Guide to Windows 7 / Vista Task Manager : How to Effectively Use Task Manager
Task Manager displays the programs, processes and services running on your computer. Many of us, use Task Manager only to end the stalled programs. Our typical usage of Task Manager ends there. Task Manager is a powerful tool providing a lot of valuable information helpful in monitoring resource usages, active programs, network usage and lot more. This Guide will offer you all the information you need to effectively use Task Manager. Sparing a few minutes to understand Task Manager in detail, will definitely save you a lot of time, when you really need to debug or watch your computer.
Starting the Task Manager
- Right Click on the Windows Taskbar, and then click Start Task Manager.
- Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
- Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, then click Start Task Manager
Terminating a Program
Go to the Applications tab, right-click on the program, click End Task
Finding the Process ID and Full Path of the “EXE”
“Applications” tab in Task Manger, shows the lists of all applications that are currently running. To know more details about the active application -
- Right click on the program
- Select “Go to Process”
This will take us to the Process tab showing the PID ( process Identifier) , cpu and memory usage. To find out the File location of the exe, right-click the process and click “Open File Location”. This opens up the full path of the exe in Windows Explorer. This is handy in finding out where exactly the exe is residing on your computer.
Identifying the Product version of the Program
Go to the process tab , right-click on the exe and click properties. This will open a Properties popup window. Click on the Details tab in this popup, to see the product version and related information.
Identifying the top program consuming Memory / CPU Resources
Go to the process tab and sort by CPU or Memory Columns to find the top consumers.
Real time Performance Monitoring
Performance tab of the Task Manager, shows the real-time CPU and Memory usages. CPU usage graph, shows the real-time CPU usage statistics. This graph is straightforward and easy to understand. Let us focus on the Physical Memory Section. Physical Memory section shows the Total , Cached , Available and Free Memory values. Available memory is the most important information indicating the amount of the memory available for OS and other applications. If you suspect your computer is running low on memory, check the Available memory and if it is low, consider adding more RAM to the system or free up memory by stopping applications consuming too much memory.
A graphical representation (Windows 7 Only, Vista doesn’t show this graphically) of the memory distribution is available in the Resource Monitor . To view this, go to the performance tab and click on the Resource Monitor button. Go to the Memory tab in the Resource Monitor popup window and expand the Physical Memory section. You will be able to see the graphical distribution of the Physical memory.
Gathering the Network statistics
Network tab of the Resource monitor shows in real-time, total network use and bandwidth consumption.
Identifying the Remote Address to which a Program is connecting
Go to the network tab of the Resource monitor and expand the TCP connections section. For each exe, the remote address and remote ports will be listed. This list also shows the latency in milli seconds. This is handy in identifying performance related issues.