process explorer 12 performance.png




I’ve always considered Microsoft’s Process Explorer app to be the Windows Task Manager alternative for power users. Some part of me has always wished that Microsoft would ship this with Windows, and let people switch to using this more comprehensive solution without needing to download anything. Maybe offer an “expert” mode in the existing task manager? This isn’t likely to happen, but it would sure be awesome if it did.

The good news is that Microsoft isn’t abandoning Process Explorer, and a few weeks ago they pushed out an update that adds some nice features:

  • See the website name in IE8 processes from the tooltip (meaning when you hover over an IE8 process it will display the tab’s title so that you can identify the problematic tab) – this can be seen in the screenshot above
  • Display which services are running under a svchost’s executable when hovering over it to reveal the tooltip
  • Service names are mapped to threads on the threads tab and TCP/IP tabs of the process properties dialog on Windows Vista and higher
  • New .NET assembly information tab in the process properties dialog
  • Other improvements and bug fixes

The bump in version number indicates that this should be a major new release, but in reality there are just a handful of new features. Still, this is a free app that is put out by Microsoft, and vastly improves on the functionality offered by the native task manager. To be honest I’m actually surprised that they are updating it at all, and hope they continue to do so!

Process Explorer 12 Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)