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Windows Task Manager is used to view details about processes running on your computer. Since it can be used to terminate programs that are misbehaving or are viruses disguised in the form of harmless programs, most spyware and viruses disable it to prevent themselves from being closed through it. Some administrators also disable Task Manager to prevent users from closing important security programs like antiviruses and anti-malwares.

In such situations, running the Task Manager will give the “Task Manager has been disabled by Administrator” error. However, there are some techniques you can use to re-enable task manager and close those harmful programs manually. This article contains few such simple techniques you can use to regain access to Task Managing privileges.

How to Disable Task Manager

  1. Click Start -> Run, and then type regedit to run Registry Editor, then press Enter.In Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or later, you can also just type regedit in Start Search, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:To block Task Manager from current logged on user:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\SystemTo block Task Manager on local computer for all users:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\SystemNoteif “System” does not exist, simply create a new key by right clicking on Policies, and select New -> Key, and name the new folder as System.
  3. Right click System registry key, and then select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name the new registry entry as DisableTaskMgr.
  5. Double click on DisableTaskMgr, and assign its value data as 1.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.

With immediate effect, user can no longer run or open Task Manager. Any attempt to run “taskmgr.exe” or using Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl-Alt-Del (via Windows Security dialog) key combination will has the error message saying “Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator”.

Disable Task Manager

Beside, the Task Manager item in right click context menu is grayed out and disabled when user right click on Taskbar.

How to Enable Task Manager

  1. Click Start -> Run, and then type regedit to open Registry Editor, then press Enter.In Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or later, you can also just type regedit in Start Search, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  3. Locate DisableTaskMgr in the right pane.
  4. If found, right click on DisableTaskMgr, and select Delete to remove the registry entry, or set its value data to 0.
  5. Then navigate to the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  6. Locate DisableTaskMgr in the right pane.
  7. If found, right click on DisableTaskMgr, and select Delete to remove the registry entry, or set its value data to 0.
  8. Quit Registry Editor.

Task Manager is now available. The hack or trick works in most Windows operating system, including Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2016 (R2), Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows Server 2008 (R2) and Windows Server 2003.