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

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

Want to check what apps are running in the background on Windows 11? It’s pretty simple! You just need to open the Task Manager, and it’ll show you all the apps and processes using your system’s resources. You can use this information to close unwanted apps, improve performance, and save battery life. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to See What Apps Are Running in the Background on Windows 11

In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of checking which apps are running in the background on Windows 11. Follow these easy steps to get a clear view of the active processes on your computer.

Step 1: Open the Task Manager

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously to open Task Manager.

This shortcut quickly brings up the Task Manager, a system monitoring tool that allows you to see what’s running on your computer. You can also right-click on the taskbar and select "Task Manager" from the context menu.

Step 2: Click on the "Processes" Tab

Once the Task Manager is open, click on the "Processes" tab at the top.

The Processes tab provides a detailed list of all the applications and background processes currently running on your system. This includes apps, background tasks, and system processes.

Step 3: Look for Apps Under the "Apps" Section

In the "Processes" tab, look for the "Apps" section to see which apps are actively running.

The "Apps" section displays all the applications currently open and using your system’s resources. These are the apps you can interact with through their windows.

Step 4: Scroll Down to the "Background Processes" Section

Scroll down past the "Apps" section to find the "Background Processes" section.

The "Background Processes" section lists all the processes running in the background. These might not have visible windows but still use system resources.

Step 5: End Unnecessary Tasks

To stop an unwanted app or process, right-click on it and select "End task."

Ending a task will close the application or process, freeing up system resources. Be cautious not to end essential system processes, as this can cause instability.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a clear view of all the apps and processes running on your Windows 11 system. This helps you manage system resources better and ensures your computer runs smoothly.

Tips for Managing Background Apps on Windows 11

  1. Regularly Check Task Manager: Make it a habit to check Task Manager periodically to keep tabs on what’s running.
  2. Update Your Apps: Ensure all your applications are up-to-date to avoid unnecessary background activities.
  3. Disable Startup Apps: Prevent apps from automatically starting by managing your startup programs in Task Manager.
  4. Use Built-in Tools: Windows 11 has built-in tools like Resource Monitor and Performance Monitor for deeper insights.
  5. Monitor System Performance: Keep an eye on your system performance through Task Manager to identify and resolve any slowdowns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I open Task Manager on Windows 11?

You can open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously or by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Task Manager."

What is the difference between apps and background processes?

Apps are applications you can interact with directly, while background processes run tasks behind the scenes without a user interface.

Can closing background processes improve performance?

Yes, closing unnecessary background processes can free up system resources and improve overall performance.

Is it safe to end any task in Task Manager?

Be careful. Ending essential system tasks can cause instability. Only close tasks you recognize and know are safe to end.

How do I prevent apps from running in the background?

You can manage background apps by going to Settings > Privacy > Background apps and turning off apps you don’t want running.


  1. Open Task Manager with Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Click on the "Processes" tab.
  3. Look for apps under "Apps".
  4. Scroll to "Background Processes".
  5. End unnecessary tasks.


Understanding how to see what apps are running in the background on Windows 11 is a crucial skill for optimizing your computer’s performance. By regularly checking Task Manager and managing background processes, you can ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently. Remember, keeping your apps up-to-date and managing startup programs can further enhance your computer’s performance. Dive into Task Manager today and take control of your background processes. For more tips on optimizing your Windows 11 experience, keep exploring and learning!