How to enable dark mode and more in the new Task Manager on Windows 11 2022

Dave W. Shanahan

new task manager

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Task Manager hasn’t changed much since it was introduced, but the Windows 11 2022 (22H2) Update changes that, bringing a better-equipped, new Task Manager with a few new features and other updates under the hood.

The redesigned Task Manager was first introduced in Windows 11 Insider Preview build 22557 but is now available for everyone to use on Windows 11 2022. Let’s take a look at the new Task Manager features available and how to use them.

What’s “new” in the new Task Manager?

The new Task Manager brings a few new features and changes to some existing features. Let’s take a look at what has changed.

Dark mode

Task Manager finally has a dark mode. This is actually huge news. If you used Windows 10 or Windows 11, even if you turned on systemwide dark mode, Task Manager would still display as a light theme.

Windows 11 2022 brings an actual dark (or light) theme setting for the Task Manager. Even better, when you enable dark mode systemwide on Windows 11, Task Manager will change to use a dark theme too.

new task manager

Efficiency mode

Microsoft introduced “Efficiency mode” in the new Task Manager which limits how many resources (like your CPU or RAM) a background process can use. The purpose is to give users the ability to clamp down on some apps that are using a ridiculous number of resources and might be slowing down your PC.

Of course, there are a couple of tradeoffs with the new Task Manager feature; you can’t put an active process into “Efficiency Mode,” and you can’t put enable the mode on certain Windows core processes, regardless of how many resources it consumes. Microsoft says putting these processes into Efficiency Mode would impact vital resources needed to run the Windows 11 operating system.

Here’s how to put a background process into Efficiency Mode in the new Task Manager.

1. Open Task Manager.
2. Click on Processes tab.
3. Expand the process tree group by clicking on the > to left of the intended app.
4. Either click on the Efficiency mode on the command bar or right-click on a child process or an individual process and select Efficiency mode.
new task manager
5. Once you select Efficiency mode, Task Manager will verify that you want to turn it on. Click Turn on Efficiency mode to enable task manager6. The status column in the Processes tab will show “Efficiency mode” for the process and will show the new green leaf icon for the parent process.
new task manager

You can always disable Efficiency mode by repeating the same steps again. Please note: If “Efficiency mode” is greyed out, then the app or process is a core Windows process and throttling it may affect Windows 11’s stability.

Redesigned Task Manager

The new Task Manager interface falls in line with Windows 11’s more streamlined and rounded design.

new Task Manager on Windows 11
new Task Manager on Windows 11

When compared to the Task Manager on Windows 10, the new Task Manager on Windows 11 is a refreshing change.

new task manager
Task Manager on Windows 10

New Task Manager Settings

Besides the visual revamp, there is now a dedicated Settings page for the new Task Manager on Windows 11. Here, you can change the settings of the new Task Manager on Windows 11 by using the dropdown menus for the Default Start Page, Real time update speed, Windows management, and other options. You can click the cog any time you want to change the Task Manager settings.

One keyboard shortcut that I use on a daily basis is Ctrl + Shift + Esc to bring up the Task Manager, although I do miss the ability to bring up the Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar on Windows 10. I hope to see this feature come back in a future Windows 11 update.

What features do you want to see in the new Task Manager on Windows 11? Let us know in the comments!