Windows 11's Task Manager will soon follow your system accent color

Windows 11 Taskmanager
Windows 11 Taskmanager (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Task Manager is getting more colorful in a future release.
  • The feature was unveiled in a Microsoft live stream.
  • The updated Task Manager is expected to go into testing soon.

Microsoft revealed in a live stream yesterday that an upcoming Insider build of Windows 11 will feature an updated Task Manager app that follows your system accent color in the performance tab's heatmap columns. This addition comes after the company introduced a new design for the Task Manager, bringing it in line with other Windows 11 interfaces.

Right now, the new Task Manager follows the color scheme that the old Task Manager followed, that being this mustard-ish color that doesn't look very good in dark mode. In the future, these columns will simply follow the accent color the user sets in the Windows Settings app, a nice subtle change that makes the new Task Manager look much better.

The live stream also highlighted the new design in general and also explained some of the enhanced Task Manager features coming soon, including a new efficiency mode option designed to limit resource access for apps specified by the user. Microsoft has updated many key in-box apps for Windows 11, including the Settings app, Alarms and Clock, Notepad, Paint, and more. Task Manager is the latest app to get the new design treatment.

Microsoft's next major version of Windows 11 is expected to ship in the fall of this year. Known as version 22H2, Microsoft is currently testing the release with Insiders in the Dev and Beta Channels, and it includes this new Task Manager among other new features and enhancements. There's been a big focus on tablet experience improvements, updates to the Start menu, and more UI updates to help make Windows 11 feel more consistent.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • This lipstick doesn't bring back the Windows 10 functionality unfortunately. Their focus is on all the wrong things. Microsoft is going to have a rude reckoning in 2025 that everyone but Microsoft would have seen if they keep up this hubris nonsense.
  • What specifically is missing from the Win11 Task Manager that's present in Win10? Other than a wrapper UI refresh, all the features appear to be identical. Or are you referring to an unrelated feature in Win 10 that "needs to be brought back"?
  • What do you believe is missing from the Windows 11 Task Manager? The original Windows 11 Task Manager is the same as Windows 10. And in the pictures above, the update looks to also be functionally the same, just aligned with the Windows 11 design language for consistency with the rest of the design, instead of the old Windows 2000 style Task Manager.
  • Choosing your colors for Task Manager is much more important than L/R Taskbars or fixing the start functionality that was lost. Time to toss management as they don't have a clue.
  • Agreed. It IS more important. Thanks, Microsoft!
  • Different teams. Taskbar and Start Menu have seen a lot of progress according to Zac's reports here based on the Insider builds and his sources. I'm waiting for those changes before switching my main computer over to Windows 11, but meanwhile I'm writing this on a laptop with Windows 11 and Start 11 because, for me personally, the Start Menu in Windows 11 won't be usable until those 22H2 updates land. But in spite of that, I certainly also want them working on improving other facets of the OS and built-in apps, like Task Manager, Notepad, etc.
  • Since we are seeing the 22H2 updates in Dev/Beta today, I don't hold much hope that anything substantial will be addressed. I'd hardly say they are leaping to the opportunity since barely anything has been released on either since 11s initial release. Notepad was fine for INI or batch files but is pretty basic. Try Notepad++.
  • I use Notepad++. It's great and much more powerful than Notepad, but Notepad opens faster, restores all open windows on a Windows restart, and better supports any file drag-and-drop on its Desktop icon to open files. Also not a built-in native app. I raised that as an example of MS working on changes across many areas of Windows, including various built-in apps. Refuting your criticism that MS working on Task Manager somehow equates to their not also working on improving other parts of Windows at the same time. As I said, different teams.
  • If only they had more than one employee working on these things
  • From what I gather from comments, the same guy does everything from working on the core of Windows to designing icons. And if he's doing one thing, that means everything else is being ignored.
  • I wish they would fix the Taskbar instead of worrying about color.
  • I wish people would stop complaining as though they can only do one thing at a time. Functionality IS being added to the Win11 Task Bar but it's not all going to happen right away. In the mean time, they're not going to ignore everything else.
  • What I would like to see would be CPU temp in Task Manager since they do show GPU temp. Why one and not the other?