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How Can I Make Ctrl+Alt+Del Go Right to the Task Manager in Windows 7?


Years of Windows use has Ctrl+Alt+Del ingrained in your muscle memory, however in Windows 7 and up it no longer takes you directly to the Task Manager, but the Welcome Screen instead. What to do? The solution is as simple as learning a new trick.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader Belgi has a very simple request:

I am using Windows 7 and when I press Ctrl+Alt+Del I first go into the Welcome Screen and only then I can go into the Task Manager.

I have no use for any other option on this screen, can I change it so the combination will get my directly to the Task Manager?

Surely there is a trick, registry hack, or some clever maneuver that can help poor Belgi, no?

The Answer

SuperUser reader Xander27 has exactly the kind of answer we like…

You can use Ctrl+Shift+Esc for this.

… the dead simple ones that teach us all a new trick or two. I can’t speak for the other distinguished members of the How-To Geek staff, but I will hang my head in shame at the realization that I’d been (for years!) using a keyboard shortcut and then a mouse click to achieve what a keyboard shortcut alone could achieve.


Have another clever keyboard shortcut to share? Sound off in the the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/28/13

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