I probably should have started a new thread for this, but the title of this one was perfect, so I decided to borrow it for my post instead of confusing people with multiple threads on the same topic.
First, to answer the question posed by the original poster, in case he or anyone still cares: "Minimized" isn't a parameter for the Task Manager itself - and never was; this isn't one of the changes that came with Windows 8. Rather, the old way (which still works for most programs) was to create a create a shortcut to the program you want to start minimized, and then to choose "Minimized" in the shortcut's settings, as shown in this example:
Placing a shortcut to Task Manager in the Startup folder no longer works the way it used to, but the reason has nothing to do with this; rather, with Windows 8, the new Task Manager must run with elevated privileges (in order to have access to all the new information it's capable of displaying), and Windows 8 doesn't allow that to happen for shortcuts in the Startup folder. (I don't think that older versions of Windows allowed that, either, but the old Task Manager didn't care; the new Task Manager will refuse to run without it.)
Anyway, on to the main reason for this message:
This post will show you how to set up Windows 8 to start Task Manager automatically on every logon, providing almost the same functionality as was provided by the old shortcut method. (There are still some unresolved quirks with this procedure, but for me and probably most of you, this is still better than doing without.)
Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft greatly expanded the Scheduled Tasks facility in Windows; now with Windows 8, it largely takes the place of older features like the Startup folder and the Run and RunOnce keys in the registry, which only exist now for compatibility with older programs.
Even if you're not a programmer, if you need to make your computer do something at certain times or when certain things happen, you should get familiar with the Task Scheduler (which is a much bigger topic than I can cover here - not to mention only peripherally related to the subject at hand).
To set Task Manager to run with every logon:
- Download the following XML file to your desktop:
(This file was posted as a text file, because the site won't allow the posting of XML files directly.)
- If the name of the downloaded file appears on your desktop as just "Task Manager" instead of "Task Manager.txt", you need to turn on file extensions temporarily; see Option Two in this tutorial.
- Rename the downloaded file from "Task Manager.txt" to "Task Manager.xml".
- Open Control Panel. The most convenient way to do this is probably to move the cursor to the lower left corner of the screen, right-click, and select "Control Panel" from the menu that appears. (Touch-screen users: you're on your own. )
- Select "System and Security" from the window that appears. (If the window doesn't look like the image above, you probably know enough to skip to the next step.)
- Select "Administrative Tools" from the list.
- Double-click "Task Scheduler" in the window that appears.
- Select "Import Task..." from the "Actions" list on the right side of the window that appears.
- In the File Open dialog that appears, navigate to and select the "Task Manager.xml" file that you downloaded in Step 1 and renamed in Step 3.
- Click "OK" in the window that appears.
- Close all the open windows and restart your computer.
I mentioned some unresolved quirks above, which you'll probably notice once your computer restarts. First, this causes the computer to go to the desktop shortly after logon. Some people will consider this an extra bonus rather than a quirk, but I haven't figured out a way to prevent this for those people who like seeing the Start screen and their live tiles when the machine starts up. Second, the "Hide when minimized" option doesn't work when Task Manager is started in this way - the initial desktop will show a normal tile for Task Manager in the taskbar. This can be removed by clicking on the tile and then minimizing the app again, but I haven't yet figured a way to get it to start out hidden.