What is a task manager? Microsoft explains it purpose as showing the programs, processes, and services that are currently running on your computer. You can use Task Manager to monitor your computer’s performance or to close a program/kill a process that is not responding. It can also show the network status if you are connected to one.
Quite often, you have programs freezing & simply not reacting to mouse clicks & so on, which can be quite frustrating in some situations. Then you may start a program through a double click for example & if for some reason it takes too long to appear, instead repeated clicks, which may lead to freezing, etc, you can simply check out with the task manager if the process has already started & is just taking time to load & appear.
It can of course be used to track down lots of problems, including for example locating a process using too much of the PC computing resources.
A simple way to start the task manager is to right-click with the mouse a FREE space on the system tray, not taken up by some program icon. This opens a context menu. Select “Task manager”. Alternatively, without the mouse, the keyboard key combination [ctrl] + [alt] + [delete] leads to the same. Select task manager in the opening window.
Apart from Windows native task manager, there are some which are quite interesting & offer extra functions. Here are some 2 portable versions, i.e. that are installable e.g. on a USB flash drive & can be used on different computers, without having to install them there.
Process Explorer is a freeware task manager and system monitor for Microsoft Windows created by Sysinternals, which has been acquired by Microsoft.
Get Process Explorer
Get more information & download from here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx.
Portable versions are available from:
- Portableapps.com => http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/process-explorer-portable
- Penndriveapps.com => http://www.pendriveapps.com/process-explorer/
System Explorer Portable
This is the portable version of the installable task manager System Explorer. When you start system explorer (the first time), it asks if it should make a security scan of running processes & compares them to an online database. The results can be viewed in a browser. The security scan can also be started by clicking the Security Scan button. You can view tasks, autorun programs, services, drivers, the paths of opened programs, IE add-ons among other things. By right-clicking on individual processes, you get access to many options. You can end, restart, suspend, find file/folder details, the start-up status or let it be checked out by Virustotal.com or virusscan.jotti.org. This enables you to identify, locate & know how to deal with suspicious & potentially dangerous programs that your PC might be harboring. There is a graphic presentation showing processor & RAM usage. Lots of other system information is accessible via the [+] tab making this much better than the Window’s own Task Manager.
- Detailed information about Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Addons, Uninstallers, Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files.
- Easy check of suspicious files via VirusTotal, Jotti service or our File Database.
- Easy monitoring of processes activities and System changes.
- Usage graphs of important System resources.
- Tray Hint with detailed System and Battery status
- WMI Browser and System Additional Info
- Multilanguage Support
SystemExplorer is FREE for personal and commercial use! Requires operating system Windows XP,Windows Vista or Windows 7.