How to display Task Manager widgets on your Windows desktop

Know how your PC is performing at all times by pinning the Task Manager widget to your desktop.

The Task Manager is a great way to see what’s using up the resources on your PC. You may not be aware but it’s possible to have a small widget that displays the performance data from the Task Manager at all times on your desktop. There’s also a version available from the Xbox Game Bar, so gamers can monitor how their PC is coping with the latest graphically-demanding releases.

We’ll show you step by step how it’s done.

How to display the Task Manager widget

Setting up the widget is very simple. Click on the search field in the Windows Start menu and search for Task Manager. Select the top result and you should see Task Manager launch. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc together.At the top of the window are several tabs, choose Performance to see a live graph of the various demands being made on your system, then click on one of the four options in the left column (CPU, Memory, Disk and WiFi) to decide which data you’ll see on the widget.  

When you have the correct one selected, you can choose from one of two ways to display the information: either keep the entire window or show a compact version that only displays the graph. For the first method, simply click the Options tab at the top of the window and select Always on top. This will ensure that the Task Manager window remains visible, no matter what other apps you have open. 

If this seems a bit much, right-click on the large graph in the main pane and choose Graph summary view to have a usable, smaller window rather than the current one that dominates most of the screen. Then choose Options > Always on top.You can, of course, resize the windows as normal, but should you want to move from the smaller view back to the more detailed format, right-click on the graph and select Graph summary view once more to toggle it off.  

How to use Xbox Game Bar performance widget

Gamers may like to have more performance information available at-a-glance, and the Xbox Game Bar widget offers this feature. Normally, you’d press Windows key + G to bring up the Game Bar overlay, which contains various options alongside the Performance window, but you can also pin the latter to the desktop so that it’s always in sight. 

To do so, open the Xbox Game Bar as described above, then click the Pin icon in the top right of the Performance window.This will keep it on the screen, even when you close the Game Bar, but you’ll need to position the window where you want it to live before you close the Xbox Game Bar once more.

So, drag it into the right place, then press Windows key + G to close the Xbox Game Bar but leave the Performance window visible. When you’ve finished using the Performance window, open the Xbox Game Bar again and click the Pin icon to remove it from the desktop. For more ways to get better performance out of your PC, take a look at our guide on how to speed up Windows.

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