Task Manager Disabled by Administrator

Windows XP Task Manager can be restricted by enforcing a policy on machines or users. These policies are typically applied at businesses to control access to programs and system properties. For Home users, Task Manager can be disabled as well by these policies but usually Malware is the culprit in disabling the Task Manager instead of the Administrator. If you are a home user and see any of the pictures below when trying to open/launch Windows XP Task Manager then there is a good chance you are infected with malware.

  

NOTE

Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

Here is the solution for the Task Manager policy restriction problem. Administrative privileges is required  to perform the following set of solutions.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry.

Manual Steps Using Group Policy Editor

NOTE

The Group Policy Editor is only available for Windows XP Professional Edition.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates >  System > Ctrl+Alt+Del Options

  5. Double-click Remove Task Manager.
  6. Select Not Configured.

NOTE

If the Task Manager is disabled per User basis then the above method will not work, you will need to use the Registry Editor.

Manual Steps Using Windows XP Registry

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

  5. Right-click DisableTaskMgr to select Modify.
  6. Change the value to 0.
  7. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

  8. Right-click DisableTaskMgr to select Modify.
  9. Change the value to 0.
  10. Quit Regedit.exe.

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Manual Steps Using REG ADD

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type

    REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System" /v DisableTaskMgr  /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Type

    REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System" /v DisableTaskMgr  /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXITand press ENTER on your keyboard.

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download tsk.mngr.dsbld.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click tsk.mngr.dsbld.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.

NOTES

The tsk.mngr.dsbld.reg file is from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com).  You also can view the contents of the tsk.mngr.dsbld.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions

Version 1.4
Edited: May 2, 2012

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