Cluttered interface

Stick with the free version of this optimization tool.

Like its free counterpart, AnVir Task Manager Pro offers users a one-stop shop for managing their system's running processes and applications. After putting it to the test, we found very few discernible differences between the two.

The program's user interface is a bit overwhelming. It uses tabs to distinguish system categories, such as start-up, 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 Taskbar icons 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, kept disappearing on us as we hovered our mouse.

Help is available through the publisher's Web site, but novices might still have trouble navigating the busy interface during the 20-day trial. AnVir Task Manager Pro works, but it doesn't seem to offer much of an incentive to upgrade from the free version.

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