Windows Server

Process Explorer: Replace built-in Task Manager

Process Explorer

The Task Manager is an operating system component found in all versions of Microsoft Windows since Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. It allows you to view each of the tasks (processes) and the overall performance of the computer. The Process Explorer tool is similar to the task manager which is a built-in tool in Windows. This performs more advanced functionalities as opposed to the traditional task manager. It helps detect viruses and processes running in the background.

“Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

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. 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”. Microsoft.

Task Manager replacement

Accept the licensee agreement.

After clicking on Agree, this will launch the process explorer window.

system monitoring tool

When you click on options, you will find a list of functions that can be performed.

  • Verify image signature
  • Command kill
  • Replace built-in Task Manager etc.
process management

All what can be done via the task manager can be done here as well. You can click on a process as shown below and perform any of the following.

This process can also be achieved selecting a process,

  • On the top menu icon, click on Process and
  • Perform any desired task as shown in the image below
Process Explorer

This can also be achieved by selecting the process itself and right clicking on it as shown below.

When you click on properties of an application, a lot can be identified as shown below such as the –

  • GPU Graph,
  • Threads,
  • TCP/IP,
  • Security,
  • Environment,
  • Strings,
  • Image,
  • Performance,
  • Performance graph and
  • Disk and network.

Under the image, you will find the process (program), command prompt command, current directory, and registry key associated (location)

  • When the program started
  • The user that started the program etc.

Here you can also use the VirusTotal embedded tool.  As shown below by clicking on submit. SysInteranl supports VirusToal which allows users to query VirusTotal for files running on their PCs. See this link for more information.

Furthermore, Under security: Here you will find a list of GPO applied to the user account and privileges.

Under the Disk and Network, you can view the Network I/O and disk I/O etc as shown below.

Under View, you can select Columns as shown below and select the column on how the process view of the explorer will look like.

Now select the process view of any of the columns you wish to appear on the process explorer.

Note: Same can be done to other menu listed here such as

  • Process Disk
  • Process Network,
  • Process GPU
  • DLL
  • .Net
  • Status bar
  • Process I/O

For more on Process explorer, see the following link1 and link2 for more information.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session. I welcome you to follow me on YouTube Channel.

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David Bethke
David Bethke
2 years ago

I’m running Windows 10, and when I set “replace Task Manager”, it seems to change it back every time I reboot. Any thoughts?

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