Find the process you want, when you want

Tracking down a random process in Windows Task Manager is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Meet Process Explorer, your process metal detector that simplifies the hunt and edifies you about those pesky tasks.

If you've ever tried tracking down a process in Windows Task Manager, you know it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Process Explorer makes the job a lot easier. This freeware utility displays running processes in an intuitive tree format that includes not only process names, but also program icons and other data, such as description, image, and processor time.

It also can identify the process for a given application window or look up a process name in Google--a handy way to spot spyware. The latest version, more than three years in the making, introduces several new features. You can now drill down into the multiple svchost processes and see what each one is controlling via mouse-over tooltip, learn which Internet Explorer 8 process controls which tab, and a new .NET assembly information tab under Properties for assistance in .NET troubleshooting.

Additional features offer detailed information on performance, DLLs, threads, handles, TCP/IP connections, security settings, and environments. Despite its lack of visual polish, Process Explorer is one of the best Task Manager replacements we've seen.

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