Last updateFri, 29 Jul 2016 8am

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Process Explorer

Ever wonder what your computer is doing in the background besides the programs you are using? There are times when you may need to check out all of the processes running in your computer.

You can try the Windows Task Manager. This is good for getting general information on what programs and processes are running in the background. It will also tell you how hard your processor is working and how much physical memory is being used.

Sometimes more information is needed. That is where the Process Explorer from Microsoft Technet comes in handy. This is an expanded version of task manager that gives you much more detailed information. Windows 8 Task Manager has much more information than the Windows 7 and older windows. You may be satisfied with Windows 8 Task Manager.

The Process Explorer tells you which process is running for which program without guessing. This can help you zero in on problems more quickly. Process Explorer will show you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

Download Explorer Process

The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.