I can’t believe I’ve been struggling with apps in the Task Manager randomly moving around without realizing there’s a simple keyboard shortcut to pause the Task Manager and stop its contents in their tracks. Yup, all you have to do is hold down the CTRL key and it will pause the Task Manager on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and perhaps even older versions of Windows, too.
This legitimately useful tip comes from Jen Gentleman, a Microsoft employee on the Windows engineering team that regularly shares helpful shortcuts and tips for Windows. I’ve used Windows for more than 20 years, and I’m still learning the many ways you can do tasks in the operating system on a monthly basis.
If you’re used to turning to the Task Manager to end faulty tasks then you might not even need to open it at all soon. Microsoft is working on a force quit option to close apps without the Task Manager in Windows 11 simply from a right-click option in the taskbar. But the hold CTRL option to pause the Task Manager will still be useful for everyone who hasn’t upgraded to Windows 11 just yet.
While I have your attention, you might also like to know that you can spin the gear in Windows 11’s Notepad app. It’s like a digital fidget spinner, and part of the many delightful little additions to Windows 11. Microsoft has hidden little Easter eggs like this in Windows for decades; there was even a hidden prompt in Windows 95 that was only discovered in 2021.