Windows Task Manager Has Been Disabled By Your Administrator

Windows Task Manager is an important MS utility which monitors applications and processes running on your computer. The same tools helps you to kill any unresponsive applications. You can start it by pressing the keys [Ctrl] [Alt] [Del] together. However, sometimes you may receive an error message Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator when you press these three buttons. This tutorial explains how to disable and enable Task Manager on a computer using both Windows Registry Editor and Group Policy Editor. At the end of the guide you can see different methods to start this utility. The below picture tells how to identify if Task Manager is locked on your laptop.
locked

Run Command To Unlock Task Manager

If Windows Task Manager is disabled due to malware infection, you may receive a message like "it has been disabled by system administrator" whenever you attempt to start it. In most cases GP Edit is enough to unlock it but some smart malware applications disable it by corrupting Windows registry. Here you can see a registry clean command which can be executed on Run. Run command to unlock the locked Task Manager is provided below.

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d /0 /f

All you have to do is to copy this command on Windows Run and press OK button. In case if you like to know how to manually lock Task Manager for other users on your computer from Windows registry, continue to the next step.


Lock Task Manager From Registry

If you want to lock this tool from Registry, follow the steps below. You must log on to administrator account to make these changes.
  1. Type regedit on Search and click the registry editor

  2. Go to the location

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies

  3. Right click on Policies and click new Key
    Key

  4. Name the new key as System
    system

    Click New on right click menu and select String Value. Name the new value as DisableTaskMgr.

  5. Right click on the new value and click modify
    modify

  6. Enter the value 1


    click OK

  7. Now onwards when you press [Ctrl] [Alt] and [Del] buttons, you will see the warning below.
    locked

  8. Release the Lock

    You can release the lock by deleting the key named System at the given location.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies

    Right click on the key System and click delete.


Group Policy Edit

If the Task Manager is locked from Group Policy, simple Windows Registry trick alone cannot unlock the block. Here you can learn how to manage Task Manager on your computer from Group Policy.
  1. Disable Task Manager

    • Open Run and type gpedit.msc

      If you are not seeing Run on the start menu follow either one of the steps below.

      1. To open Run press [Windows] button and [R] together.

      2. Follow the instructions provided in the link below.
        How to Enable Run On Windows Start Menu

    • Go to the following location

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

      Now click on Ctrl+Alt+Del Options
      managing processes

    • Right click on Remove Task Manager and click Edit
      enable

    • Select Enable and click Apply

  2. Enable

    You have learned how to remove the Task Manager from Group Policy Edit. To enable it back, you should follow steps 1 to 3 and select the radio buttons either Not Configured or Disabled. After selecting the appropriate radio button, click Apply.

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Different Methods to Start Task Manager
  1. Press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del] buttons together

  2. Press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] buttons together

  3. Right click on task bar and click Start Task Manager

  4. type taskmgr on Run and press enter
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