which was introduced in Windows 8. Windows 10 comes with the same Task Manager app. Although some of its functions are not bad, like the performance graph, one might not really need them. The old Task Manager is faster, bug-free and provides a more reliable workflow of task management for me. It is familiar and the new one does not even remember the last active tab. So I am definitely one of those who want the good old, more usable Task Manager back in Windows 10. Here is how you can get it back without replacing any system files or modifying permissions.


There are actually many reasons to get back the classic Task Manager.

  1. The new Task Manager is significantly slow. It consumes more memory and CPU. A task manager should use the most lightweight resources as possible, to enable to quickly start it in emergencies when some process is taking up all of the CPU or memory. The old Task Manager starts instantly without UAC elevation, the new one takes forever to load.
  2. The old Task Manager remembers the last active tab, the new one does not.
  3. The new Task Manager shows everything in groups such as apps, background processes and Windows processes. Even if Microsoft's intention here may have been to organize it better, if you need to quickly locate a particular app or process, it takes far more time now because now the user needs to search for it in each group.
  4. The new Task Manager requires UAC elevation when UAC level is set to highest. This is because it needs trace data from Event Tracing for Windows (ETW). The old Task Manager ran just fine without elevation to show current user processes.
  5. The old Task Manager could be set to run at startup, minimized and hidden so it would start up in the notification area (system tray). The new Task manager, even if it is set from Task Scheduler to run as admin but minimized at startup, it does not minimize properly to the tray.
  6. There is no global status bar visible in the new Task Manager regardless of the active tab, showing the total number of processes, CPU usage and physical memory and/or commit charge.
  7. The old Task Manager showed the application name from the title bar. The new one gets its name from somewhere else. The document name is only shown in More Details view after expanding by clicking the arrow/triangle. Suppose there are 10 windows of an app open and 1 of them stops responding. With the old Task Manager, it was one glance away. With the new one, I must expand the arrow of each window to see if the not responding document is under one of those.
  8. The new Task Manager also breaks keyboard usability. On the Applications tab, I could press keyboard accelerator keys e.g. N for Notepad to jump to that app and use the keyboard to close it. This is not possible in the new one.
  9. Ctrl+ + key to auto-resize all columns to auto fit does not work on Processes, App History, Startup and Users tabs of the new Task Manager
  10. The options for the Networking tab "Show cumulative data" and "Reset adapter history" are removed.
  11. In the new Task Manager, you cannot set the column you want as the first column for the Processes, App History, Startup and Users tab. Only on the Details and Services tab, you can set the column you want as the first column. The first column is important because that is the order by which it sorts the data below the column, especially since the new one cannot remember any of its settings.
  12. Selection of multiple applications on the Processes tab (formerly Applications tab) is not possible. In the old Task manager, I could use Ctrl and Shift keys just like Windows Explorer to select multiple applications and do group window management actions or group End Task them.
  13. The naming and order of tabs is not the same and requires me to relearn the Task Manager for little benefit. What was previously the 'Applications' tab is now the 'Processes' tab. Unfortunately, there was also a 'Processes' tab before which is now the 'Details' tab. This is very confusing for those who have used the Task Manager for years. In old Task Manager, the order of tabs is Applications, Processes, Services, Performance, Networking and Users. In the new Task manager, it is Processes, Performance, App History, Startup, Users, Details and Services. The correct order should be Processes, Details, Services, Performance, App History (because this is a new tab), Startup (also a new tab), and Users as the last tab.
  14. Window management functions (Minimize, Maximize, Cascade, Tile Horizontally and Tile Vertically) on the Processes tab (formerly the Applications tab) and "Windows" menu are removed.

To get classic Task Manager from Windows 7 back in Windows 10, you need to do the following things:

  1. Download the setup program for old Task Manager in Windows 10 from here: Old Task Manager for Windows 10
  2. Simply run the installer. It looks like this: Classic Taskmgr Installer 1
  3. Follow the steps in the installer wizard. After it finishes, start the Task Manager. Classic Taskmgr Installer 2 See all ways to open Task Manager.
  4. You can see how much faster, responsive and logically laid out the old Task Manager is: Windows 10 classic old task manager
  5. The installer inlcude the classic msconfig.exe with the startup tab in msconfig.exe so you will be able to manage your startup apps.

You are done. If you are interested in knowing what the installer does, see this article: How to restore the good old Task Manager in Windows 8. The installer only automates all the steps mentioned in that article. It is built with genuine Windows files.

The package supports both Windows 10 32-bit and Windows 10 64-bit. It comes with almost the full set of MUI files, so it will be in your native language out-of-the-box. The following locale list is supported:

ar-sa
bg-bg
cs-cz
da-dk
de-de
el-gr
en-gb
en-us
es-es
es-mx
et-ee
fi-fi
fr-ca
fr-fr
he-il
hr-hr
hu-hu
it-it
ja-jp
ko-kr
lt-lt
lv-lv
nb-no
nl-nl
pl-pl
pt-br
pt-pt
ro-ro
ru-ru
sk-sk
sl-si
sr-latn-rs
sv-se
th-th
tr-tr
uk-ua
zh-cn
zh-hk
zh-tw

The installer is required only to install MUI files and register apps. It doesn't modify anything else in your operating system.

If you decide to revert to the default Task Manager, just uninstall the classic Task Manager from the Settings app\Uninstall a program as shown in the following screenshot: Uninstall Classic Task Manager

That's it.

35 thoughts on “Get classic old Task Manager in Windows 10

  1. Gary King

    Thanks for this, I have been waiting for someone to come out with this. Thanks much!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Enjoy.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

      Reply
  2. MDJ

    I haven‘t thought about brining back the good ol‘ Task Manager but your strong arguments made me to change my mind. Well, at least to give a try :). Although clicking “Show processes from all users” button every time when there‘s a need to launch a program with administrative rights and not being able to see Modern app icons is annoying some of benefits definitely outweigh cons. By the way, 3rd point can be fixed easily by just unmarking “Group by type” option in View menu.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    Reply
  3. MDJ

    Why did you modify original EXE file a little bit?

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      what?
      It is original untouched EXEs

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      Reply
      1. MDJ

        Hash comparison

        Original Task Manager extracted from MSDN Windows 7 SP1 Ultimade ISO image
        MD5: 09F7401D56F2393C6CA534FF0241A590
        SHA1: E8B4D84A28E5EA17272416EC45726964FDF25883
        SHA-256: 6766717B8AFAFE46B5FD66C7082CCCE6B382CBEA982C73CB651E35DC8187ACE1

        Modified Task Manager (unknown source)
        MD5: 63EF8DCFF2AA9FD70F82F7CFB8F83724
        SHA1: 3C9E395E4591676CBD92A99BB96DDFF79AA49C9B
        SHA-256: CCF8A5C3F9743759C0AC2113FFB5B20F77BE181BFD8D6D8B4AB9FBB3593258EA

        ————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

        Screenshot:
        https://farm1.staticflickr.com/551/20427244686_4ff0f74671_o.png

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Who said I took files from Windows 7?
          Why you compare hashes with Windows 7’s files?
          Look at the file version of Windows 10 tm.
          It is genuine Windows 10 files from boot.wim, not from Windows 7.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

          Reply
          1. MDJ

            Sorry, my bad, I checked what you‘ve just said and you were right! I didn‘t know that you can extract files from boot.wim so I would always look into install.wim. This is why I was comparing your extracted files with those from Windows 7 as Windows 10‘s install.wim has already updated Task Manager.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

          2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

            Indeed.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  4. Rafael

    Hello, still would have to return from the Windows 7 msconfig.exe, to customize startup, as it moved to the new Task Manager, and he replaced the old, can not be obtained then tweak to customize startup, thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    Reply
    1. MDJ

      It would be handy but Autoruns for this purpose is far much better.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      Reply
  5. Alex

    Great application! Thank you for it!

    But It is possible to have it on my own operative system language?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep. You need copy MUIs for your langauge from the appropriate boot.wim.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      1. Alex

        Thanks!

        Can you tell how to do it? Because 7-zip says “Can not open as compressed file”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Use the most recent beta or even aplha version of 7-zip.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          Reply
          1. Alex

            Done it but all taskmgr.exe.mui I’ve found there are on english :S

            any tip?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

            There must be a localized boot.wim
            Inside it you should find the required file.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. Alicia

    After I installed, I tried to open classic task manager, it stopped working on latest Windows 10 latest insider preview build! But it works on 10586!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Let me check.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      1. Alicia

        Have you check it yet?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Yep. Works like a charm in Windows 10 build 14279 x64.
          old task manager 14279
          Try to re-install it?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          Reply
          1. Alicia

            i have tried disable windows defender and reinstalled again and it is working! thank you

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  7. Jaroslav Svestka

    Super! Thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  8. Anixx

    One more reason: it requires theming and DWM, when theming disabled (Classic theme used) or when DWM switched off, the new Task Manager simply does not start.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Cool.
      May I ask why you disable DWM?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      1. Anixx

        I do not disable DWM but some people do it for various reasons (for instance, software compatibility).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        Reply
  9. ScanGittman

    I wasn’t aware something like this existed.
    Thank you!
    The reason I looked for this is because the Windows 10 task manager doesn’t show the speed at which you’re connected to the network (100Mbps, 1Gbps, etc) and it was very frustrating.
    You’d think I can just look at the network graph in the task manager to determine the speed but it takes like 30+ seconds to update.
    What I mean by that is that if you’re transferring a file across the network using a 1Gbps connection and look at the Windows 10 task manager, you’ll see that the graph only goes up to 100Kbps or even less. The reading will spike through the roof because you’re actually transferring @ 1Gbps but it takes a lot more time than it should for Windows to update the graph so that 1Gbps shows at the top of the graph instead of 100Mbps (or even less).
    So anyway, as a sys admin I thank you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  10. Judy Smith

    I have used Task Manager to close tasks that have quit running and are frozen. I changed something one day and the page that usually came up when I opened Task Manager and was going to close a frozen task, did not appear. How can I get that page back? (The screen now looks like the one at the top of this page. Does that mean I was using an old Task Manager and the new one just showed up? I have changed to Windows 10 and believe the screen I need did appear after I change to Windows 10. If this is the new Task Manager, how do I remove a frozen computer without turning it off at the power button.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Bob GEE

      I experienced the EXACT same occurrence as reported by Judy Smith (abv) ) and have the same question. Is the topic of this thread in response to this particular problem???

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  11. asdasd

    WOW SUCH GREAT

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  12. Janet

    Reason 15: Can’t go straight to the resource monitor from Task Manager

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  13. Maarten B

    Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  14. Yanta

    Love the utility; just one issue; when I close and re-open the task manager is does not remember that I had selected “Show processes for all users”. Is it just me – how do I fix?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  15. Jim

    Downloaded twice “bring back the old task manager “. When I open it I get the message that it cannot run in my version of Windows. Running # 10 Build 1703 Home Edition. Am I doing something wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply

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