It is now possible to restore classic Task Manager from Windows 10 on Windows 11, the one without the hamburger menu and with the menu row and classic tabs. While Microsoft doesn't offer such an option in the OS itself, here's a robust solution you can go with.
With Windows 11 version 22H2, Microsoft has introduced a new Task Manager app. Technically, it is still the same app as it was in previous OS release, but it looks completely different.
It replaces the tab row with a hamburger menu that can hide the section names. Besides the new layout, it also shows additional controls on each of the pages. For instance, the Details tab shows the buttons to kill a process and run a new app, the Processes tab allows turning on Efficiency mode, and so on.
Obviously that Microsoft will further improve it. It already supports the dark theme, Fluent Design with accent colors, and has a search box in recent builds. But there are always users who prefer the classic style over the new app. First of all, the new design made it start slowly. The missing menu is another reason for them, as it is makes it easier to select features with accelerator keys. Sadly, the Redmond firm didn't add any option to go back to the previous design of the taskmgr tool. Here the Classic Task Manager package comes into play.
Download Classic Task Manager for Windows 11 (Windows 10 version)
- Navigate to the following website and download the taskmgr10.zip file.
- Open the ZIP archive and run taskmgr_w10_for_w11-1.0-setup.exe.
- Follow the setup program steps. You can optionally specify the installation directory, but the default one will do the trick.
- Once you finish installing, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or right-click the taskbar to open the Task Manager. Congrats, you now have the Windows 10-like app!
You are done. The package supports all the official Windows 11 locales. It means that regardless of the operating system's display language the Task Manager will be of the same language. E.g. in the English OS it will be in English, in French Windows 11 it will be in French, and so on. The installer is smart enough to install only the required locale files, so it won't fill your drive with redundant files.
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 package is built from genuine files of Windows 11 version 21H2. It is the last version of Windows that contains the classic Windows 10-like Task Manager.
Restore the default Task Manager
It is easy to undo the changes by simply installing the app. Open Settings (Win + I), and go to Apps > Installed apps. In the list, look for the Classic Task Manager (Windows 10 version) and select Uninstall from the three-dot menu. Confirm that you want to remove the app, and it will restore the default Windows 11 Task Manager with the hamburger menu.
ℹ️ The software installs the Task Manager side-by-side with the newest one, and won't replace any system file. The OS will remain unchanged.
If the Windows 10-like looking Task Manager is not classic enough for you, you can go with an even older version taken from Windows 7. Luckily it still works on Windows 11.
Windows 7 Task Manager for Windows 11
- Navigate to the project's website using this link.
- Download the app and double-click it to open.
- Run the installer and follow the steps. I suggest you to leave the option "Classic msconfig" enabled, as the legacy Task Manager doesn't allow managing startup apps. The classic msconfig comes with the working "Startup" tab.
- Once you click finish, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You will now have the Windows 7 app instead of the default one.
Like the previously reviewed one, this package is built from genuine Windows 7 files. It doesn't replace system files, so Task Managers will coexist. It supports the full list of Windows interface languages, so it will always be translated properly to your OS language. You will find that list on the app's download page.
To restore the default Task Manager of Windows 11, just uninstall the app from Settings > Apps > Installed apps. Find there "Classic Task Manager + msconfig" and uninstall it. This will bring back the default app.
Finally, you may want to switch between these two or even three Task Managers on the fly. There is a way to keep them all installed, and switch between them on demand. It is also very simple.
Switch between different versions on demand
What version of the Task Manager is in use is defined by the following Registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\taskmgr.exe.
If this key does not exist, Windows will launch the default Task Manager.
But if the key exists, the OS will look for the Debugger string (REG_SZ) value there. If it is set to some executable path, it will launch that app instead of the original taskmgr.exe file. Similarly, if the Debugger value isn't or doesn't exist, Windows 11 will run the default Task Manager. Keeping everything we just learned in mind, we can create three REG files to switch between Task Managers on demand.
To switch between different Task Manager versions of the fly, do the following.
- Download this ZIP archive with three REG files.
- Extract them to any folder of your choice.
- To use the default Task Manager app, open the
- For switching to its version from Windows 11 21H2/Windows 10, open the
- Finally, to use the Windows 7 version of Task Manager, open the
- Confirm the User Account Control prompt by clicking Yes in its dialog.
- Finally, confirm the Registry Editor prompt that you want to merge the REG file.
- Now the combination of Ctrl + Shift + Escape keys will launch the application that you have selected with the REG file. In my case it the Windows 10 version.You are done.
The REG files assume that you have the taskmgr files installed with the packages mentioned in this post. Otherwise, open the downloaded REG files in the Notepad app, and change the path(s) to the taskmgr10.exe and tm.exe files. The REG files are in the plain text format so you can easily change them to match your needs. Type the correct values for each of the Task Managers and you are good to go. Keep in mind that you have to use double backslash (\\) as a path separator instead of the single one in the REG files.
Again, the REG file editing is only required if you have installed them to non-default folders.
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