How to See Things Running in the Background on My Computer

by TS Jordan

One major cause of undiagnosed system slowdowns is an extraordinary number of background programs running on a computer. Understanding how to check the number and quality of the background programs on your computer will help you to diagnose system problems, as well as provide a better level of management over your hardware. This can be accomplished by using the built in Task Manager tool within your operating system.

Exit out of all programs.

Press "Ctrl," "Alt," and "Del" on your keyboard at the same time. This will bring up the Task Manager.

Open the "Processes" tab. This list contains all processes that are currently running in the background of your computer.


  • check On a Mac, press the "Command/Apple," "Option" and "Esc" keys at the same time to view running processes.


  • close Ending running processes may cause your computer to function improperly. Research processes to see if it is safe to stop them before taking any action.

About the Author

TS Jordan is an Ohio licensed attorney living and practicing out of the Cleveland area. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds a Bachelors' Degree in Information Systems. He has been writing professionally for less than a year.