Empty Task Manager? Fix it using these 5 solutions

By: Elsie Otachi
5 minute read
nothing shows up in task manager

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Task Manager is a Windows utility that shows you, the user, the programs that run on your computer as you use it, while giving you some form of control over these tasks.

One of the most basic things the utility is used for is to see what is currently running on your computer, such as open programs, those running in the background, and those tasks started by Windows and installed programs.

It can also be used to forcefully end any of these running tasks/programs and see how much each of them is using of your computer’s hardware resources, and which ones launch at startup or boot, plus much more.

When you want to end a task or check what is running, and suddenly you find that nothing shows up in Task Manager, or the Task Manager is empty, there are a few things you need to check and/or confirm before trying the workarounds to resolve it.

You could refresh the task manager and see if the list of processes updates, or set the update speed to normal. You can also disconnect and reconnect from your account, or right click on the blank window and select ‘restore’ option to see if it helps. If you have task manager in small footprint mode, you can double click on any white area to restore it to normalcy.

If none of these work, try the other solutions listed below.

Task Manager won’t show applications/processes

  1. Run an SFC scan
  2. Check Time and Language settings
  3. Run DISM tool and System Update Readiness tool
  4. Create new user profile
  5. Perform a system restore

Solution 1: Run an SFC scan

This scan checks whether there are broken Windows components in your computer that cause an empty task manager.

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type CMD
  • Go to Command Prompt then right click and select Run as Administrator

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Type sfc/scannow

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Press Enter

Restart your computer and check Task Manager again to see if it displays the processes. If not, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Check Time and Language settings

  • Click Start and select Settings
  • Select Time and Language

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Click Region and Language

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Under Country or Region, click on English (United Statesdf), and if not there, you can add it using Add a Language button

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Restart and check if Task Manager is empty or nothing shows up in Task Manager after this.

Did this resolve the problem? If not, try the next solution.

Solution 3: Run DISM tool and System Update Readiness tool

This tool, helps fix Windows corruption errors when Windows Updates and service packs fail to install due to corruption errors, such as a damaged system file.

  • Click Start
  • In the search field box, type CMD
  • Click Command Prompt in the search results list

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth to scan for missing components
  • Type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth to check for missing or broken files
  • Type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth to scan and correct any causes of the Windows 10 desktop is slow to load issue
  • Press Enter

Once the repair is complete, reboot your computer and check if the problem persists, after which you can use the System Readiness tool.

Note: The DISM tool usually takes 15 minutes to complete, however, sometimes it may take longer. Do not cancel when it is running.

This System Update Readiness tool is used because inconsistencies are found in the Windows servicing store, which may prevent the successful installation of future updates, service packs, and software. It checks your computer for such inconsistencies and tries to resolve issues if found.

  • Download the System Update Readiness tool by clicking the download link that corresponds to the version of Windows running on your computer. The tool is regularly updated so always download the latest version (check if your computer runs 32 or 64-bit of Windows).
  • Click Download on the Download Center webpage
  • Install by clicking Open or Run then follow the instructions on your screen
  • In Windows Update Standalone Installer dialog box, click Yes. The tool runs automatically for about 15 or more minutes so don’t click Cancel.
  • Once it says Installation Complete, click Close
  • Reinstall the update or service pack you were trying to install previously

Solution 4: Create new user profile

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Select Accounts
  • Click Family and other users

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Click Add someone else to this PC

  • Fill in the form with the user name and password. Your new user account will be created.

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Click on Change account type
  • Click the drop down arrow and choose Administrator to set the account to administrator level
  • Restart your computer
  • Login to the new account you just created

If Task Manager is restored in the new profile, then it may mean your other user profile is corrupted, so do the following:

  • On your new account, use it to downgrade your usual account
  • Click Apply or Ok
  • Raise back your old account to its default admin level
  • Rinse and repeat a few times as this will help to remove any corruption
  • Leave your account on as Administrator

If the problem disappears, then you can either fix the old user account or migrate to the new account.

Solution 5: Perform a system restore

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type System Restore
  • Click Create a Restore Point in the list of search results

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Enter your administrator account password or grant permissions if prompted to
  • In the System Restore dialog box, click System Restore

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Click Next
  • Click a restore point created before you experienced the problem
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

To go back to a restore point, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • In the control panel search box, type Recovery
  • Select Recovery

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Click Open System Restore

Empty task manager/Task manager is empty/Nothing shows up in task manager

  • Click Next
  • Choose the restore point related to the problematic program/app, driver or update
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

Has any of these solutions helped fix the empty task manager problem? Let us know in the comments section below.

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