Introduction to Processes
To make it more versatile, Microsoft Windows is structured around services (processes) which run in the background. The list of processes currently running may be viewed by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL simultaneously, then clicking on the Processes tab. The window then displays the list of processes being run and the system resources allocated to each one.
Many of these processes are system processes which are an integral part of Windows, while some are third-party applications. When the operating system seems to "hang," it may be helpful to determine which process is consuming the most resources.
What's more, the presence of worms, viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware on the system is usually indicate by the presence of suspicious processes. This is why they often take the name of a true system process in order to go unnoticed (for example, system32.exe instead of system32.dll, or isass.exe instead of lsass.exe).
The goal of this folder is to help you recognise system processes, application processes, and several false processes.
The Task Manager is a tool that supervises system performance and monitors the status of Windows processes in real time. You may view the Task Manager by pressing the keys CTRL+ALT+DEL simultaneously, or by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Task Manager", or by running it from Start Menu / Run with the command taskmgr.exe.
The Task Manager has 5 tabs:
- Applications: Shows which applications are running, and lets the user make changes to them by opening the context menu with the right mouse button. You can:
- Switch to the task
- End the task
- Minimise the window or task
- Maximise the window or task
- Bring the task to front
- Display the process which corresponds to the task
- Processes: Shows the list of processes running, and gives information about what they do. By default, the Task Manager displays the following information:
Other indicators can be displayed -- in all, 25 are available -- by going to View / Select Columns.
- Image Name (name of the executable file)
- User Name
- Memory Usage
- Performance: Gives graphical representations of processor and page file (swap file) usage.
- Networking: Gives statistics for bandwidth usage on computer network interfaces
- Users: Displays information on which users can access the computer and their session status. Right-clicking on the user name brings up a context menu which can be used to disconnect the user or log him or her off.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of common processes, grouped by category (the third column indicates the name of processes which may constitute a security risk).