Process Explorer is packed with features, including all the ones you’d expect from the Windows Task Manager. You can right-click a process to kill it, change its priority level, or set its CPU affinity and force it to run on only a specific CPU.
Other Process Explorer features include:
- Color-coding: Processes colored blue are as a result of programs you are running. Processes colored pink are system services. The desktop processes will be listed near the bottom, with the services appearing at the top. If you wish you can click the Options menu and select Configure Colors.
- Search Online: This feature is present in the native Windows 8’s task manager, but if you are using another version of Windows this feature is available for you in Process Explorer. With this feature you can right-click any running process in the list and select Search Online to conduct a search. This is helpful to determine the specifics on a particular process.
- Detailed Process Properties: To view information about a process, right-click it and select Properties. If a process is automatically starting with your computer, Process Explorer will tell you where it’s configured to do so. If a process is hiding in the background, you can click Bring to Front to view its window.
- Detailed Resource Usage Information: In addition to system-wide resource usage graphs, you’ll find per-process CPU, memory, and disk usage graphs in a process’s properties window. You can also see a graph of GPU (graphics card) usage. To view system-wide resource usage data, click the View menu and select System Information.
- Unlock Locked Files: You may have seen a message saying a specific file or folder is in-use by a process and can’t be deleted or moved. This is done to prevent deleting files that are “in-use” from being deleted or modified. You may find that sometimes a program may have a file locked that is not needed. To determine which program is using a file, you can click Find and select Find a Handle or DLL. You can search for the name of the file or folder and Process Explorer will tell you which process is “locking” the file. To remove the lock so that you can delete or move the file, simply right-click the handle itself and select Close Handle.
- Find a Window’s Process: If you are not sure what process a specific window belongs to, you can click and drag the target-shaped icon on the Process Explorer toolbar over another window on your desktop. Process Explorer will show you which process that window belongs to.
- Replace the Windows Task Manager: If you want to do so, you can click the Options menu and select Replace Task Manager. Then whenever you open the task manager either by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Escape, by right-clicking the task bar and selecting Start Task Manager, or pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and clicking Start Task Manager, the Process Explorer will appear instead.
Regardless of which version of Windows you are using you will find that Process Explorer performs as advertised!