How Do I Bring Up Task Manager from a Remote Desktop Session?

Here’s another little trick that I assume most people know, but perhaps not.

When you’re connected using Remote Desktop and you need to kill a task, or to check on CPU or memory performance, how do you bring up Task Manager?  If you press Ctrl-Alt-Delete, you’ll get the Windows Security dialog in the host machine–not on the remote machine.

To bring up Task Manager in a remote session, just use the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-ESC.  This will directly open the Windows Task Manager on the machine that you’re connected to.  Voila.


26 thoughts on “How Do I Bring Up Task Manager from a Remote Desktop Session?

    • Edward, can you be more specific? This key sequence does work. What operating system version are you running on the client and on the server? Maybe you have the keys mapped to do something else somehow..

      • I came across this site and tried it as I had two remote desktop
        sessions locked up. I tried Ctrl Shift Esc on the first and it
        worked. I tried on the second and it brought up the local Task
        Manager. I noticed the second session wasn’t maximized and after
        I did, it worked. Thanks.

  1. You are a life saver… I was just getting frustrated with trying to retrieve task manager on my remote.

    This worked like a charm. Thank you , thank you soooooooo much! :)

    • “Ctrl + Alt + End” is the one that worked for me. The Ctrl Shift Esc simply brought up the local task manager, not what I needed. Also there’s a trick for restarting the remote machine I’m sure many of you are aware of but just in case here it is – “shutdown -t 0 -r -f”. I keep it in a bat file on the desktop and remote restarts are just a click away. Thanks

  2. Thank you very much. My remote machine was just stuck for the past more than 1 hour and I was not able to bring up the task manager. This helped and everything was back to normal pretty soon. Thanks again!

    • Simha,

      I’m not sure what combination of operating systems you’re running, but I don’t have a Task Manager entry when clicking on the Start menu. Also, bringing up Task Manager in the host doesn’t help you to examine tasks running in the remote machine. :O)


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