How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

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My machine is slower than molasses in the winter time. I suspect that one or more programs are simply using up all of the available CPU time. How do I tell which ones they might be so that I can turn them off, or whatever?

Yep, that sounds slow.

It happens to me from time to time as well. A program decides it has something very, very important to do and uses all the computer’s processing power to do it.

The good news is it’s pretty easy to find out which program that might be.

Read moreHow Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Footnotes & references

1: For previous versions of Windows, I tend to prefer the free download Process Explorer, also from Microsoft.

2: Actually, the definition is a little weirder than that, from what I can tell.

What program is displaying this window?

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There’s a window on my screen, and I can’t tell what program it’s from. Is there a way?

Yes.

And it’s useful about 80% of the time.

I’ll show you how, and explain why getting the answer isn’t always helpful.

Read moreWhat program is displaying this window?

Monitoring Your System with Resource Monitor

When diagnosing a system problem or even just monitoring the health of a working system, it’s useful to peek “under the hood” to see what’s going on.

Windows 7 added a handy utility called Resource Monitor that does just that. It provides more information than the existing Task Manager without getting into all of the esoteric and often confusing detail of Process Explorer.

Resource Manager is a useful tool to have in your back pocket.

Read moreMonitoring Your System with Resource Monitor

Footnotes & references

3: “Commit Charge” is another one of those geeky rabbit holes that is best be ignored here. If you’re just itching for a definition, Wikipedia has one. Good luck. 🙂

Why, when I’m doing nothing at all, will my hard disk suddenly start thrashing?

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Why, when I’m doing nothing at all, will my hard disk suddenly start thrashing?

It could be for many reasons. The most common are antivirus tools or the system indexing service, if it’s enabled.

To find out what’s happening on your system, we’ll use fairly powerful system monitoring tool called Procmon.

Read moreWhy, when I’m doing nothing at all, will my hard disk suddenly start thrashing?