Getting the dreadful “Task Manager Disabled by Administrator” message when trying to launch your Windows task manager? You are not alone! There are a number of reasons why this message can appear, but if you are a home computer user, chances are that your task manager has been disabled by some form of malware or a virus infection.


Let’s get this fixed ASAP.

The symptoms that you experience when your windows task manager has been disabled are usually comparable to the situations described below.

The symptoms are:

Task manager grayed out when you right-click your windows task bar

Or, when you try to manually launch your windows task manager (by entering taskmgr.exe in the run box), the “task manager disabled by administrator” message appears


Usually this is caused by a change in the windows registry and you should be able to enable task manager by entering the correct settings in your windows registry.

The easiest way to do that is clicking on this registry fix and run it. That should solve your disabled task manager problem.

Alternative solution:

If you are hesitant to execute code from the internet (you always *should* consider very carefully what code you allow and don’t allow to run on your machine, since the internet is a crazy phenomenon with malicious code and strange individuals all over the place) you can also look at the method described below in order to enable task manager.

The easiest way to do this is copy the next line of text and paste it in the “run” box of your start menu:

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

To do so:

  • select the entire line of text above
  • right-click your selection and click “copy”
  • then click your start button and select “Run…”
  • in the “run” box, right-click and choose “paste” to enter the line of code from above
  • then click the “Ok” button

That’s it, that fixes your registry setting that disables your task manager.

If you still think the above solution gives you insufficient control over what’s happening in your windows registry, you can of course always manually make the registry changes.

  • Click the start button
  • Select “Run”
  • Type “regedit” in the run box (without the quotes) and click ok
  • Windows will open up the registry editor.
  • In the registry, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem
  • In the right-hand side of the screen, delete the value named DisableTaskMgr
  • Close the registry editor.

While I encourage you to be very careful when allowing code from the internet to run on your computer, regular visitors of this site will be confident that this site is safe to use and the first method mentioned in this article is by far the easiest way to deal with the “task manager disabled by administrator” situation. Furthermore, please be aware that making manual modifications in the windows registry is also not completely “innocent” and can also result in unpleasant system failures when accidently making mistakes.

Just for the sake of completeness, I also mention the setting in the windows group policy editor that can cause the “task manager disabled by administrator” message. The windows group policy editor is another way of dealing with this issue

  • Click your start button
  • Select “Run”
  • Type “gpedit.msc” in the run box to open up the group policy editor
  • Click the “ok” button
  • Navigate to User Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Ctrl+Alt+Delete Options/Remove Task Manager
  • Double-click ” Remove Task Manager “
  • Set the policy to Not Configured
  • Done!

Of course, if your computer is part of a company network, your network administrator may have decided to disable the windows task manager on network computers. If that happens to be the case, your best option would of course be to contact your network administrator and ask him or her about the “task manager disabled by administrator” dialog.

On the other hand, if you are working on a home computer, there’s a good chance that you have become victim of a virus or malware infection when you find your task manager grayed out or disabled.

There are a number of viruses and spyware infections that work their way into the windows registry and disable task manager in order to complicate their removal.

Some spyware or virus infections are known to spawn processes that eat up nearly 100% of your computer processing capabilities (cpu time) causing your computer to become terribly slow. Checking the number of processes and their cpu utilization is one of the first diagnostic tasks that a system administrator might carry out in order to solve the computer slowness, that’s why those malware infections rule out task manager consultation.

Using one of the techniques described in this article will allow you to enable task manager, but if your computer is infected with some virus or malware program, you will also need to perform a virus scan or check your internet security software.

If you are not sure where to start looking for anti-virus software, maybe you can use this free antivirus software article as a starting point.

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