The Task Manager keeps a tab on every process that is running on your PC at a given time. You can access the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and selecting the option “Task Manager” from the pop up menu. Once you have done that, choose the tab “Processes” in the Task Manager window that opens, and you will see a long list of processes running, consuming varying amounts of CPU resources.

Most of these Windows processes are legitimate ones, started either by you or Windows itself, to make sure that specific functionalities can be used and components can be accessed. For instance, there are processes like Svchost.exe that starts up DLL files as and when required for various services, or the explorer.exe, which allows you to browse through folders located in your hard disk.

However, some processes shown as running in the list may not be as innocent as the rest. There may be Trojans lurking in the background, or viruses eating away precious resources. What is even worse is that some innocent processes may at times develop problems and start malfunctioning, consuming much more CPU resources than usual. In case of low priority system processes, it may be best to terminate the malfunctioning process altogether.

Here are some steps that you can undertake if your system exhibits signs of frequent slowdowns and unresponsiveness.

  1. First of all, in the Task Manager window, click on the tab “Processes”. This will show you the list of all the processes presently running on your PC. Keep an eye on the column named “CPU”. Under normal circumstances, the process named ‘System Idle Process” should take the maximum amount of CPU resources, which is usually above 90%. If any other process is taking up more than 10% of CPU resources, there is a cause for concern.
  2. Secondly, look for any process name that looks suspiciously similar to the name of an innocent process, or processes having the same name of Windows default processes, but consuming a lot of CPU resources. For instance, if you spot a process named “svhost.exe” located in the list and taking up a lot of resources, then you should be wary of it. The name looks awfully similar to “svchost.exe” a Windows service executable. When in doubt about the authenticity of an executable file, always look up its name in Google.
  3. Finally, you should the check the path from which every process is running. You should download Procesxp, in order to do it easily. It will show you where the executables are running from, helping you to decide whether those are authentic processes. You can find out the default path from which the executables should run by running a search on Google.

However, unless you are really into tweaking and tinkering with your system, you should get your hands on some good system tools for automating the task monitoring process. That way, you won’t have to worry about the processes running in the background of your PC. The software utility will warn you if some process is consuming more CPU resources than usual. This will help you to keep your system running in a hassle free manner.