Cluttered interface mars performance

Be prepared to spend some time weeding through this task manager's awkward, cluttered interface.

AnVir Task Manager Free offers users a one-stop shop for managing your system's running processes and applications. While it certainly delivers the information it promises, it could really benefit from a more streamlined interface design.

Users will need to spend a little time taking in AnVir's user interface, because at first glance it's a bit overwhelming. It uses tabs to distinguish system categories, such as startup, applications, processes, and services. Command buttons at the top of the window give you the ability to kill processes, block processes, free memory, and select a parent process. The bottom of the window details CPU, memory, and disk usage, but it's cluttered and hard to read. We preferred hovering our mouse over the two taskbar shortcuts to find the same information. Each tab displayed a thorough listing of system information, but the navigation was awkward. For example, when we tried to select one of the processes listed, the program was slow to recognize our selection. The information window, detailing the specific selection, disappeared from view too easily with mouse movements.

AnVir Task Manager Free does offer help through its Web site, but novices might still have trouble navigating the busy interface. If you're looking for a free program to manage your system's processes, and have the time to spare, this task manager is worth a try. Other users should stick with their built-in Task Manager.

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