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Why Is My Task Manager Disabled, and How Do I Fix It?


My task manager has a “task manager has been disabled by the administrator” message. How did this happen and how can I correct this?

Why: if you didn’t do it yourself, the news isn’t good.

How to fix it: there are a couple of ways.

Let’s look at this more closely.

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The situation’s pretty simple. If you right click on the clock in the Windows taskbar, the Task Manager item is grayed out:

Greyed out Task Manager Item

Or, if you try to run taskmgr.exe manually, you get this message:

Task Manager Disabled message

So, how did this happen?

As we’ll see in a moment, there are settings you can access as an administrator that would allow you to disable and enable Task Manager in this way.

You didn’t do that, you say?

Then a virus probably did.

Disabling Task Manager is one way viruses try to make it harder for you to deal with their infections. Before proceeding any further, you should run a complete and up-to-date anti-virus scan of your machine. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that you’ve been infected.

Once you come back virus-free, you can proceed with the fix.

If you have Windows XP Pro, there’s a nifty user interface to directly edit the setting you want to repair. Click Start, then click Run and type in gpedit.msc:

Start, Run, gpedit.msc

And press OK. This runs the Group Policy Editor.

Once in the Group Policy Editor, expand in turn:

  • User Configuration
  • Administrative Templates
  • System
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del Options

You should see something much like this:

Group Policy Editor, Ctrl+Alt+Del Options

Double click on Remove Task Manager to change its setting:

Remove Task Manager setting

It should be enough to click on Not Configured and then OK and Task Manager is available once again.

If you don’t have Windows XP Pro, then you’ll need to edit the registry manually.

Click Start, then click Run, type in regedit, and click on OK.

Expand these registry keys in turn:

  • Software
  • Microsoft
  • Windows
  • CurrentVersion
  • Policies
  • System

You should see something similar to this:

Disable Task Manager Registry Setting

Right Click on the DisableTaskMgr item:

Context Menu on DisableTaskMgr registry item

Click on Delete, confirm that you want to delete, and Task Manager should be available once again.

One thing to note is that it’s quite possible that if you’re in an environment managed by a centralized policy, these settings may have no effect. Your IT administrator may set things up so as to disable Task Manager, and other things as well at the domain level. You’ll need to ask them if this is the case.

367 comments on “Why Is My Task Manager Disabled, and How Do I Fix It?”

  1. Interesting. I am not having problems, but gave gpedit a try anyway. On my copy of XP Pro, the only sub folder under Administrative Templates is Windows Components. I don’t have any of the others.

  2. If you are still having a problem with the disabled task manager after you have edited the registry to remove it, then more than likely there is an auto loader that is reloading the disable task manager. It can be removed in safe mode once you have found the autoloader, most likely it is in a temp file. Its just a suggestion.

    • Thanks, you are the only guy that give solution to my problem, as soon as i download the taskmanager fix it automatically fix the task manager and enable it at once, Thanks

  3. Thanks a lot Leo..It has definitely solved my problem.Could you also please recommend which antivirus is best for my computer.I’m using win XP SP2

  4. hey guys and gals it simply fantastic. i was in my o ffice when i got this problemand after using leo’s tips it wrking f9 and task manager and run option both are back

    Thanks & Regards

  5. HI Leo,
    Iam running an antivirus now but it seams everything right.
    My task bar menu doesnt appear. I have administrator account in my home computer. I was setting a guest account and after that, my task manager doesnt appear.

    The guest account works properly, but in My account not.
    The quick lunch folder is on the right place,
    The taskMgr is available us I controled with all your related articles,
    and when I shut it down it seams to appear but in the next login is not there,
    I have a microsoft keyboard and the volume and Start keys doesnwork as well since that situation, but if I try to access the task manager from the control panel it is the same: “no answer”

    If you have some time will be great to have your advices,,, already thankful

    (Win xp pro 2002 tiny edition SPack 2)

  6. HiLeo,

    Im again. I found part of the problem. My printer have a monitor software that produce the troubles. If it is working Im not able to see the task manager. If I end the task (printer softw)with the WinTask Manager the task bar appears again immediately.
    I reinstalled the printer software but it doesnt help. So I believe it is again with the changes I had made with the account.

    If any advice for me, great
    thank you again,,, your site is very good

  7. Good stuff, as always Leo. The help is appreciated.

    nish: It’s not something open for debate. These commands are how you restart it. If you are unable to start Task Manager after doing them then something may be interfering, but the instructions are not wrong.

  8. i need help my run command will not allow me through administrator which my account is but im not allowed can you help i have norton online 2007 im running a scan but 3 qaurters way through and no infection found i have troubles with norton not the the best antivirus.

  9. Thanks for the info, it did have some use, but my “Remove Task Manager” was already set to Not Configured but was still inactive. Changed it to “Disabled” and came back.

  10. Thanks a million, Leo. Your procedure worked. My wife’s computer WAS infected with a virus, and that had to be what was disabling task manager. The virus also popped up windows telling us spyware had infected our computer and took over the desktop, saying the same. The virus claimed we needed to download some spyware removal software. It all smelled like a rat, and it was a rat. Strangely, my wife has Norton Antivirus on her machine, but I don’t. My computer is set up to do automatic Windows updates, and hers wasn’t. Hers was infected, mine wasn’t. Interesting that Windows Update seemed to be more important in fighting viruses than the anti-virus software itself.

  11. Thank you. This worked perfectly for me. I believe RangerVirus was the cause of this for me, over 250 infections when I scanned with a strong adware package. Thanks for making the impossible seem quite easy.

  12. Excellent instructions and worked the first time! I really appreciated this on the website as without TASK MANAGER it’s almost impossible to shut down some programs when they crash. Now, if I could only get rid of trojandownloader.xs, my kids computer will be up and running once again!

  13. Thank you Leo, solution for disabled Task mgr worked. And yes, a virus caused it. For all you youngsters out there, Don’t download a “plug-in” from an unknown source.

  14. ok here is the problem i tried doing the regedit thind but as soon as i turn the number from 1 to 0 and i go back to regedit it turned to 1 agian. then i tried deleting it and creating a new one. but after i finish it says there is another one with the same name, and as soon as i come to regedit it the one i deleted is back

  15. This worked for me. I also noticed two other items that related to not alerting to logon, and logon stuff. Happy to be rid of that little problem. Incidentally, I have Symantec AV Corp Ed, and it found nothing over the past few weeks that I’ve been without Task Manager.

  16. I have tried implementing both the methods.Following the first method the remove task manager option is already not configured and then the next method gives a message that it is disabled by the administrator…please suggest me a method so that i can enable it..

  17. friend’s PC has a bug/virus/something IN THE BIOS that SEARCH & DESTROY cannot get rid of. (and yes, S&D has been updated) S&D says it found something in memory that will be fixed when XP is restarted. It doesn’t happen. The bug comes back. and just one of the symptoms is not being able to get into TASK MANAGER. Can’t boot off a CD. Screen keeps wanting us to purchase a anti-virus program. It’s a real mess. Idea’s welcome. (besides getting a new motherboard)

  18. i have windows XP..
    do i insert the same exact thing you in:
    Expand these registry keys in turn:








    ..Because i tried that and didnt work, what do i put in?

  19. kris c’s comment 06-05-08 @12:50P references task bar. I thought this thread was re: task mgr? I had problem with search and start/task bar being disabled. I was able to go through recycle bin to explore and task manager to restart. I got start/task bar back by reenabling quick launch but didn’t know how to reenable search.

  20. this article was very helpful to me because it lead me through the process step by step.I think what disabled my task manager was a program my brother had installed called skype. thanks for the information on enabling task manager!

  21. hi leo,

    tks for the advice to change the registry.

    i use xp home version and run as the administrator.
    my task manager, regedit and norton anti-virus auto-protect are disabled after being hit by a worm a few days ago.
    i used spybot to get rid the worm, now norton anti-virus and regedit are back to normal.
    i used kaspersky, panda-scan, symantec online scan and avg to scan and no more virus found.
    i used spybot, cwshredder, adaware, spyware doctor etc. and found no more spyware.
    i changed the registry as shown by you, used a rrt program and similar registry changes suggested by other gurus, like in – set DisableTaskMgr to (0) or delete it, reboot but still could not find my task manager back.
    checked the taskmgr.exe in system32 directory and found the file size and date are normal.
    i am now using anvir task manager and found no adnormal cpu, memory or program/process running.

    please kindly advise if any other registry or method i could follow to get back the task manager.
    by the way, hijackthis cannot be run on my pc even though i click the program file, don’t know why.

    tks a lot in advance, and awaiting your kindest advice.


  22. Thanks Leo! The second tip really helped even though my OS was Windows XP Pro. I am not sure how this was disabled and my system was not even infected. There was also no group policy implemented by the centralized IT administrator.

  23. Many Thanks, option two worked fine. AVG did not stop the virus attack but detected it later, had to remove the files manually to get rid.

  24. Actually ur system is affected with new folder.exe

    Try this one:-

    goto this link
    and download the smart virus remover its free.
    and install it.

    then check ur system tray it will show a new icon…. click on it…else


    start > all programs > Smart Virus Remover

    click on all the four buttons on the left side of the interface.

    it will activate ur task manager, folder options etc….

    but remember u have to use a good antivirus in order to remove the virus.

  25. If your run option has been disabled like mine was too, right-click the start button, go to properties, start menu tab, customize, advanced tab, and in start menu items check the ‘run command’ option then press ok then apply.

    This guide helped me a lot thanks.

  26. I tried your recommendations, as well as pasting ( REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f) into “run” each time. They all work but Task Manager continues to get disabled even though I’m virus and spyware free (except some Microsoft stuff.

  27. hey guys… whew!! it work i dit it in reg edit but after 1 day it was disabled again and now i can’t run regedit anymore ..can anyone tell me how to remove this kind of virus… named= backup which similarly like a driver that can be extract…. the other one is named= do not delete which is a folder type, the other one is sometinlike a noteboo1 and it is named list, the other one is a media player or somtin like a avi and it is named as unknown artist and the last one is a workbook1… the keep on appearing in every folder i open… i tried avira/kaspersky/nod32 but they can’t delete this mess..

  28. I had this same problem. Also tweakui, regedit, and task manager were all disabled by administrator. AVG missed it. Spybot S&D found the bad entries and removed them. I had to search for a program that was trying to go on the internet. Finally found it and all is well again.

  29. Hi Leo. I have a weird problem. Can you walk me through to fix my laptop please? I have a Windows XP no anti-virus programs and 6 days ago after searching for ‘roms’ to download and finding nothing but POP UP WEBSITES. another browsing window from Internet Explorer popped up and it wouldn’t close. So I tried Alt + CTRL + Delete and it said “Task Manager has been disable by your administrator”

    I tried searching for the worm, cookie or trojan by going to “RUN” “REGEDIT” And received “Registry editing has been disable by your administrator”. Then, when I went to check on my local disk ‘free space’ I noticed that the storage capacity kept on decreasing.

    I’m not able to use Firefox as a browser, just IE and I’m not able to download anything through IE because every time I want to download something or an anti-virus it closes the window that will be used to download or my pc acts like if I hadn’t click on the link to download.

    I tried going to the sites you’ve listed to get my laptop scanned online and when I click my machine doesn’t do anything or sometimes it just shows a ‘green progressing image’ at the bottom of the browser on the status bar like if it was trying to load the page but it’s not.

    What else can I do? I have a roommate who has a desktop PC and we tried uploading AVG anti-virus through her computer to my laptop and it uploads well except that when I want to install the anti-virus the windows looks like it has been frozen and then, it shows an error message “0xc0000005”

    Any alternatives besides re-formatting please?

    You were running without anti-virus protection? My guess is that your system is messed up pretty bad. Yes, we could spend a lot of time trying various approached, but … in reality, a reformat and reinstall will at this point likely be much quicker.

    Just make sure to set up security before you connect to the internet, ok? Anti virus, anti spyware, firewall, the works. You’ve seen what happens when you don’t.

    – Leo
  30. Hi

    I had the similar issue with the computer with both the Task Manager and the Registry Disabled. Unfortunately the Windows i used was XP Home and the Gpedit wont work there.
    I googled around and got the Command line Reset which enables the Registry and then I Modified (also deleted) the Keys to disable the Task manager. It worked Untill the System was stayed on. Once Rebooted.. Same Issue happened again. Does it Mean it is really Infected. ??

  31. Hej Guys, i’ve been reading what you have write here and i just want to give you another HELP about this…!

    When You load your Operation System Windows XP whatever his version is you see only you account that means you are the Administrator, right…!
    But it is not like it seems, even that your User Account is the only account that can access your System there is another User that we call it ADMINISTRATOR and he is the most powerful user on the system.

    If you want to follow all the steeps that are written on the top of this page to Enable your Task Manager, first of all you should try to follow those steeps.

    1) Load you OS Windos XP on your Account
    2) Click on START
    3) After Select Log off
    4) Log off from your account…!
    5) When it appears your account to click on it do like this>
    6) Click CTRL+ALT+DELETE 2X ( Twice-Two Times)
    7) On your Account name Rename it to “Administrator”
    8) Press Enter if you don’t have a Password or if you have than write it and than press enter

    Now you are logged in as Administrator now you should Follow the Steeps that are written by ” ASK LEO”

    I Hope this will help you guys…!

  32. Hey guys,

    My system was infected by virus virus IM-Worm.Win32.Sohanad.gen which resulted in disable task manager and certain other problems.

    Method 3 helped me recover my problems well…

    Thanx a lot guys for the work.

  33. Thank you soooo much, a virus was on my computer. Long story short, I had to disconnect internet, (so the message “Its being used ” thing) then delete it, then it wouldnt let me use task manager.Thank you so much.

    Everyone!! Watch out for WindowsXP Police. That’s the virus name

  34. I have tried all the above methods…The settings for the task manager are set to not configured. Still my task manager is disabled. The Registry is also disabled.My system is virus free now. Kindly suggest a way out…

  35. I was hit by digeste.dll and couldn’t get into task manager
    Followed spywareremove instructions and deleted the offensive module. Running regSRV didn’t do anything

    Followed Leo’s instruction using GPEDIT.MSC and flagged disabled as it was already showing not configured. Task manager is back

    Thanks for your help

  36. i have downloaded the xp antivirus virus and now i am not able to get my task manager.. i deleted the virus but not permanently as it did not appear in my add/remove program menu norton detected two viruses which are fixed but still not able to resume my task manager..please help

  37. Had this happen as a result of malware, specifically, the new “XPPoliceAntivirus” took out the task manager. I was able to remove the malware using malwarebyte’s anti-malware but the above entry in gpedit was missing so I had to manually remove it in regedit. It also threw some other entries in the registry in that same group I had to delete as well so a special thanks for this writeup!

  38. i have task manager mal-functioning, means doesnot run at all but it does run in safe mode, i’m using win vista. its an after effect of “Ahsan Virus”. How do i fix it, virus is removed i believe… thanks leo

  39. I have the task manager is diwsabled message AND a blue screen with red and yellow boxes showing.. AND no task bar to run start etc… what to do?

  40. Used the second method. Did it manually through regedit works great. Thanks for the help and succinct instructions you rock.

  41. Some people have nohing better to do than trying to mess up things we rely on, forunately some people also dedicate time and bandwidth to helping us, so for that, I thank you!

  42. Wow, many thanks, you just fixed a problem that was troubling me so much! It fixed everything that wasn’t working… including internet explorer! Now I can go sleep! Thank you so much!

  43. Can you help me to enable the task manager?
    But how? My computer suffers from a virus called
    “flashy”. I have an anti-virus NORTON ANTIVIRUS.
    I dont have any internet connection. When I open Norton anti-virus this says like this “Norton cannot scan because some file of Norton is corrupted” but this note is not exactly as the computer says.

  44. my “remove task manger” is checked with ‘not configured’, but still the problem is occuring. even I can’t run the ‘Regedit’, it says- registry editting has been disabled by your administrator. please help me.

  45. I have a question.. my daughter got the XP Police Antivirus on her computer and I was able to get rid of it all.. then her task manager wouldn’t run.. found this.. thank you.. it repaired the problem.. I just have one question.. in that same file I also see “disable registry tools” with a value set at 1.. is this suppose to be there? Any help would be great.. Thanks in advance

  46. Plz Tell me How can i get My Taskmanager Back and Where Can I Found and Get Enabled…

    Your Steps of gpedit.msc and regedit are not working….

    so tell me onather Answer

  47. Thanx for ur advice…
    This is very useful to my IT knowledge…
    I’ll try to clean the virus from pc…
    Actually i’m not using a virus guard…
    Any way if i get another problem i’ll check with u…

  48. Ask Leo has helped me on several occasions, when even Windows help was of no assistance in enabling my task manager. Thanks Leo!

  49. hi leo, i got this task manager enabled. but for just 1-3 seconds. then, it goes back to disabled.

    sorry to tell, but i lost hope with my NOD32 3.0 anti-virus. it scans but it won’t give me any lead what was the virus. please give me some advice…

  50. This works great if you can get into the machine. What if you have to slave the drive to edit the registry to fix the task manager error.

  51. i am having truble getting my task manager also i am stuck i wanner activate kaspersky 2009 but unable to due to avg 8 it’s not getting removed complitly pleasehelp me to get this back and to activate task manager and kasper sky

  52. Dear Leo
    i have window xp, my task manager is disable, even gpedit.msc is also not working. you are requested to please suggest me what to do

  53. Hey..i’ve tried the things that u told..since im not using windows xp pro i tried to edit it myself..but it said that the task has bben diasabled by do i fix this?

  54. Dear leo,
    Mine task manager has been disabled by the administrator and whenever i try to type gpedit.msc it doesn’t work it says can’t be found.And i don’t know why my window live messenger can’t log in!So i have no idea how you are going to reply to me.

  55. i can not get my task manager enabled, i type in regedit, it says thats its disabled and i cant continue, same happens when i type gpedit.msc, what do i do?

  56. thanks, man! this worked perfect. i had gotten rid of the virus awhile ago, but couldn’t figure out out to enable my task manager again. thanks again.

  57. hey recently my computers task manager has been disbled i am using xp service pack 2.i tried gpedit.msc and regedit command but still could not activate my computer has become slow and i am using avast virus scanner which is not helping pls respond . thank you

  58. my computer got struck due to virus. it hijacked the task manager. i was able to delete the virus but cannot fix the task manager. With your help i am able to fix that also.
    Thanks a lot

  59. I went through the steps and got my task manager and regedit back. I was very happy with the results until I rebooted my system and tried to log in. To my surprize it logged my back out repeatedly. Is it a different virus or the same one changing to make my life more complicated. HELP!!!!

  60. In my gpedit.msc the task manager option is not configured and regedit is not going thru in run. what might be the reason

  61. Thanks Leo! I first had to figure out how to get the registry re-enabled for my mother-in-law’s computer, but once I got that done, your sequence worked well (had to search the registry for “DisableTaskMgr” as it wasn’t quite in the same spot as advertised).

  62. Thank you for your fantastic instructions! I followed them to the letter (after running Avast thorough virus scan) and wa-la! The Task Manager is back. Just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you!
    Janice in Florida

  63. Thank you for your marvalleous instructions! I followed them to the letter (after following instruction of gpedit.msc)! The Task Manager is back. Just wanted to say thank you!

  64. My problem is that i do not have an antivirus installed. I tried installing Bit Defender yesterday but it said you dont have the priviliges. Task Manager was disabled. If this works and the task manager is enbled then i can install the anti virus, right?

  65. Hello i need your help. The run thing is disabled, taskmgr, and i cant open any folders including c drive can you help???

  66. also my run program disappeared… what am i gonna do? im tired of always installing xp over and over again… please help…

  67. I’ve got the same problem, except that I know that the network admin on this system deliberately did that. My question is what is the “vulnerability” that he’s so scared of? What does he/she/it think we’re all going to do if I have the ability to stop a frozen programs by a method other than pulling the power cable from the back of the CPU??

  68. yes its great and works but at the last part it showed not configured already so i changed that in to disable so it worked is tat ok

  69. thanks for the instruction, i’ve been 25 times reinstall my windows installation cause that things happened,no solution i got,till i foun this page as my next my computer doctors. thanks leo…

  70. hey i have MC AFEE anti virus software installed on my has all the latest available DATs.i update it regularly.but even the anti virus software has been disabled.and task manager is not working.i am using windows xp professional service pack 2

  71. was hit by lots of viruses, cause of lots of visiting to porno sites. without installed any antivirus and spy ware. but after goin through all what u said, i got all things back like taskmanager, and quick links etc. this things works

  72. hey thx my task manager is enabled back. thx alot. i hve 1 more problem my folder options are missing wht shld i do. plz mail me the solutuion of it at [Email address removed]

  73. Thanks.. taskmgr did get enabled but gets killed in two seconds.. any thoughts?

    Your machine is likely still infected with the virus that caused the problem in the first place. You’ll need to remove it somehow. Try running an up-to-date virus scan, perhaps after booting into safe mode.

    – Leo
  74. Thanks! My dad has been going crazy trying to figure out how his task manager got disabled. When he gets home tonight he’ll be happy to know it’s been enabled again! And I believe I’ll be bookmarking your page for future reference!

  75. Thank you so much! This is SUPER helpful. I was getting so frustrated with it because my firefox kept freezing and i couldn’t do anything about it. Thanks alot!!

  76. I have a Compaq Presario C700 Notebook with Vista Home Premium….

    Both Task manager and Regedit has been disabled…

    I am the One and only user of it…

    gpedit.msc is not available in Vista home edition…

    any suggestions to enable Task manager and regedit

  77. Thank you! Took me about a minute to navigate to enable admin controls. Darn viruses! I’m good now, thank you.

    I’ve been having trouble with a virus and finally got it removed but I didn’t have a task manager.
    This information helped me a bunch!
    THANK YOU!!!

  79. I have dled the freeware AVG and scan my disk C and i found a trajan and i have already healed and removed it. But all yr above methods don;t work for me. Mine is windows XP. I’ve tried both methods but it didnt work. The 2nd method when i typed in regedit and enter. it said registry editing has been disabled by the adminstrator. SO how do i solve this prob? Yr help will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  80. Well, Thanks a lot lori,this information really worked for me.I had been getting this problem from couples of days,after seeing this forum ….. I hv got my task manager back with a bang…….thnqq……..lolzz……..

  81. I just can’t access my registry editor yet.
    What best AntiVirus free in this world??
    Would you mine to tell me, via email??
    Thank you so much……….

  82. THANK YOU!!!!
    that helped sooo much,other web sites have told me to set the disable tsk mngr file to 0,and that didnt help at all!
    but ow i am runing again thanks too your help
    I will deff be using this site again and tell my friends about it

    Thank you,Ian Baker

  83. This was immensly useful. Having bitten by the Autorun worm I was trying to get the machine to come back to normal. Even the Regedit wasn’t launching.. so where’s what I did…

    To enable Regedit
    A-1) Start -> Run
    REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

    Launch Regedit now and delete the Taskmanager registry entry as Leo explained

  84. i’ve tried the above mentioned methods. nothing is wrking. neither is my regedit working. wat do i do? i have avira. after scanning it shows d reports but no way to delete d virus…….. help me out

  85. My system (Win Xp Pro) was affected by a virus or malware, I Use Avast (It has real time protection) and malwarebytes (no real time protection) I do not think that my comp is still clean even though Malwarebytes detected some malware and removed them b’coz my comp is still very slow and I think it may have some trojan in it as well . but never the less with this article i was able to reactivate my task manager and regedit was as well disabled and one of the comment on this site helped me so again thank u LS for your comment. Here are the details of the infected file. 1.Worm.Autorun (registry value)HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrent versionRunMSN Messenger,
    2.Worm Auto Run(File) c:Windowssystem32SVRCHOst.exe,
    3. Hijack.System.Hidden (Registry Data) HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrent versionExplorerAdvancedFolderHiddenSHOWALLChecked Value,
    4.Hijack.Regedit (Registary data)HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrent versionPoliciesSystemDisableRegsirtyTools, 5. HijackTask manager (Registry data) HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrent versionPoliciesSystemDisabletaskmgr, 6. Hijack Folder Options (Registtry Data) HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrent versionPoliciesExplorerNoFolderoptions. As I told u earlier I do not think that my comp is clean and i had to delete the Disable Task manager manaually and i can still find Disable Regisrty tools, No folder options for the Hijack Malware in my registry and a tool from Malware bytes called as File Assasin can locate SVRCHOST.exe in the sytem 32, can i delete them and can I as well delete Disable Regisrty tools, No folder options from the registry as I did to enable the task manager

  86. I have dled the freeware AVG and scan my disk C and i found a trajan and i have already healed and removed it. But all yr above methods don;t work for me. Mine is windows XP. I’ve tried both methods but it didnt work. The 2nd method when i typed in regedit and enter. it said registry editing has been disabled by the adminstrator. SO how do i solve this prob? Yr help will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  87. I have dled the freeware AVG and scan my disk C and i found a trajan and i have already healed and removed it. But all yr above methods don;t work for me. Mine is windows XP. I’ve tried both methods but it didnt work. The 2nd method when i typed in regedit and enter. it said registry editing has been disabled by the adminstrator. SO how do i solve this prob? Yr help will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  88. Hi I tried to do this as I have virus scanned my computer and it can’t find one but I’m also locked out of registry editor what should I do?

  89. I have been able to delete the registry fro ‘Disable Task Manager’ but as soon as I do, it shows up again! Now what??

  90. Thanks alot,

    I have done it but I made some slight changes to your procedure… Instead of selecting Not Configure option in gpedit.msc, i select Disabled option and it work…

  91. If anybody has problem in editing regedit and browsing gpedit.msc….i have a simpler solution.
    Get a copy of registry key fromm a non infected computer and install it in your pc(caution:your system bust be thoroughly scanned from an updated antivirus first).
    You can contact me if u need this.
    IT works!!

  92. I just used the steps for users not running XP Pro and it was simple, easy to follow, and worked fine the very first time. I didn’t have to retry anything, restart my computer, none of that, it was repaired in seconds. Thank you very much for the information.

  93. i cant install any software in xp,& i got massage u r task manager disabled, &u can cange setting witout check NCRC ..while double click on installer.

  94. Thank you for the help. I was able to fix the problem but when I turn off my computer and turn it back on the problem comes back with pc-codec-pack that continually gives warning fatal error that my computer is not protected. It is a very annoying problem to continually fix. How can I completely remove this bogus software scam.
    Thanks John

  95. Thank you on the help on why my task manager disabled. I went to the site task manager fix and it did the trick for me. I really am so greatful for your help in this matter.

  96. Thanks for the help. I had to have remote assistance a couple of weeks ago for a virus and lost access to my task manager. Your assistance in restoring it was on the head.

  97. I have windows Xp professional sp2…
    My task manager is disabled…I tried to your first step(gpedit.msc)….But i don’t have a opition (ctrl+alt+del)in the system.How can i enabled taskmanager….

  98. I tired the 1st step and the GP policy is set to “Not COnfigured”, even thou my task manager is disabled. I try to run ‘regedit” and I get a message that it is disabled. It appears that the worm is much stronger for this solution, do you have any other fix?

  99. Looks like I’m the 2nd Paul here today. Thanks for making this easy to find!

    In case this helps others:

    While my AV (antivirus) software was seemed to have caught and removed a bunch of problems affecting my pc, it was stil catching a virus/trojan symtom. I still had trouble as some infected files (beep.sys, winlogon.exe) kept triggering my AV alerts. They apparently could not be un-infected.

    I tried many changes and hacks, rebooting frequently, but the AV messages kept popping up every minute or so.

    Running system restore to a day before the infection was reported by Windows XP to have “not worked”, but the remainder of “rustok.r” infection is now gone.

    But the damage of not being able to run Task Manager was still here until I found this article.

    And then I could see nothing strage was running. Or so I think at this point!

    Thanks again!


  101. Task manager gets disabled when my disabled son runs some of his CD games, these stupid games also have AOL which I don’t want on my computer but since my son does not read or write, he sometimes gets AOL started configuring and that seems to disable my task manager. If there was a way I could make it so that AOL can not load at all, that would be wonderful. I don’t appreciate that AOL keeps trying to load on my computer or that when I buy a computer, there is AOL already on it.

  102. run
    2.type the gpedit in run box and than click ok
    3.double user configuration
    4.double click administrative templates
    5.double click system
    6.double click ctrk+alt+del option
    7.double click on remove task manager than
    A box will appear and selset the disable option

  103. I did that and found it but when i click delete it says “Unable to delete all specified values.” and wont let me delete it OMG

  104. [b]SO INCREDIBLY HELPFUL[/b] Probably the easiest most straight forward explaination for any problem i’ve had, with pictures to boot! I’m not sure if i have XP pro, but i just set the setting to disabled. Is this alright? Thanks so much!!

  105. Sir, I follwed the 1st step fr enabling my “Task manager”. But it didnt work. So i went for regedit method. but its saying that regedit is disabled by Administrator. Please help me..

  106. My pc has a problem that registry editor and task manager has been disabled by admin, also antivirus kernel failed(NoD32).
    I try to fix it by extra registry editor and change the keys alot.but per clock cycle, data change again for example this path:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER->sotware->microsoft->windows->currentversion->policies and run.
    I think It’s a virus or trojan but i can’t solve it.
    guide me please.

  107. Ahhh.. so it’s just that easy huh?!

    thank you so much.. hmmm

    i better try this at home.. thanks….
    ahmm. can you help me too about how to deal with cmd.exe?



  108. Press the Start button, click run and then paste the following into the browser…

    REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

  109. My system is infected with a Trojan Virus called “khatra.exe”. The “Task Manager” is disabled. When I’m following the steps above, I don’t see “Ctrl+Alt+Del” in there. How do I enable my “task manager” in this case. Also do you have any idea how to remove this virus?

  110. In my situation, I only see my wallpaper, but no desktop buttons. So, I can not click the start button to begin the fix. When I press Ctrl+Alt+Del or Ctrl+Shift+Esc, all I get is the error box message “Task manager has been disabeled…”. Is there any way to change the Task manager setting in this situation?

  111. If all you see is the desktop with no buttons, then you need to open in Safe Mode with Networking. Chances are you will only get a black screen in safe mode. Once there, type Crt + Alt + Del and Task Manager will open. Go to File, New Task, and type explorer to get access to your programs. Download and install Malwarebytes, and run a scan in Safe Mode. That should clear it up enough to access your desktop in Normal Mode, at which point you need to do further scans to clean all infections.I used Spybot Search and Destroy, and Ad-aware.

  112. LEO, Thanks and FYOI
    I have XP Pro and I went into gpedit.msc and Task Manager wasnt’t disabled there, just unconfigured.
    So I did the XP Home fix of regedit. And there it was taskmgr disabled. I deleted it. These Trojans can be quite insidious can’t they. This is after doing a boot scan with Avast which found nothing and a Safe Mode scan with SuperAntiSypware which found several Trojans. Rogue.Agent/Gen; Trojan.Agent/Gen; Trojan.Agent/Gen-FA[SMSS32]; Trojan.Agent/GenFA[WL32]; Trojan.Agent/Gen-InternetSecurity[Fake] and TrojanDropper/Sys-NV. Which one disabled the Task Manager? I got these when I attempted to open a Gary Borger Fly Fishing Video site.
    Yes, I was hooked there for a while.

  113. i cant open task manager using CTR+ALT_Shift. I just scaned with Malwarebytes and it found 2 items infected. I removed them, then RUN gpedit and hta Ctl+shift+Alt was set at Unconfigure,but i still CANT open tasmngr using the keys,Note: i can open it by right click on the clock, i appreciate any help you can give me

  114. My Start button and Windows taskbar doesn’t show on my screen, all my icons are gone. When I press CTR+ALT+DEL is indicates “Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator.” How can I follow the steps above if I can’t even get to the Start menu or clock in the Windows taskbar? I have Windows XP.

  115. I have the same problems as L McKinley with xp pro. If i open in safe mode and click on the administratior is says loading settings and then goes right into saving settings. If i open normally i get just desktop background. Is there a way to get into safe mode so i can try some of these options?

  116. Well that makes at least 3 of us. I also have the same problem. No task manage, no icons no start menu. Just a blank background screen. What more, I can’t boot into safe mode or any other mode for that mater other than normal boot or last good boot.
    just before this happened I got a system will shut down message on the screen. then on the reboot all was gone. please help thank adam

  117. to the last few people who can’t get to the desktop, you need a remote reg editor on a bootable cd, and go to HKLMsoftwaremicrosoftwindowsNTcurrentVersionwinlogon and find the Userinit value, make sure it says C:windowssystem32userinit, and that it is there in the system32 directory

  118. i had the same problem, my task manager and registry editor is disabled by the virus. And I cant scan my computer because the virus is preventing my anti virus from running and also i cant open my gpedit.msc because there’s an error prompt “mmc.exe Unable to locate component and msimg32.dll missing”. Please someone help me tnx

    You probably want this article: How do I remove a virus?


  119. i am having the same issue. task manager was disable by a virus. but i cannot seem to get to the registry editor to fix the problem. i found regedit.exe on my computer, but it asks me what program do i want to use to open it. it does not automatically open. how do i get pass this. please help. by the way i am using windows xp home on my acer netbook.

  120. The above process fixed my task manager. I had a virus and Anti-virus took care of it but also gave me all kinds of registry problems, this was one of them. Thank you for the info!!!

  121. Dear Sir,

    I am sending this mail from another computer.

    I am an unemployed science graduate and spend my time at home using my PC.

    Earlier my pc was affected by trogen fake… and cleared it through online windows scan system.

    Now my pc has been infected with trogen.vundo. I am not able to access internet to scan my system again. The task manager has been disabled. Kindly help me to fix it.

    Thank you,

    Download updated anti virus software (like using another compter, and copy it to the infected one to run it. Also: How do I remove a virus?


  122. I did everything and the task manager is still not working. I need to download Internet Security and it will not let me until I disable Micorsoft outlook.

  123. REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
    (Paste above in run)this is faster.Thanks.

  124. My laptop got several viruses after I finally found software to delete them my task manager was disabled. I found your instructions and was somewhat afraid to make changes to the registry, but your instruction was simple to follow. I now have my task manager back…thanks for your help!

  125. OMG , thankyou , u r soo helpful , but when i went to run and typed gpedit.msx NTN HAPPND its said dat its rong , but den i saw d comments and in one of the comments posted by sunder on feb 24 , i just copy pasted it so thanx ALL 😀
    love u guys 😀

  126. this article extremely helped me.
    thanks this website.
    a lot of thanks and appreciation.
    i salute u poeple who help the humanity.

    Engr Zubair Shabbir
    [number removed]

  127. Thanks for that do-your-own instructions! Now my task manager is enabled. I had it disabled months ago. And I believed that it was caused by a virus. Well, if its really caused by one,, ive run the complete scan and I did what the instructions told me so.. thanks for your help.

  128. Another cause might be spyware, and sometimes it is not detected by the antivirus software. There are many freeware spyware removers that will do the job for you. Hope that this is of help

  129. Hey guys I am not computer literate at all, and i have had some form of Trojan virus, not sure where it came from or how but lots of files seems to have been erased or moved, i’ve looked at a few forums tried a few things and probably made it worse. Alos my task manager has vanished so i can’t see what is going on it says Windows cannot find ‘C:windowssystem32taskmgr.exe please make sure you typed it correctly, and then try again

  130. I’ve tried every fix on every site but task manager will not come up with alt-ctrl-del or right click. There is no error message it just does not come up. Have run mcafee, adaware and antimalware many times and the system is clean as far as I can tell. I’m not on a group so the above fix is not applicable. Gary


  132. Thank you SO much for this! I had a trojan horse a while ago and although I got rid of it (and continue to run 3 different anti virus programmes like a person possessed) I didn’t know how to resolve this problem – which started the day of the virus. Phew! Thanks again.

  133. Yes, I have the problem that you are discussing about and I have absolutley no idea how i got the virus. I, myself am Admin, and i’ve checked the other admin accnts and TaskManager still works. I’m running MalwareBytes Right now and AVG at the same time and its been ten min. with nothing to show ofr. i cannot access the task manager in anyway and wondows cirus protection says its using my email to send spam? And things just keep popping up. I really need help! I cannot do any of the gpedit or regedit, it will not allow me to. it says disabled by admin. PLEASE HELP. ANYONE! please email me back! please and thank you! And i DID read the article!

  134. Hello,

    I am surfing the net and found this site with active help.

    I had to 2 problem, 1 is related above and the other I cannot access the registry.

    Is the solution presented can fix also the problem that disable the access of the registry?

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Thanks and advance.

  135. Thank you so much.
    One wonders why Microsoft has this option in the first place… of course Trojans will use it!!

    But what if… ew, nasty thought… regedit is disabled, like Marthin described last week?

    It seems like Windows is designed to offer external parties total control of one’s computer, leaving the owner helpless in the end, if such weaknesses continue to be discovered by trojan creators…

    Those options are there primarily for corporate IT departments to be able to control the configuration and operation of PCs in a large managed environment.


  136. thank you very much indeed to visit such helpful place, i have a problem with my task manager, my task manger is NOT greyed out, but i can not take it to run, in fact i click on it but ther is no sign to have it seen on the windows. woulp please help me to know what to do?!!
    i appreciate your tasks beforehand.

  137. hi sir,
    a problem was created by attacking a virus on my laptop. only wallpaper appears, every icon is totally disappeared. wheni tried to solve by ctrl+alt+del, a box appears( task manager is diabled by your administater) what shld i do now. no working, can i save my imp. data or not? plz solvbe my anti virus run for scan coz no icon and sign me if possible.
    satinder singh

  138. i can’t open that regedit. that says registry is disabled by your administrator!
    Posted by: kenn at April 7, 2010 1:27 PM

    This can be fixed by either logging on as an admin, or create a VB Script to delete or modify the reg key (this should circumvent the admin policy) yes scary that it can be done so easily.

  139. hi sir,
    a problem was created by attacking a virus on my laptop. only wallpaper appears, every icon is totally disappeared. wheni tried to solve by ctrl+alt+del, a box appears( task manager is diabled by your administater) what shld i do now. no working, can i save my imp. data or not? plz solvbe my anti virus run for scan coz no icon and sign me if possible.
    satinder singh
    Posted by: satinder singh at April 21, 2010 3:38 AM

    — this sounds like the “blune” virus that hit a few companies about 6 months ago.

  140. i have a same problem like this. i already do what you post in this. but the problem is when i refresh or restart the pc it will go back again and i cannot access again the task manager. what should i do? pls email me thank you very much..

    You still have an underlying malware infection. Clear the infection and the problem should not automatically reappear.


  141. i have downloaded two things to fix this problem and i still can’t figure it out. i have tried to do everything you have told me to do. i also can’t right click on my desktop. or change my properties which means i also cannot get to my desktop icons because i made them invisible just before this happend. please help me i’m at wits end

  142. I have got windows xp and have tried service.msc, gpedit.msc in Run window and regidit is not working in Run window..

  143. hi i think its a virus causing this problem for me iv done many vchecks and deleted quite a few trojans could you recommend what av program would be best to get rid of this problem many thanks

  144. Thanks For This. But I have to Select -> Remove Task Manager (Disable) Option For to Get Task Manager. Not Configured Option Not Deliver The Task Manager Application Why?

  145. I downloaded Super AntiSpyware, ran a scan and it found it instantly and got rid of it. I’ve found Super AntiSpyware has found viruses that Norton couldn’t even find. Awesome program!

  146. When I did the thing in gpedit.msc its still not working & when i type “regedit” in RUN it says that “Registry Editing has been disabled by your Administrator” What should I do? PLEASE help.

  147. Thanks!

    i remember coming across this quite a while ago as i am part of the IT department where i work but forgot where it hides.

    my only issue with this is that even if you have XP pro you may still need to just do the regedit fix as it was already set as not configured.

    also for anyone who is used to windows, instead of manually cliking your way through the tangled mess that is the regrestry, remember that the find command still works so you are able to type ctrl + F and then type in disabletask and hit search and it will lead you right there =D

  148. Hi. The ‘Not configured’ did not work for me. I used ‘Disabled’ and every thing worked fine..
    Either way my problem was solved. Thanx!

  149. tell me when task manager can be disable what actually cause it. How you splve that problem.
    Also when i run safe using F8 it starts nicely but suddenly collapse. Could you help me to solve it and what cause it

  150. i do all what leo said but my computer is windows xp and it dont support my computer. suggest me too how is it possible for my computer.

  151. For XP users, You recommended to manually change the registry by following


    …then deleting “Disable Task Manager”.
    However…I can only follow up to “CurrentVersion”.”internet options” is the only option available and I do not see “policies” or “system” afterwards.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

  152. that really worked…….
    but i wanna ask one thing the VIRUS vich affctd my Computer Is dat VERY SCARY 1…???????

  153. yes my task manager do not work anymore i did all you say nothing say he been disabled by manager i did get a virus all clear that what say the antivirus anywhere i try all still not working
    huhuhuuhuhuhuh i dont want too reformat
    many thanks

  154. i have read the steps but in the registry the system folder is missing……so what shall i do now???….thanks in advance…..

  155. i type regedit in run..but i didnt appear as in the picture you posted up….the registry editor didnt appear but what appear instead is only a notepad with some [edited] inside and a hell lot of symbols that i dont understand…nothing like what you posted….sorry

  156. It may be the case that the Group policy editor does NOT show ‘Enabled’ but ‘Not configured’. To fix the problem, you set it to ‘Enabled’ (click OK) and then set it to ‘Not configured’.

    That worked for me after having the ominous Auth32.exe doing popups that someone is accessing my computer.

    To remove the file, I started in safe mode, opened a command prompt and renamed all exe files in the temp directory to filename.bak

  157. Tried it as described above and the group policy editor shows ‘not configured’ but there is a DisableTskMgr item in the registy editor and it is impossible to get rid of…it reappears instantly again after removal. What to do..?

  158. OMG… thank you very much… its been weeks since Task Manager was Enabled, whenever something freezes, I could not get rid of it. This means a lot.. thanx

  159. I have followed the steps in turn but no item “Disable TaskMgr” shows in the window. That is as far as I can get. I have Windows XP.

  160. For many people I have found out that if their task manager has been disabled most likely by a virus, the regedit has also been disabled, if this is your case do a system restore to a few days back, I did it and it worked as the restore points save registry settings

    The article does point out that this is most likely due to a virus, and that you should start by ensuring you’re virus free. Your approach can sometimes work, but in all honesty once infected you never really know that you’re clean. More here: How do I remove a virus?


  161. My task manager came back but disabled immediately, there is an autorun that does that how do I delete this autorun since I cant boot the comp in safe mode. is there anyway I can stop explorer.exe to enable me delete the autorun.

    If it disabled again immediately then you are still infected with the malware that started this whole thing. Get your machine clean of malware first.


  162. I used all the options that you mintioned but all the tries failed so do I have a virus? And please if you don’t mind help me fix my laptop by answering my questions…

    Yes, as stated in the article you likely have a virus. You’ll need to get rid of it first in order to resolve this issue. Search the site for “how to remove virus” and you’ll see several articles on the topic.


  163. Running these two commands from the command prompt would solve the problem. Additionally, you may paste these lines into a notepad and save it as a batch file on desktop, then just running the batch file you remove restrictions on Task Manager and Registry Editor:


  164. Right clicked on clock and Task Manager was not grayed out, but still could not access. Followed regedit instructructions, but file mentioned was not present.

    Must be a more sophisticated bug.

  165. Waqar Mushtaq’s suggestion: running REG ADD from a command promt worked perfectly for me. The methods in the article above failed to work, tho.

  166. fond a way to reactivate
    go to start — run and use ‘copy & past’ this line:
    REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

  167. my taskmanager is not working it bared by admin. an my anti virus is not workng . my all desktop icon converted shortcut. by virus . my pc atotally affected from virus. pls help me.

  168. My task manager will not work either. But, my problem is that any .exe file will just close when I use it. I can’t even use the Run command prompt to format my C drive. I used google to find a solution and still have nothing. Please help.

  169. It didnt work for me. I am using Win XP Pro.
    I can only see “Windows Components” under “Administrative Templates”.
    I also tried to delete “Disable TaskMgr” but it gives me an error “Unable to delete all specified values”
    I would really appreciate further advice.

  170. 1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. Type taskmgr.exe.
    3. Hold down CTRL+ALT+SHIFT at the same time, and while holding them down press ENTER.


  171. hi…. first step is working (gpedit.msc is complete)
    but 2nd step (regedit is not working) infect his not running by run process …
    what m i ????

  172. This worked.
    I ran a full scan (10 hours) and now all is well.
    I have a new microsoft keyboard.
    I am a fumbling old man, I drop things, I recently dropped a stapler on the ScrnLk key and was suitably amazed by the result.
    I may have hit Win+L with the telephone receiver
    Who knows? anyway many thanks.

  173. halo..i also have the problem about my task manager is disable..i’m already follow your advised…but, the (CTRL+ALT+DEL) is not showing in my system ( group policy) to fix it ?

  174. Hey…I am facing the problem of ‘Task Manager is disabled by administrator’. I tried your solution and followed the steps given above. it didn’t worked out unfortunately. I have windows xp installed on my laptop. When i tried regedit…it displays that registry edit has been disabled by administrator…this is pestering me ..can you pls help me out of this issue? disabled.

  175. Everybody who is saying that registry editing was also disabled by your administrator. Search up how to fix that. Then when you fix it. And when you find disable task manager and disable registory editing delete both of them and they will work fine.

  176. i have the problem of “task manager disabled”
    and also “registery edit” disabled ,so i can not reach or edit the registery
    Also the (CTRL+ALT+DEL) is not showing in my system ( group policy)…
    How can i fix this big problems.?

  177. Thank you so much! I had a virus and after updating my Antivirus software and running a scan, my Task Manager was still disabled. I followed your steps for non XP users (I have Vista) and all is perfect now. I am much grateful for your guidance.

  178. Hey…I am facing the problem of ‘Task Manager is disabled by administrator’. I tried your solution and followed the steps given above. it didn’t worked out unfortunately. I have windows xp installed on my Dell Cpu. When i tried regedit…it displays that registry edit has been disabled by administrator…this is pestering me ..can you pls help me out of this issue? disabled.

    This scenario most commonly happens because you have a malware infection of some sort. This article applies: How do I remove a virus if it prevents me from download or installing anything?


  179. Hi I am using windows 7 and i got the same problem. I cannot open the regedit also.. It is also disabled… Can you help me to overcome with this problem..

  180. thanks so much, i tried the regedit on my windows 7 and it worked…..I have been battling with this problem for a while now,but now am free.Once again thanks alot.

  181. for disable regedit please copy this and past in run and ok

    REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0

    And then press y and ok

  182. I know I did not disable my task bar and It is true that I was tricked into running an exe file that I downloaded from online. It did not seem to do anything when I ran it except that I got a message saying it did not install properly. I am pretty sure it planted virus. Can you tell me how dangerous is this virus?? I seems to have made my computer running slow and some of the basic functionality is lost (after the attack). I am running the scan as we speak but it is taking too long to finish the scan (this is not normal)

    There’s no way to know, and it’s never OK to think that any virus is “safe”. How do I remove a virus?


  183. i was trying this from 2 years all softwares , antivirus i have used but none of them get succeed Download EnableRegEdit.vbs only in one click i have solved my problem…now both working task manager and registry ….

  184. I am having almost the same problem, but when I right click my clock Task Manager is not grayed out, I simply get a window called ‘ Local Area Connection ‘, which I can only close by hitting Esc. I have Win XP Pro, sp3, have ran scans for viruses and malware, all of which come back normal. I will try the ideas posted above to see how it goes, but at this point I’m not too hopeful. Very frustrating. Oh, I just started using Norton Security Suite as it is a freebie thru my ISP, and it’s scans also come back negative. Any idea why this may be happening ? Strangest thing I’ve seen yet.
    Thanks Leo.

    If you’re getting “Local Area Connection” you’re clicking on the network icon, not the clock. Try clicking further right.


  185. I feel like such a Task Manager was running in ‘small footprint mode’, I cannot believe I didn’t think of this first, boy is my face red !! 🙂

  186. “I am having almost the same problem, but when I right click my clock Task Manager is not grayed out,”…..I apologize for the confusion right there, I should have ended that sentence with a period, not a comma. Like I said in my original post, Task Manager is not grayed out.

    Thank you.

  187. Was disabled by a virus through an incoming email. I’ll try if the procedure here can correct the situation.
    THX a Million

  188. Hello leo.

    I dont see my task manager even i tried the steps u showed , in administrative templates i clicked on the system but i dont see Ctrl+alt+del option in the system settings, i see user profiles, scripts , logons etc and i think my computer is effected with harmful viruses and when i try to start in safe mood it doesn’t allow me to do so and when ipress to start in safe mode and it again takes u back at those five op tions to start in safemode, safe mode with networking etc..And my monitor turned yellow, and it displays a message saying self diagnostic, no signal , check signal cable..And yes i tried to run malware bytes software and i performed full scan but it found around 130 virues and i downloaded avast too but its not allowing me to run…pleasee help. I know u will help for sure..
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  189. Follow Leo’s advice on Group Policy Editor, you may have to expand all the folders to find the right locale to edit. Then use his second help and do the Eidt on the Registry:

    Click Start, then click Run, type in regedit, and click on OK.

    Expand these registry keys in turn:

    It worked for me. I was hit tonight with some Anti-Virus Software thing. I tried my Windows XP System Restore, but it refused to change anything. I used Search and Destroy to hunt the locale in the Documents and Setting folder on C: drive. I renamed the files and threw them into my !Killbox folder. The System Restore attempt re-started the system, so the files could be deleted from !Killbox folder. There was a .dll in the WindowsTemp directory that needed to be renamed and deleted too. Leo’s advice here, worked to restore my Task Manager function. Leo Rocks!

  190. THANK YOU!!!!!
    It finally works again & this was the simplest thing to follow in order to fix it. Thank you thank you so much!!! 😀

  191. Hi I tried to go through Group Policy Editor and expand all the folders and system wasn’t even there I am out of options please help

  192. Thanks so much Leo. Your solution to my problem worked beautifully, although there was a slight difference from your directions.

    I do have Windows XP Professional (thankfully), so I was able to run ‘gpedit.msc’ from the Start menu (by the way, people shoud be sure not to type the colon (:) at the end of gpedit.msc, when I did this at first, I just got an error msg). When I followed the directory to Ctrl+Alt+Del Options, the Remove Task Manager setting was still set to Not Configured. So when I opened this option, I just changed it to Disabled. After that, my Task Manager was accessible again.

    Thanks again!


  193. It doesn’t work for me. I mean when I disabled the settings in gpedit.msc it works. But when I close the editor, I can’t use the Task manager again.

    I tried to open the regedit but same message I get. It was disabled by the administrator. What’s going wrong with my computer then? I need help. Thanks!

    Well, best I can offer is that as outlined in the article the problem is typically due to malware, so my recommendation would be to scrub your machine with scans using your anti-virus and anti-spyware tools, consider running’s free tool, and perhaps the Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper.


  194. im going to try this, last time i tryed to double click on the side of the task managern like someone told me online, and it didnt work,so please email and give me instructions on this problem,ty im new at all of this,so ty

  195. THANKS! followed the registry key address thingy for the DisableTaskManager.. stupid virus even disabled my RegistryTools. i had to use cmd > reg delete. 😀

  196. I couldn’t find “policies” in the string initially, then it appeared out of nowhere ?? I’ve got the Task Manager back..Thanks..

  197. Please, help me. I can now open task manager, but when I open it, it just scrolls through my processes really fast and they disappear. I need help, as I need to use my task manager.

  198. Thanks!!!
    (In XP Pro I had to select “Diasbled” – selecting “Not Configured” did not work).
    All is fine now.
    *** Thanks again!!! ***

  199. hi. i just want to share to you my ‘findings’ regarding disabling the task manager. i was trying to disable task manager on a winxp pro sp3. i kept doing the routine of disabling task manager but never succeeded. i did all the tricks and even downloaded a program that ‘disables’ task manager, nothing worked. i’m guessing it’s the OS (since it’s not genuine and has been tampered/customized if you will). i just want to share this thought. but if you have ideas about this i’d appreciate it if you can share it with me. thanks.

  200. Leo, this worked a treat. I am so happy with MSE. The best part is that it was free.
    All I can say now is that your the {expletive deleted} bro. This will now be my first point of contact when my computer behaves strangely. Thanks heaps.

  201. had to use regedit and search for “disabletaskmgr”. It seems the virus or whatever prevented many sections of the registry from appearing. Solved the problem though – excelent advice from Leo. Sure to be using “ask-leo” much more often.

  202. Nice.i think i downloaded a virus because whenever I go to my login a program called MDCSD or somthing ask’s if i want to run it
    and thats proably why

  203. Thank you for your post leo. I do have the same problem but I am using windows 7 home premium and cannot find the gedit.msc. Please help me

  204. Go to Start->Settings->Control Panel->Adminstrative Tools->Services

    Then locate in the list of services “Windows Audio”. Open this service

    If this service is showing with a Startup type set to Disabled then Select “Automatic” from the drop down list then hit apply. Then click the “Start” button.

    If this service is showing with a Startup type set to Manual then Select “Automatic” from the drop down list then hit apply. Then click the “Start” button.

    Next Go to Start->Settings->Control Panel->Sounds and Audio Devices then select the Volume Tab then put a tick in the box marked “Place Volume Icon in the Task Bar” then click apply.

    With a bit of luck and following wind you should now have your sound restored.

    Good luck

  205. You, ARE AWESOME….man I’ve been trying to fix it by myself for 3 weeks…then I decided to search for you, and fixed in 5 min 🙂

  206. I have windows 7 64 bit on my Asus laptop.When i run regedit it displays that registry editor has been disabled by administrator.when i select task manager it suddenly disappears. please help me

  207. I have done what you have said and nothing works.I have windows xp my task manager is just not on my pc ,it is grayed out and it is not listed on my registry editor is . I do not have a virus as my bell aliant security is run every night. Is there anything else I can try thank you

  208. I have same problem my task manage and registry editor is not display. I install fresh window but same problem occured. Please provide the permanent solution for that.

    Thanx and regards
    Lokesh Jain

  209. I deleted my old account on my computer and made a new account and when i went to open my task manager it didn’t work. I have tried the things on this page but none of them got my task manager to work. Any suggestions please and thank you.

  210. Thank you Sir. This was most helpful. Sorry for my bad English. Wish i could meet you in person and give you a big bear hug 🙂

  211. great i am getting very confused about task manager but today by using your trick i get sucess.
    very very thanks sir.

  212. Hi, im using wondows 7 starter, i scanned for virusess but there were non. But when i run “regedit” the task manager wasnt disabled, but i still cant access taak manager, is there anything i can do?

    • I wouldn’t know how to fix your task manager without being able to look at your machine, but you should be able to run Process Explorer, a Microsoft Utility which does what Task Manager does and much more. Leo called it a Task Manager on steroids. Before using Windows 8, I used to use it instead of Task Manager (Windows 8’s Task Manager includes a lot of what Process Explorer does).

  213. I also have a problem with my task manager. It is telling me it is not available. So when going into the registry editor to disable it I do not have the last page setting called “system” after the policies. Now what can I do? I only have 3 listed and those are: ActiveDesktop, Explorer, and Ext

  214. Hi Leo, I have Windows XP Home Edition 2002 – Service Pack 3
    Subsequent to a computer crash. I reloaded XP, but did not carry out more than a day of updates. I am aware that there are numerous faults in my Registry files. (Maybe you could also suggest the best way to remedy that.
    In Safe Mode, I DO get the Task Manager.
    In normal mode, Task Manager has disappeared completely, and all that comes up is a blank graphic ‘Local Area Connection’ after using the Ctrl/Alt/Del keys. (I can remove this L.A.C. using the Escape key)
    Have run my antivirus three times – my computer is clean.
    I have tried the suggested remedies in vain, including going to ‘Run> regedit\ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System\ etc.
    Please help. Thanks, William. Johannesburg, S.A. January 06, 2015.

    • P.S, Further to the above, my problem is similar to ROBERT’S – April 16 2011.
      I DO right-click on the clock, yet I am still getting the Local Area Connection,
      So to quote Robert again: “when I right click my clock Task Manager is not grayed out, I simply get a window called ‘ Local Area Connection ‘, which I can only close by hitting Esc.”

      • Sounds like you’re not clicking the clock – that’s what you would get if you right clicked the network status icon. Try clicking “nearby” – perhaps something is off with respect to mouse pointer positioning.

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