How to Enable or Disable Task Manager

How many times have you pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del in sheer frustration?

Many of us experience a computer freeze at one time or another. Sometimes, an application just won’t quit. Ctrl+Alt+Del brings up the Task Manager to save the day.

There are users though who would rather not use Task Manager and would like to prevent access to the feature all together. There is a registry tweak for Windows XP that will deny the user access to the Task Manager, but it must be applied on a per user basis. This cannot be applied to all users of a particular computer.

Since this is a registry tweak, you should be sure to make a backup of your current registry settings before making any changes. The backup can come in handy if you encounter any issues.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Click Start and go to Run. Enter regedit.
  2. Look at the left side of your registry editor. Look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  3. Expand this folder. Look for Software next.
  4. Once you have expanded Software, look for the Microsoft folder and expand.
  5. After expanding Microsoft, go to Windows. Expand this folder.
  6. Look for CurrentVersion and expand. Go to Policies after that.
  7. Expand Policies and look for the System folder.
  8. Once you find the System folder, look at the right side of the registry editor. Do you see DisableTaskMgr? If you do, go on to step nine. Follow the steps below before proceeding to step nine.
    • Right click on the white part of the right hand pane of the box.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename the new DWORD DisableTaskMgr. You can also right click on the new DWORD value that comes up and select Rename.
  9. Double click on DisableTaskMgr. A smaller box will come up.
  10. Enter 0 if you want Task Manager enabled. This is the default setting. Enter 1 if you would like to disable Task Manager.
  11. Exit registry and reboot.