You might be surprised at how many processes run in Windows, though maybe not if you find your system slowing down and even freezing during a processor-intensive task, even when you thought you'd closed everything. Certainly, with Bitsum's Process Lasso you have less of an excuse, since it displays practically everything that can be displayed about your system's running processes. More than that, Process Lasso lets you set priorities for individual processes, balancing the load on your CPU and system resources according to need. For example, the gaming mode prioritizes speed and display processes and can even temporarily disable processes that compromise gaming performance, especially in older and slower PCs. Process Lasso Portable is a fully portable version of this free tool. It's available in specific downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows; we tried it in Windows 7 Home Premium SP1.
As a fully portable app, Process Lasso Portable can run from just about anywhere, including portable devices. The downloaded program folder contains all the necessary files and tools, including language files. The portable program is basically identical to the installed freeware, from the system tray icon for quick access to main features to the program's busy but efficient GUI, which displays comprehensive information on Windows processes. Process Lasso is much more than a simple task manager or process manager, as we found when we reviewed the installed version. The portable version is equally capable of customizing how Windows runs in ways Windows can't.
As we noted, Process Lasso Portable is free for home and academic users, though the software does present a nag screen that advises that some of the features of the freeware will become disabled after a time to encourage you to purchase the standard edition. Freeware that stops working or loses features if you don't purchase it isn't freeware; it's shareware. We didn't use the program long enough to find out how compromising the changes are, though the developer claims the freeware is still "quite usable" with disabled features. We like Process Lasso, both the installed and portable versions, and we certainly recommend trying the program. Just be aware that the freeware ain't free.