FINDING RESOURCE HOGS
Although we’ve mainly had our eyes set firmly on your hard drive in this feature, your applications don’t just take up space there. Certain programs can have a disastrous negative effect on the overall running of your system, and might even be running on your system without your knowledge. Task Manager can do a pretty good job of showing you what’s going on; hit CtrlShift-Esc to open it, then “More Details” to see a categorized list. Right-click the column headers, select “Type,” then click it to sort the apps in the list, and have a look through to see what’s running. Keep an eye out for things that hog your CPU, memory, and disk access, and look at the “Performance” tab for a graph of the usage of these elements over time. The “Details” tab can offer a bit more insight into exactly what everything in the “Processes” tab is actually supposed to do. Do a full reboot of your system, reopen Task Manager, and have a good look at what’s running for anything you wouldn’t expect to be there had you not opened it yourself. In all likelihood, it’s there because of some autorunning application, so head to the “Start-up” tab, and disable any items you don’t feel you need. This can often make programs load a little slower— they have to load these components at run time, instead of them being ready when you boot your PC, but they can always be enabled again at a later time if you notice a problem.
Spying on running software can get rather addictive, and it’s fully possible to delve even deeper than the Task Manager allows. Try Process Explorer ( https:// technet.microsoft.com/ en-us/sysinternals/ processexplorer.aspx), one of the Microsoft Sysinternals tools, to see what’s happening on your system in ridiculous detail.
Task Manager versus Process Explorer—if you want information, you want the latter.