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Show All Cores in Task Manager: How to Activate All CPU Cores (Windows 10)

A modern-day CPU is capable of handling multiple tasks at once. This is made possible by the considerable advancement that’s been made in CPU technology. Specifically, modern CPUs have multiple cores, and they’re able to create and run multiple virtual cores.

A core allows multiple processes to run. The more cores a CPU has, the more tasks it can handle at once. A CPU intelligently manages tasks between its cores and users never know what’s going on. Not all cores are active at all times. A CPU will only use an additional core when it needs to. When it doesn’t, the other cores remain dormant until they’re needed.

How to Activate All CPU Cores

Fix CPU not showing all cores in Task Manager

Regardless if your CPU is using all its cores or not, they should still be visible in the task manager. You can also view usage for each single core in the Task Manager.

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. Go to the Performance tab and select CPU.
  3. Right-click on the graph in the right pane and select Change graph to>Logical processors.
  4. You will see a graph for each core and its usage.

Regardless of which core is or isn’t in use, Task Manager will still display them all. It will display the logical cores and you can see how many cores it actually has.

If you do not see all the cores listed in Task Manager, run through the fixes below. 

1. Enable cores

You can disable cores in a CPU. It isn’t a good idea to do so but it is nevertheless possible. To enable all cores, follow these steps.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. Enter msconfig and tap the Enter key.
  3. Go to the Boot tab.
  4. Click Advanced options.
  5. Enable ‘Number of processors’.
  6. Open the dropdown and select the highest number in the list.
  7. Click OK and then Apply.
  8. Restart the system.

Note: if the ‘Number of processors’ was already checked, uncheck it and restart the system.

2. Check CPU cores with CPU-Z

It’s possible that you don’t know the correct number of cores that your CPU has. To confirm if the number you’re seeing in task manager is correct or not, you should get a second opinion.

  1. Download CPU-Z and run it.
  2. Go to the CPU tab.
  3. Look at the bottom right to view the number of cores and threads.
  4. If it matches what you see in Task Manager, your hardware is likely fine.

Show All Cores in Task Manager

3. Hardware failure

If the specifications for your CPU state that it has more cores than either Task Manager or CPU-Z show, it is possible that your CPU is physically damaged. Repairing it is possible but never worth the cost. You should look into replacing the CPU. Have your system checked before you decide to replace the CPU.

Conclusion

CPUs can be damaged if a system overheats. Often, this damage is irreversible which is why it’s essential to keep your system running at a reasonable temperature.

A CPU won’t be damaged the first few times your system overheats but consistent overheating will damage it. If your system runs hot, add fans and improve ventilation to reduce the temperature. 

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