I first learned about the joys of Alt+Ctrl+Del while watching my otherwise computer illiterate dad restart a frozen Windows 98 desktop. Ever since then I have been relying on Alt+Ctrl+Del to bring up Windows Task Manager, which allows me to fix issues like frozen programs. However, Alt+Ctrl+Del for Windows Task Manager is a legacy shortcut. On newer computers, depending on what version of Windows you are using – e.g. Vista and Win7 – and/or the way you have Windows configured (e.g. multiple Windows users), Alt+Ctrl+Del doesn’t directly bring up Windows Task Manager but rather brings up the Windows Security screen from where users can launch Task Manager.
If you don’t mind having to go through an extra step to get Task Manager, then by all means continue to use Alt+Ctrl+Del. However, if you are an impatient little cretin like me, then the most efficient way from point A to point B is a straight line; or, in this case, a different keyboard shortcut.
Instead of using Alt+Ctrl+Del to access Windows Task Manager, press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys on your keyboard to directly access Windows Task Manager. Unlike Alt+Ctrl+Del, Ctrl+Shift+Esc does not bring up the Windows Security screen but rather directly opens Windows Task Manager. Pretty cool, huh? Now all we need to do is break old habits…