How to Run Task Manager in Safe Mode

By John Zaremba

Safe mode is a version of your computer operating system that runs with only its basic elements. It is useful when your computer has a problem that causes your computer to run slowly, such as spyware or other malware. Safe Mode enables you to examine your computer's contents without all the unnecessary elements that would cause it to run slowly. Task Manager enables you to see the programs and processes your computer is running, and users can access it in Safe Mode much in the same way they access it during normal operation.

Starting In Safe Mode

Step 1

Restart your computer.

Step 2

Press the F8 key just as your computer restarts, and before the Windows logo appears on the screen. This will allow you to access a menu of special start-up options.

Step 3

Press the arrow keys to highlight "Safe Mode."

Step 4

Press "enter."

Toolbar Method

Step 1

Right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Click on an open area, not one of the icons.

Step 2

Drag the cursor to highlight "Task Manager."

Step 3

Left-click on "Task Manager."

Three-Button Method

Step 1

Press and hold "Ctrl."

Step 2

Press and hold "alt."

Step 3

Press and hold "delete."

Step 4

Highlight and click "Run Task Manager."

Tips & Warnings

  • Some people find it easier to tap the F8 key repeatedly once their computer has restarted, to make sure the computer directs them to the special startup menu.
  • Malware, such as adware or spyware, may disable your computer's ability to run Task Manager. If your computer produces an error message when you try to run Task Manager, that may be a symptom of a virus.