How do I use Task Manager to check my CPU use?

In Windows 8 and 10, you can use Task Manager for an array of tasks, including to view real-time data on your computer's performance, but first, you need to know how to open the tool. Below are a few ways to open Task Manager:

  • Right-click the Taskbar and click on Task Manager.
  • Open Start, do a search for Task Manager and click the result.
  • Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
  • Use the Ctrl + Alt + Del keyboard shortcut and click on Task Manager.
  • Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the power-user menu and click on Task Manager.

If you never open this tool before, you're likely to see Task Manager in compact mode. To get to Performance, you need to click the More details button, and then click on the Performance tab.


In the Performance tab, you can monitor four main components, including processor, memory, hard drive, network (and Bluetooth).

On the left pane by default, you'll see all the components with small graphs displaying their current activity that you can use to quickly identify any spikes on resources.

The CPU section provides details about the processor and resource utilization. In the top-right corner you'll see exactly which processor your computer is using and the speed it was designed to run. If asked by our team, please be prepared to provide this.

If you see some big spikes of 80% and above on the graph, or if you see a consistent high use, first try limiting your use of applications to work applications only. If this does not resolve the spiking issue, let the Helpdesk team know in your ticket.


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