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Why does Task Manager in Windows 8 pause itself?

Posted on 2014-01-04
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Last Modified: 2014-02-06
I am running Windows 8 Professional (64-bit) and often keep Task Manager running and minimised

I always have had it running, minimised, since way back with Windows 2000.  I don't need it, it's just a comfort blanket: useful when things start going slow, but normally just a reassuring little bar chart in the notification tray.

However, I've noticed recently that it is often paused.  I can set its updating speed back to Normal, but during the time it has been paused, the data has not been recorded - and invariably, when I switch to Task Manager it's because I wonder what's going on - and then I can't see, because it's not running.

I don't remember even seeing a Pause feature before Windows 8, but certainly never saw it automatically pausing.  I'm absolutely certainly not setting it to pause myself using the mouse, but wonder if there is some event or keyboard shortcut that triggers it?
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Question by:RedLondon
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4 Comments
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39757159
TaskManager should not suspend itself. The only reason I can imagine is resource contemption - no more memory available for a short period of time.

On the other hand, you might want to upgrade to 8.1 anyway, and that might fix that ;-).
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Accepted Solution

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Dan Craciun earned 500 total points
ID: 39757270
I've replaced Windows Task Manager for years with Process Explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Try it and see if it has the same pausing behavior. You might like it, cause it's way more powerful.

HTH,
Dan
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39758179
Hi.

Following http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/07/improving-power-efficiency-for-applications.aspx , it seems this is expected behavior. Start reading at "Focus on the foreground", there, it says
An app can be in one of three possible states:
1.Actively running in the foreground
2.Suspended in the background
3.Performing some defined background activity    

As your use case is not normal (perfmon should be used for this, not task manager), I don't see why this should not apply for task manager.
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Author Closing Comment

by:RedLondon
ID: 39839061
Qlemo, upgrading to Windows 8.1 didn't change the behaviour.  

Dan Cracium, Process Explorer hasn't paused on me yet - took some time to get used to the layout and I still think I prefer Task Manager, but at least it doesn't pause!  

McKnife, I think those notes were referring to Metro/ModernUI type applications
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