Recover control when an application isn’t working

We have all been there: that moment when Internet Explorer Microsoft Edge decides not to respond anymore and you’re greeted with a hypnotic, spinning, blue circle (of death); when you’re in the middle of some important event and you need to close a program quickly and it just won’t budge; or when you’ve (accidentally) clicked a link to an unsavory page that demands you install software and there’s no way to close it. It’s a moment of frustration and panic — You’ve lost control.  Computers are supposed to do what you tell them!  Until they don’t, and then they wreak havoc on our lives. But we shall say: Never more.

What many people don’t know is that there is a combination of keys that may save you a lot of time and end this torture instantly.  When you press together the keys Ctlr + Alt + Del, your computer responds with a menu that reads: ‘Lock’, ‘Switch user’, ‘Sign out’, ‘Change a password’, and ‘TASK MANAGER’, or simple a ‘Cancel’ button. I highlight ‘TASK MANAGER’ because if you were to click on that then you would see a little window – little in Windows 10, in the other operating systems is rather big – that shows all the current tasks your computer is working on. Selecting a task and hitting the ‘End task’ button yields a rather unexpected response: this task, and the window that serves it, are both gone instantly. This is a trick that most people don’t know, but a very useful one that saves users critical minutes (or worse?) of teeth grinding spent in front of the computer waiting to close the unresponsive process.

There are many other tricks like this, and you may as well expect many other blog entries in order to help make your computer experience a bit for enjoyable, if it isn’t already. One other quick note:  remember that people who made computers and their operating systems – Alan Turing, Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds – are smart people. If you’ve had to use Task Manager to close a program, like Google Chrome and Microsoft Word, but didn’t save your current progress, it was likely saved for you automatically.  The next time you open the application, you’ll be prompted to recover your lost document or at least some of it.

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