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How to enable / disable / change the Task Manager on Windows Vista

This question was asked in the forum, but after a bit of research I thought I would share this more broadly.  Here is what I discovered:

  • There is a group policy object to enable / disable task manager
  • You can also replace the file that gets run when Task Manager is requested, but this is done using the debug options

Group Policy to enable / disable

For the Group Policy options, a quick search on Live Search takes me to http://www.infopackets.com/channels/en/windows/gazette/2003/20030821_enable_taskmanager_for_windows_2000_and_xp.htm which basically points to:

  • Open Regedit
  • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System.
  • Look for: DisableTaskMgr.
    • Click on REG_DWORD.
      • Value: 1=Enable this key (disables TaskManager)
      • Value: 0=Disable (actually enables TaskManager)

Replace Task Manager with another program

Then for the how to replace the program you basically need to set the options for taskmgr.exe to replace it with another program using the debug options.  This means that you want to do the following:

  • Open Regedit
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Image File Execution Options \ taskmgr.exe
  • Look for: Debugger   - if it exists then the program listed gets executed, if it is not present then taskmgr.exe is executed
    • eg "Debugger"="C:\SOFTWARE\TOOLS\PROCESSEXPLORER\PROCEXP.EXE"

Now while this sounds simple, if you have UAC on and the program you are calling requires elevation then you will hit problems.  http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/replacing-task-manager-with-process-explorer-in-vista discusses how to work around them.

 

ttfn

David

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Posted Wed, Oct 10 2007 9:20 AM by David Overton

Comments

Enable/Disable/Swap the Task Manager in Windows Vista | CTF Blog wrote Enable/Disable/Swap the Task Manager in Windows Vista | CTF Blog
on Wed, Oct 10 2007 11:37 PM

Pingback from  Enable/Disable/Swap the Task Manager in Windows Vista | CTF Blog

Mike Plant wrote re: How to enable / disable / change the Task Manager on Windows Vista
on Tue, Mar 25 2008 10:54 AM

Thank you very much, I have enabled task manager

thanks to your help

ZAM wrote re: How to enable / disable / change the Task Manager on Windows Vista
on Sat, Oct 18 2008 7:16 PM

iluv u bro it worked

tanks alot lot lot

kallopia wrote re: How to enable / disable / change the Task Manager on Windows Vista
on Thu, Dec 31 2009 1:26 AM

thanks dude man ur the best it actually worked coz i have been looking for a solution like this for ages thanks heaps again

yours sincerely kallopia

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