How to Fix Task Manager Paused (Not Updating in Real-Time)

If your task manager is paused and not updating, it is usually due to the wrong settings, check here how to fix your update speed settings.

The task manager displays in real-time the usage of PC resources like CPU, memory, disk, GPU, and more on the Performance tab. If your task manager is paused and not updating, it is usually due to the wrong settings.

This often happens when you have your Update Speed (located on View at the top of the Performance tab on the Task Manager) set to Paused. Here is how you can fix it:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.
  2. In the Task Manager, click on the Performance tab:
  3. With the Performance tab opened, click on View.
  4. Go to Update speed, and select Normal to unpause your task manager:

Now your task manager will update the resource usage in real-time again. We select Normal because it is the default setting for task manager updating speed, but you can also choose High or Low depending on your preferred speed for the real-time graph.

(If your task manager keeps crashing when you click on the Performance tab, check the article I’ve written on that.)

How to Change Update Speed in Task Manager

The process is exactly the same as described above, with the only difference that you can choose other settings that are different from normal speed:

  1. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager, click on the Performance tab.
  3. With the Performance tab opened, click on View.
  4. Go to Update speed, and select Low, Normal, or High.

You can check the differences in Update Speed by checking the table below:

Update SpeedUpdate Frequency
LOWThe graphs get updated every four seconds.
NORMALThe graphs get updated every second.
HIGHThe graphs get updated every 0.5 seconds.
PAUSEDThe graph is not updated at all.

If you want to pause temporarily without selecting the PAUSED option, you can hold CTRL on your keyboard to temporarily freeze the graph.

If your task manager keeps pausing after setting an Update Speed, keep reading.

How to Fix Task Manager Update Speed Keeps Pausing

Some users report that their task manager keeps pausing automatically (going back to Paused update speed) even after changing the update speed to normal.

This is a problem that usually happens in Windows Server 2012 due to a Task Manager CPU Time bug that was fixed with update KB2779768. To fix this, update your Windows Server to the latest version and set the Update Speed to normal.

Some Windows 10 users also reported this issue; try to update Windows to the latest version if this is your case.

If the update doesn’t work, try to use the cmd – DISM and sfc /scannow commands to repair corrupted files in your Windows as explained below:

  1. Enter Command Prompt on Windows Seach and click on Open as Administrator:
  2. In the Command Prompt, run the DISM command:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

    (The DISM command uses Windows Update to fix your PC, so make sure that Windows Update is working and that you are online.)
    Note: This command will take 15-20 minutes to fix your system.
  3. After that, run the following command:
    sfc /scannow


To fix the task manager not refreshing, you only need to open the task manager, go to the Performance tab, then View and select Normal (Low or High) Update Speed.

If your task manager keeps pausing, try to update Windows to the latest version or run the DISM and sfc/ scannow commands to repair corrupt files in your system.

Make sure to check this article on the common pool/non-pool memory leak happening on Task Manager

If there are no items in your Task Manager startup tab, check my article on how to fix “there are no startup items to display”.

Laerthe Côrtes

Laerthe Côrtes

My first desktop computer, back in the 1990s, opened a whole new world for me; since then I am a heavy PC user (who will never get used to smartphones.) I worked for five years in the PC software industry, and my favorite version of Windows is still Windows 95.

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