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Task wrangler extreme

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

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

Users will need to spend some time taking in AnVir's user interface, because at first glance it's 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. Mousing over the two taskbar shortcuts to find the same information is a bit easier. 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. You can even use it to double-check if a program is infected with a virus against the online database VirusTotal.

AnVir Task Manager Free does offer help through its Web site, but novices might still have trouble navigating the busy interface. The paid upgrade offers even more features, such as a virus scanner and a memory optimizer. Nevertheless, the free version is a MacGuyver-esque tool for managing your system processes, and is really aimed at power users.

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