View and manage processes like a Pro with System Explorer

This article was modified on 2012-10-10 14:09:10

If you need a powerful process manager, you have to try System Explorer. Before you do, read my System Explorer review (quick guide) just to make sure that this is the program that you were looking for.
System Explorer short review: This is a free process viewer with many features. It has the ability to offer detailed information of your running tasks, processes, services, connections, opened files and many other things. This is a must-have tool for anyone who's interested in security. It will help you a lot when you're dealing with malware or unknown running processes, files etc.
Before you download System Explorer (homepage), keep in mind that you can choose between two versions. The regular installer and portable version (you can run portable version from any USB or external device). In this article, I will use the portable version as it's easier for me. If you want to use the same version as me, locate and open your portable version which should be in a zip archive named "SystemExplorerPortable_X" (X is the version number). Just double-click on SystemExplorer.exe and the first window is the regular "License" window (read the terms) and click on "I Accept". Right after, there is another small window with another question. If you want to run System Explorer each time Windows loads. I said "No" because I will use this tool whenever I need it and I already have other applications at start-up.
Please pay attention at the following window. This is a better explanation: "System Explorer provides the security check of running processes using our Online Security Database. If you want to process initial scan of running processes then press the "Start Security Check" button". Therefore, if you're running this program for the first time, I strongly advise you to "Start Security Check".
System Explorer security check window
I already used the security check in the past so I closed that window (in this article). Here is System Explorer running for the first time on my computer running Microsoft Windows 7. However, as you may notice, there is a yellow message saying: "System Explorer is started under limited rights. Some functions are limited."
I advise you to start the program as admin. This should allow the program access to more things. Since it's a wonderful investigation tool, allow him to take a better look. Click on "Start as Admin" button.
Start as Admin message
When you will press the "Start as Admin" button, there is a warning security window from Windows. Choose “Yes” and the program will start in Administrator mode. Here's how it looks like on my computer running for the first time (I resized the program a little bit in order to obtain a smaller image).
System Explorer
At a first look, it doesn't seem complicated but I assure you that it has so many features that even the most pretentious users will be pleased.
Note: Before we take a short look at his functions don't forget that you can always perform a security scan. To do so, click on the green "Security Scan" button.
In the first tab named "Tasks" I will click on a process in order to obtain more details. Once I do this, I have the basic information right on main software interface - just like this (see the red zone).
View details of a running process in System Explorer

If you need even more information regarding this process, click on "See More Details". The program will open your default browser and it will take you to a page where you can obtain even more data (if exists) about a running process (such as company, product, description, MD5 etc. - just scroll down the page to get more info). Here is an example of how it looks at the time that I wrote this article. One more thing - this feature requires an Internet Connection.
View process details about Chrome browser on systemexplorer website

Let's move on to the second tab named "Processes". As you can see, here you have a wonderful image of all processes that runs on my computer. I would usually need to scroll down to see all of them.
Processes tab from System Explorer

If I would want to find more details about a running process, I could simply click on it and I would get the "basic info". Again, using "More Details" feature it would take me to System Explorer database. Yet, there are other security, older, more complete databases such as VirusTotal or VirusScan and as you can see - you can check them too. Just right-click on a process, then choose "File Check" and select desired database. As you've noticed there are a lot of other features so I will skip them.
Process details window
The third tab named "Performance" is the easiest one and requires no further explanations. From here you can obtain useful data about the processor usage, used RAM/SWAP and other important data that can be useful for advanced or expert users.
View computer performance status
Here is the last tab named "History" will record the recent activity of processes running on your computer. You can sort them by time and perform several other actions.
Process history tab

So, if you're thinking: is this everything? Does it have more options? The answer is YES! It has many other features such as easy access to different system utilities from Microsoft Windows. Example: click on "Menu" button then choose "System Utilities" and you get immediate access to other system areas.
Access system utilities from System Explorer Menu

Also, if you perform a left-click with your mouse on any tab, a new window will open. It offers access to several other data although I must admit that it's more for advanced users.
System Explorer additional features

Conclusion: I will stop here with my presentation but don't forget this. For me, System Explorer is one of the most powerful (probably the best) process manager and security tool. It allows anyone to take a deep look on what's happening or better said to what's running on their computer. It's one of the most valuable software that I recently discovered and it should be present on every computer running Microsoft Windows. Recently, we rated System Explorer as the best process viewer for Windows.

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