How to See What Apps Are Running in the Background on Windows 11

Do you ever wonder why your computer is running slowly or the battery is draining faster than usual? It could be because of apps running in the background that you’re not even using. Let’s dive into how you can see and manage these background apps in Windows 11.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to See What Apps are Running in the Background in Windows 11

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s what we’re going to do: find out what apps are running silently in the background and learn how to manage them to ensure your PC runs smoothly.

Step 1: Open Task Manager

Access the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.

Task Manager is a powerful tool that shows you what programs and processes are running on your computer. It gives you a detailed view of how these apps are affecting your PC’s performance.

Step 2: Click on ‘More details’

If the Task Manager opens in a simplified view, click on ‘More details’ at the bottom.

This will expand the Task Manager to show all the running processes, including background apps, so you have a complete overview.

Step 3: Navigate to the ‘Processes’ tab

Ensure you’re on the ‘Processes’ tab to see all the active processes.

This tab shows you all the applications, background processes, and Windows processes currently running on your system.

Step 4: Sort by ‘Status’ or ‘Background processes’

You can sort the list by clicking on the ‘Status’ column or look directly under ‘Background processes.’

Sorting by status helps you quickly identify which apps are actively running and which are running in the background without your direct input.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a clear idea of which apps are running in the background. This insight allows you to manage these apps effectively, ensuring they don’t consume unnecessary resources.

Tips for Managing Background Apps in Windows 11

  • Close apps you’re not using that are running in the background to free up system resources.
  • Adjust your startup settings to prevent certain apps from launching when you turn on your PC.
  • Be selective about the apps you allow to run in the background to conserve battery life.
  • Regularly check for updates for your apps, as updates can optimize their performance and reduce background activity.
  • Use the battery saver mode to limit background activity and extend your laptop’s battery life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Task Manager?

The Task Manager is a system monitor program used to provide information about the processes and programs running on a computer, as well as the general status of the system.

Can I close any background app I see in the Task Manager?

Yes, you can close background apps, but be cautious as some processes are critical for Windows to function properly.

Will closing background apps improve my computer’s performance?

Closing unnecessary background apps can free up resources and improve performance, especially on systems with limited hardware.

How often should I check the Task Manager for background apps?

Regular checks can help maintain optimal performance, particularly if you frequently install new software.

Is there a way to prevent apps from running in the background?

Yes, you can adjust each app’s background permissions in the Privacy settings or manage startup apps in the Task Manager.


  1. Open Task Manager
  2. Click on ‘More details’
  3. Navigate to the ‘Processes’ tab
  4. Sort by ‘Status’ or ‘Background processes’


Remember, managing your background apps isn’t just about keeping a tidy virtual workspace; it’s about optimizing your system’s performance and extending the device’s longevity. Whether it’s to improve battery life or ensure your PC runs like a well-oiled machine, taking control of background processes is a skill worth mastering. And with Windows 11’s intuitive Task Manager, it’s never been easier to peek behind the curtain of your computer’s operations.

So, go ahead and take a moment to open up that Task Manager. You might be surprised at what’s been running without your knowledge. A quick audit and a few tweaks can result in a noticeable performance boost, and who doesn’t want a faster, more efficient computer? After all, in the digital age, our devices are extensions of ourselves, and taking care of them is just as important as any other aspect of our daily routine. Happy optimizing!

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