What IS All This Stuff Running on My Computer!

What are all those things running in Startup? If you don't recognize the file names, get a utility that will tell you what they are. Then you can disable those programs that don't need to start when Windows loads.

Process Explorer from Sysinternals is very easy to use and it is free. Microsoft has purchased Sysinternals so if you have previously bookmarked Sysinternals, you will now be redirected to Microsoft.

You can see exactly what is running at any time by accessing the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl,Alt.Delete) and click on the Processes tab. Some things are pretty obvious, like Outlook.exe. But some of those names may as well be in another language as far as determining what they are. A great site to find out what that strange sounding process may be, is the Process Library. Sometimes it is slow to load, but worth the wait!

Some of us are nervous about going into areas on the computer that are totally unfamiliar to us. So for those folks (and anyone else who wants easy ways to find things), there are some cool utilities to help us out.

Process Explorer can identify what's running in the background, but if you have programs that are loading at startup you can stop them from loading by going to Start/Run and typing in 'msconfig' (without the quotes). Then check the startup tab. Locate the programs you want to stop loading at startup and uncheck the box by the program.

However, unless you know for sure what you are stopping from Startup, you could disable something you want to load at startup, such as your virus scanner. Process Explorer works with Windows 9x/Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, and 64-bit versions of Windows for x64 processors, and Windows Vista.

You can get a nifty little utility called Startup CPL that will allow you to see what is really loading and you can stop unwanted program startups using this utility. I don't know why every program writer thinks their programs should load at startup, but they do. It isn't necessary and can really eat your system resources if too many of these hoggish programs are loading at startup, because they run in the background.

Startup CPL (Startup Control Panel)

What's Running provides you with detailed information for all system processes, services, programs, modules etc. that are currently running on your system. Furthermore, it includes information for currently active IP/Internet connections, as well as an interactive Startup Manager to view, edit and disable startup programs. The process viewer includes detailed specs for each process, including memory usage, GDI objects, modules and more. Additional features include options to start/stop processes and services, online database for additional process information and an option to take a snapshot of the current state. What's Running is FREE for personal use. If you want to use it in a commercial environment or for commercial purposes, you have to buy a license for commercial use. Windows 2K/XP/2003. (I really like this program on Windows XP, but it won't work on my Vista for Windows 64 bit.)

Download What's Running at Download.com

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