Although often compared to the Windows Task Manager, Process Explorer is a portable and lightweight application that has advanced features for monitoring processes and changes to their behaviors. It is designed to help advanced PC users to examine the active processes on their PCs and find out how they work.
What Does Process Explorer Do?
As with other apps and programs, Process Explorer has many features and functionalities.
While some are visible and easy to access, others are buried deep within the interface. Here are some of the tasks that Process Explorer does:
- It displays the hierarchical relationship of processes. The hierarchies are often sorted by color so users can easily identify them at one glance.
- It can show accurate CPU usage tracking.
- It is often used in place of the Task Manager, especially for operating systems on Vista, XP, and 7.
- It can be used to add multiple tray icons to check the Disk, GPU, CPU, and Network usage.
- It identifies which processes have loaded a DLL file.
- It identifies which processes are running an active window.
- It identifies which processes have a folder or a file locked and opened.
- It displays information about processes, including memory usage, objects, and other things you need to know.
- It can end an entire process tree.
- It can suspend processes and freeze all associated threads.
- It can show what processes are consuming more CPU resources.
Simply said, if you are having problems with a certain application or you are trying to identify the use of a certain DLL file, then Process Explorer is the best tool to use.
How to Install Process Explorer
You can download Process Explorer for free. Simply visit this website and click on the Download Process Explorer button. The download process will automatically start.
Once completed, the downloaded zip file will be saved on your PC. It usually contains four files, including:
- Eula.txt – It contains the software’s license terms.
- Procexp.chm – It is the official help file.
- Procexp.exe – This is the executable file for 32-bit Windows devices.
- Procexp64.exe – This is the executable file for 64-bit Windows devices.
To start the installation process, double-click on the procexp64.exe file. After that, accept the software’s license agreement. You should now be ready to give it a go.
How to Use Process Explorer
Process Explorer has many uses. We’ll discuss them below.
Replacing Task Manager
If you wish to replace Task Manager with Process Explorer, go to the Process Explorer window. Navigate to the Options menu and locate Replace Task Manager. Take note that you might need administrator privileges to replace Task Manager. Once successful, Process Explorer should open every time you call to Task Manager.
Identify the Process/es Behind a Window
Have you ever tried looking at an advertisement that randomly appeared on your screen? Ever wondered what process triggered it to show? In most cases, these process-triggered ads can be identified using Process Explorer. Simply drag and drop the ads on Process Explorer and you will be shown the name of the processes associated with it.
VirusTotal is a great feature of Process Explorer. As an online repository, it allows users to analyze files and check their authenticity. To enable this, go to Process Explorer > Options > VirusTotal.com and check your active processes and loaded DLLs on the site. Do not confuse VirusTotal for an anti-malware tool. While VirusTotal is an external feature, an anti-malware tool is a separate program that is designed for the detection and removal of malware entities.
There you have it. This is everything you should know about Process Explorer. As a reliable tool with many features, it makes a great alternative for Task Manager. But if you feel a bit hesitant about using it, feel free to ask around first. Better yet, read through this article.
Here’s a handy tip that we want to share before we end this article. If you want to ensure that no unnecessary processes are running in the background, be sure you regularly delete junk files on your PC using a PC repair tool. These unwanted files may be used by cybercriminals to conduct their malicious acts, which usually begin with running resource-heavy processes.
What do you think about Process Explorer? Does it make a great substitute for Task Manager? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.