How Do I Know What Processes Are Needed in Task Manager?

by Thomas King

A process is simply a program that is being executed. In Windows, these processes are listed in the Task Manager. Certain processes are necessary for the Windows operating system to function and stopping these necessary processes will prevent the Windows operating system from functioning properly. However, some processes belong to programs that you do not use and thus are simply taking up space. Moreover, some process belong to viruses and thus are taking up space and harming your computer.

1

Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete.

2

Click on the "Task Manager."

3

Click on the "Processes" tab. The following processes are the bare minimum necessary to run the windows operating system: "System Idle Process" "explorer.exe" "taskmgr.exe" "spoolsv.exe" "lsass.exe" "csrss.exe" "smss.exe" "winlogon.exe" "svchost.exe" "services.exe"

4

Right-click on any of the processes that are not needed to run the Windows operating system, and select "Properties." A window will open giving you a brief description of the process. This information will help you determine whether or not you feel the process is necessary. Note, this feature is only available in Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you have an earlier version of Windows, continue to the next step.

5

Go to the "Process Library" link below and type the process name into the search box. A page will appear telling you what the process does. This information can be used to determine whether you feel the process is necessary.

Tip

  • To end a process, simply right-click on it and select "End Process."

About the Author

Thomas King is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as managing editor of the "Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law." He currently lives in Aberdeen, Washington where he writes and practices law.

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