Investigate Hang-Ups on Your Computer Using Process Explorer

Edited by estrella sacragon, Anonymous, Batkingnz, Eng and 5 others

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Whether you're in the middle of a game, an online video, or trying to get some work done, having your PC lock up or come to a crawl can be a frustrating experience. Rather than waiting it out, or even worse, resetting the PC, you can use a tool that can help you identify processes on your computer that are causing erratic behavior. Below you will learn how to use Process Explorer to pinpoint troublesome processes and avoid the waiting game when things become too much for your computer.

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Download And Run Process Explorer

You can download Process Explorer here.

  • Process Explorer doesn't require installation. Inside the Zip file you will see procemp.exe, which is the program itself. You can even keep it on a USB flash drive to troubleshoot on any computer at any time.
  • After either dragging the file onto a zip drive or onto a location on your computer, just double click the application to begin.

Using Process Explorer

Process Explorer runs in real time and will show you detailed statistics for any current processes. Due to the amount of information included in the app, first time use of this app can be overwhelming for most users. Make sure to familiarize yourself with all of the data and features before proceeding.

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Julian ProcessExplorer 01.png
  1. 1
    Check what processes are running.
    Just look in the Process column to view all the processes currently running. You can sort the processes alphabetically, but when you first run the program they will be displayed in the order in which they started.
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  2. 2
    Check processes for CPU usage.
    Sometimes the computer can become slow or unresponsive because the CPU is being used to its full potential. On the main screen, you can click the CPU heading to sort the processes by CPU usage. This will show you the percentage of the total usage (with the actual total usage showing at the very bottom of the tool). This allows you to see what is using up the most amount of CPU usage, and will allow you to see if there is any unnecessary programs or processes running.
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  3. 3
    Checking properties of a process.
    For more detailed information on a process, you can right click on it and select "Properties". This will open a new window for you with detailed properties and options for the running process. The performance graph is an excellent tool for spotting processes that are taking up too much of the CPU or memory resources. If you notice an upward trend in the graph, especially around memory usage, then there could be a problem with the process. You can kill the process from the Image tab and try re-opening the application. If you are constantly having the same problem with certain applications, they could be poorly coded or they may require more resources than your current PC has available.
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  4. 4
    Identifying the process for an open application.
    If you have an application open, but you don't know the process for it, or if you just want to go straight to the process without searching for it, just use the target icon within Process Explorer. Clicking the target icon and dragging it to any open window will immediately show you the process for that application. (Note that the window needs to be at the forefront of your desktop for this feature to work.)
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  5. 5
    Easily jump to new processes.
    Sometimes it's a recent process that is causing performance issues on your computer. If you want to view all the processes that were recently started, just click on "View", and then select "Scroll to new processes". Once you have enabled this feature, any time that a new process starts, it will be automatically scrolled to, and highlighted within Process Explorer. This is a great way to catch new processes as they begin.
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  6. 6
    Identifying viruses, malware and other malicious processes.
    Sometimes a process will connect externally through a website or server to leak information or perform other malicious tasks using your computer resources. From the properties windows, you can select TCP/IP and expand the headings under "Resole addresses" to see any addresses that are currently being connected to. If you're not sure what it is, or if you haven't authorized it, then you can kill the process. However, make sure you check what the process is before you kill it, as killing certain hardware processes can ruin your computer. It is also a good idea to then scan your computer for viruses and malware.
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  7. 7
    Adding graphs to your system tray.
    Julian ProcessExplorer 02.png
    If Process Explorer is open, a live graph icon will be shown in your system tray next to the clock
    .
    (You may need to expand the tray if you have a lot of icons showing.) You can customize the graphs you see here by going to "options", then "tray icons", and then choosing any of the graphs available. You can also view more detailed information by hovering the mouse over any of the running graphs.
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  8. 8
    Verifying a process.
    Sometimes software that you download can be tampered with, especially if it was not obtained from the official source. You can check the signature of an application by clicking the "Verify" button from the Image tab in Properties. As long as the app was signed by the publisher, you will receive a Verified message next to the vendor details on this screen.
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  9. 9
    Changing the priority of a process.
    If you have a process that you want to be given system resources before anything else (or vice versa) you can use the system scheduler to change the priority of it. Just right click on any process and click "Set priority". You can set anything here from the lowest priority of idle, up to the highest of real time. It is not recommended setting a process to real time, as this will allow it to use all of the available resources and potentially cause the computer to stop responding.
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Investigating Hang-ups on your Computer Using Process Explorer

Those who have already experienced their computer getting locked up while trying to finish a game, watching a video online, or trying to finish a task, knows that this is among the most annoying occurrence in the history of tech and computers. Instead of waiting, a user can simply reset his or her personal computer. The user can also utilize the tool that can aid in investigating the process happening in the computer, which is the cause of the problem.

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Listed below are some guidelines about how to take advantage of the Process Explorer in order to ascertain the problem, as well as to prevent it from becoming worse.

  1. 1
    Download the Process Explorer and then run it.
    The Process Explorer doesn't need installation. In the zipped file is the procemp.exe, and this is the program. A user can store it using a USB flash drive, so that he or she can do troubleshooting anytime there is a problem. After moving the file to a certain area of the PC, to begin, the application must be double clicked.
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  2. 2
    Usage of the Process Explorer.
    This program runs in real time, so it can show the user the detailed statistics for any process that is currently running. First time users of Process Explorer may find the procedure overwhelming because of the tons of information that is in the app.
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  3. 3
    Users should see the processes that are running.
    User should check the Process column in order to see each and every process that is currently running. Users may opt to relegate the processes, particularly in alphabetical order.
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  4. 4
    Users should see the CPU usage.
    There are instances when the computer functions slowly or becomes unresponsive because the CPU's potential has been maximized. On the screen, the user should select the CPU heading, and from there, he or she can relegate the processes in accordance to CPU usage. It will also show off the total percentage of the CPU usage, together with the existent total usage, which is located below the tool.
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  5. 5
    Users should check the process's properties.
    In order for a user to see detailed information about the process, he or she can click it and then choose the "Properties" option. The user will then see a new window, which contains the detailed options and properties for the current process. The performance graph is considered the best tool that can be used to identify the processes that are exhausting the memory resources or the CPU.
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  6. 6
    Users must ascertain the procedure for an open application.
    If the user has an open application, but he or she doesn't have any idea about its process, or user just want to know about it, he or she can proceed to the Process, without the need to search for it. Users can also utilize the target icon, which is in the Process Explorer. To see the procedure for a certain application, a user should click on the target icon and then drag it to an open window.
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  7. 7
    Jump to a new process easily.
    To view each and every process that has been started recently, a user should choose "View" option. After that, he or she can choose "Scroll to new processes." Once this feature has been enabled, every time a new process starts, it will be scrolled to, as well as highlighted in the Process Explorer.
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  8. 8
    Identify the malware, viruses, and other kinds of malicious processes.
    From properties windows, choose TCP/IP, and then elaborate the headings, which are under "Resole addresses" to check the addresses that are being connected to, currently. If the process is unauthorized, then kill it.
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  9. 9
    Add graphs to the system tray.
    If Process Explorer is running, there will be a live graph icon that shows in the system tray, specifically proximal to the clock.
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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Process Explorer can be used by anyone, experienced or not. If you accidentally kill a process which causes erratic system behavior, just restart your PC. While you can kill a process, it doesn't actually make a permanent change to how your system operates. This also means that if you are constantly killing a troublesome process then it could be time to think about not using that application or checking online to see if there is a new version with bug fixes available.
  • If you have a multi core CPU you may see processes which are using 100 percent (or close to) of the CPU, but your computer is still responding. Sometimes a process may be using 100 percent of only a single core. In this case there will still be resources left over for other processes and applications to use.

Questions and Answers

How can I check which process is hang?

My application has many process.but during some case hang occurs.but I can not judge which process is hang.so how can I get to know this is process which is hang during running of my application in Process explorer??

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Mostly the applications that could affect your computers state while doing something and evenly turn it onto freeze or just dramatically hangs up is due to system applications that are using more memory and processes, the best way to know what application is it by running the Process Explorer and then look at all the current application that are running. You can see their memory usage and their process percentage in which how they affect your system while running. Mostly are examples are internet browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox. These applications uses lots of memory to function faster but on some cases while opening to many tabs it could cause your computer to hang up. And lastly always turn off or end the processes that you are not using to avoid hang ups.

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Investigate the problem and identify possible causes?

I need to write a report on how to investigate the problem and identify possible causes. I have tried: I have tried using Google to get help for the past two hours now my windows take a very long time to show me contacts on my computer. I think it was caused by: There's not enough space on the RAM

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Categories : Windows

Recent edits by: Derek S, sheryl hernandez, Robbi

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