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What is the Windows Task Manager?

The Windows Task Manager is the tool that comes up when you press Alt + Ctrl + Delete or right-click on the task bar & click on Task Manager. The task manager lists all the programs that are currently running, including those running in the background. The task manager is very important for closing unresponsive programs & detecting the number of programs running in the background.

The task manager has 5 tabs, which are explained below :

Applications : This tab lists the active windows & its status. You can end a program by clicking on End Process, switch to a window & Start a new program from this tab.

Processes : This tab lists all the processes that are currently running & the amount of memory they are using. It is from here that one can see the processes running in the background. The various types of Spywares & Viruses always run in the background. To check the details of a particular process, visit Search Tasks. It is recommended to view the details of every process running on your PC to make sure that you don't have any spyware/virus related process running. The following processes are essential for Windows XP to run properly, & are thus safe :

svchost.exe - Normal Windows Services
taskmgr.exe - This is the Task Manager that you are currently running.
explorer.exe - A Windows utility.
lsass.exe - Local Security Authority Service.
winlogon.exe - Microsoft Windows Logon Process
csrss.exe - Microsoft Client/Server Runtime Server Subsystem
smss.exe -Session Manager Subsystem
System Idle Process

Services that are necessary for minor Windows services :


If you have any other processes running, check the process in Search Tasks.

The Performance & Networking tabs give details regarding network & CPU Usage, while the Users tab shows the users logged on to the PC.


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