Disabling Task Manager in Windows 7

Task Manager is a program that is integrated in almost all Microsoft Windows operating systems and contains multiple tabs. Each tab in the Task Manager allows users to customize the workflow of the operating system according to the requirements. With the help of Task Manager, users can initiate, close and/or terminate applications and processes in case a forceful action (mostly termination) is required. Moreover, Task Manager also allows users to view the memory and CPU usage and users can also verify the network usage and congestion by going to the respective tabs in the Task Manager.

Although task manager can be used by any user account (administrator or non-administrator), some applications and/or processes that use elevated credentials can be terminated only using administrator account. Also, there are some processes that always use ‘System’ account that is not accessible even by the administrators of the computer. Such processes cannot be terminated using any credentials whatsoever.

Task Manager Availability

When a Windows 7 computer is used at homes, mostly users do not configure advanced settings because of two main reasons:

  • They are not technically sound and they fear that if they try to customize the operating system on their own, they might end up damaging the OS completely.
  • In homes, an operating system needs not to be made secured as there is no risk of hacking, or in many cases, there is no sensitive information stored in home computers which might cause heavy loss to the owners if it is stolen or lost.

Keeping above situations in mind, home users keep the Task Manager enabled, and access it more often to terminate the applications or processes forcefully when required.

There are also cases when, because of unwanted scripts or virus applications, the Task Manager automatically gets disabled. When this happens, administrators must use group policies to first disable the Task Manager and then enable it and finally set the radio button back to ‘Not Configured’ option, which is the default setting in Windows 7.

On the other hand, in production environments, because of security reasons administrators might not want users to access Task Manager and forcefully terminate a running process or a program. To prevent users from doing so, administrators mostly disable Task Manager through group policies.

How to Disable Task Manager in Windows 7?

In order to disable Task Manager in Windows 7 operating system, administrators must follow the steps given as below:

  1. Log on to Windows 7 computer with administrator account.
  2. Click Start, and at the bottom of the menu in search box type GPEDIT.MSC and press Enter key.
  3. On the opened Local Group Policy Editor snap-in, from the left pane under User Configuration locate and click to select Administrative Templates > System > Ctrl + Alt + Del.
  4. From the right pane, double-click Remove Task Manager.
  5. On the opened Remove Task Manager box, click to select Enabled radio button to disable the Task Manager and click OK to save the changes.

    Disable Task Manager

  6. Finally close Computer Management snap-in.
Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.