Software Windows

How do I stop Task Manager from moving apps around?

person using Windows 11 computer on lap
Task at hand: stop Task Manager from shuffling around

If you need to use the Windows Task Manager to solve an issue on your PC, it’s frustrating when the list of apps or processes keeps jumping around. Thankfully, there are ways to improve the view and freeze the action. Let’s take a look at both.

How to improve the view in Task Manager

One of the primary uses of Task Manager is to kill a misbehaving app. However, it’s sometimes challenging to find the program in question. If you’re having difficulty, then it’s time to get the Processes list in order. To do this, first open Task Manager and choose the Processes list, if it isn’t already showing. In Windows 10, you can find the tab at the top of the screen when in extended view; in Windows 11, it’s available from the left-hand pane (both shown below).

Now click on the Name column. Once done, you will see the Apps and Background processes listed separately and alphabetically, making it easy to find what you seek.

List of apps and processes in alphabetical order in Windows 11 Task Manager

The other core reason to use Task Manager is to identify a rogue app or process that may be slowing down your computer. In this case, you’ll want to investigate programs eating away at your PC’s processor or memory. To find the culprit, click on either the CPU or Memory column and the apps or processes using the most resources will appear at the top. If they don’t, then just tap the column name again to flip the list.

Memory usage in Windows 10 Task Manager

How to stop Task Manager from moving

Selecting the appropriate column is an excellent way to find a rouge app, but only if it constantly uses CPU time or RAM. If you have a naughty process that keeps jumping about and is difficult to keep track of, the best option is to freeze Task Manager while you check it out. To do this, you simply have to hold down the CTRL key. 

Right click context menu on Windows 11 task Manager

While you have the key pressed, the list will stop moving around, but you’ll still be able to open menus and select any tasks you need to perform.

About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

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