The great thing about PCs are they allow you to have multiple programs open at the same time. The downside is that sometimes these programs get ‘hung up’ and need to be terminated. The easiest way to perform this termination is via the Task Manager.

You can access the Task Manager by right mouse clicking on a clear area of the Taskbar and selecting Task Manager from the menu that appears.

This should display a window like that shown above that lists out all the applications that are currently running. You can terminate any of these by selecting the item and then the End Task button in the bottom right of the window.

The items with a triangle to the left of item indicate that sub processes are also operating for this item. You can view these sub processes by clicking on the arrow to expand the display.

You can sort the listings by clicking once on the column heading. BY default the items will be sorted from A-Z using the Name column. However, if you select the CPU column you will see items sorted by those consuming the most amount of current processor time.

With this view you can quickly see the items that are consuming the most CPU, memory, disk or network activity and terminate them if required. Terminating an application will force it to unload from memory and will not generally save any information, however in the cases of a ‘hung’ application you may not have any choice but to terminate.

The Task Manager is a good way to keep an eye on how your machine is performing as well as terminate rogue applications if required. However, always be careful of what you terminate and of the fact that the display will jump around depending on how it is currently sorted.