In Windows, an Overlooked but Useful Feature Was Discovered After 30 Years

In Windows, an Overlooked but Useful Feature Was Discovered After 30 Years

After three decades, a seemingly unnoticed feature in Windows offers a surprising solution to a common problem.

Windows users are all too familiar with the frustration of computer slowdowns caused by a lack of memory or heavy CPU usage. When such issues arise, Task Manager is the go to solution for identifying and terminating resource heavy processes. However, despite its utility, this Task Manager can be frustrating: the erratic behavior of processes in the list as CPU usage values change, rendering it quite difficult to follow.

Enter David Plummer, a key figure behind Task Manager's development in 1994 during the creation of Windows 95 and Windows NT. Plummer recently shared a long-hidden trick to address this issue and a way to freeze the process list, making it considerably easier to navigate and close problematic processes. 

© Windows

Plummer's revelation came to light in response to a frustrated user's complaint on social media, suggesting that Windows "should invent a task manager that stops F*****G MOVING". In response to the Tweet, Plummer informed the user that there has actually been a solution to this problem, and it was invented in 1994. All you need to do to prevent the Task Manager from moving around it to press the CTRL key to pause updates

Normally, selecting the appropriate column is usually a good enough way of finding an app that is not working problem, but only if it constantly uses CPU time or RAM. If you have a process that keeps jumping around and is hard to follow, then the best option is to freeze Task Manager. All you need to do is hold down the CTRL key as explained by Plummer. As the key is pressed, the list will stop moving around. You can still open menus and select any tasks you need to perform, but without the erratic movement.


Surprisingly, many users were unaware of this feature, opting instead to arrange processes alphabetically to mitigate the constant jumping, a workaround that often obscured critical processes. This new solution is certainly much more straightforward and saves the hassle of trying to track the process that you want. 

Despite Plummer's retirement following the launch of Windows Server 2003, his legacy endures, providing Windows users with valuable insights and solutions to age-old frustrations on both his YouTube channel and X (formerly Twitter) account. So, the next time you find yourself grappling with Task Manager chaos, remember to tap into Plummer's expertise, he may just have the solution you need, even after 30 years.