In the April Update aka the Spring Creators Update, Microsoft has made a slight change to the Task Manager Status column. If you open the Task Manager, you will see icons in the Status column. The icons resemble the same one used by Windows 10 to indicate power saving mode in the power slider. It basically looks like a lit match. If you’re wondering what the icons in the task manager status column are, they’re indicating the state of a process.
Task Manager Status Column Icons
In Windows 10 Insider Build 17101, the task manager status bar didn’t have these icons. Instead, it had text showing how many processes were suspended. That was an insider build though and by the time that particular feature made it to the Production release, the text was replaced with these icons.
They mean the same thing basically. The icon indicates an app or service that is running in the suspended state.
What that means is that the service isn’t actively running. In the screenshot below, you can see that Skype is suspended. At the time I took this screenshot, Skype was not running however, it does have a background service that is supposed to check for and push new message notifications to the desktop which explains the service.
You will find that the suspended apps/services are all background ones. None of the apps you’re currently using will enter the suspend state unless you do not switch over to them for a long time. For example, in the screenshot below I have the Settings app open as indicated by the icon in the taskbar but I haven’t switched to it in a while. The task manger status column shows the suspended icon next to it. If I switch to the Settings app, it will exit its suspended state.
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If you don’t see the status column, right-click any of the column headers in the task manager, and from the context menu, select Status. The icons are new but the column has been a part of the task manager for years. Not many users enable it which is why it might seem like it’s suddenly appeared.
On older versions of Windows 10, this column will only tell you if an app or service is not responding. It will not tell you if it’s suspended or not. The icons that indicate the suspended state were added with the April update. To be clear, Microsoft isn’t collecting any new information, nor has it introduced a new state that apps and services can run in. All it’s done with the task manager status column is give you a visual indicator for the state of an app.
Microsoft doesn’t make a lot of changes to the Task Manager in Windows 10. The last major improvement that was made introduced GPU usage in the Task Manager however it was well documented. This one, not so much.