taskmgr.exe slashing numbers

If you ever launched Task Manager using some of the shortcuts e.g. CTRL+SHIFT+ESC you probably noticed that it causes taskmgr.exe to be launched with a command line argument ‘/2’.

There is a very good post on the supersuer forum that describes a number of cases. I was curious if we can find some more + thought it would be good to summarize it all in one post.

Here they are:

  • No command line arguments
    • via Windows Explorer
    • via terminal (cmd.exe, powershell, cygwin, etc.)
    • via WIN+R/Run box
    • win7 – via Control Panel: search for Task manager, Click ‘View running processes with Task Manager’
    • via any other 3rd part component that allows to launch programs e.g. Total Commander, FAR
    • via Search (in Explorer)
  • taskmgr.exe /1
    • Start non-elevated Task Manager, click ‘Show processes from all users’ button
  • taskmgr.exe /2
    • Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
  • taskmgr.exe /3
    • Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, click ‘Start Task Manager’
  • taskmgr.exe /4
    • Right click on the Taskbar and click ‘Start task Manager’
  • taskmgr.exe /5
    • N/A
  • taskmgr.exe /6
    • win10 – via Control Panel: search for Task manager, Click ‘View system resource usage in Task Manager’, or ‘Task manager’
  • taskmgr.exe /7
    • win10 – via Start Menu, click ‘Task Manager’
      • /7 /Startup – win10: via Msconfig, click ‘Startup’, click ‘Open Task Manager’
  • taskmgr.exe /8
    • win8(?) – N/A (guess: perhaps Start Menu, click ‘Task Manager’, but need to verify)
      • /8 /Startup – win8(?): since the command is very similar to the ‘/7 /Startup’ described above, there is a possibility that this applies to Task Manager launched via MSConfig on Win8 (I don’t have win8 at hand to test); notably, there is a reference to this command inside ‘c:\Windows\System32\hcproviders.dll’ on win10; not sure how to trigger it though
  • taskmgr.exe /9
    • N/A

Other than launching Task Manager directly one can also use LaunchTM.exe to make it launch Task Manager process via proxy (AFAIK it’s only used by winlogon.exe).