Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. May 20, 2003
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Keep it Running
If you'd like to hide Task Manager but still keep it running and ready for immediate use, here's how. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Next, choose Options, Hide When Minimized. Now you can run Task Manager and it won't take up space in the taskbar.

To make it visible again, double-click its icon. It's a small bar graph display in the right side of the taskbar near the time display.