Best Free Alternatives to Windows Task Manager

Almost all Windows users know about "Task Manager" which is a built-in tool and also one of the most useful tool in Windows.

We regularly use it to check which services are running in background, which programs are taking how much system resources, etc. We also use it to kill not responding programs.

Task Manager can be accessed using right-click on Taskbar and select "Start Task Manager" option or using "Ctrl+Shift+Esc" key combination.

Although Task Manager provides lots of useful information about running programs and services, there are many free software available which can be used as an alternative to Task Manager.

Today in this topic, we are going to list all such free tools which you can use as an alternative to Windows Task Manager:

Process Explorer:

Process Explorer is a free program developed by SysInternals team for Microsoft Windows. The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded.

Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

Download Process Explorer

Process Hacker:

Process Hacker is a feature-packed tool for manipulating processes and services on your computer. Process Hacker implements almost all of the functionality offered by Process Explorer, plus more advanced features. It provides a simple, customizable tree view with highlighting showing you the processes running on your computer. It also comes with some advanced features not found in other programs, such as detaching from debuggers, viewing GDI handles, viewing heaps, injecting and unloading DLLs, and more.

Download Process Hacker

Extended Task Manager:

Extended Task Manager is an upgraded Windows Task Manager with the ability to monitor disk activity and network port usage. The Extended Task Manager provides additional Windows process management features and information about disk activity and network port usage. The new "Disk I/O" chart allows you to monitor which applications utilize most of your disk at the moment.

Another useful feature is the ability to locate Windows processes that lock a specific file. For example if you are unable to delete or rename a file, you can quickly find how it is used and possibly exit or kill the application that locks it.

Download Extended Task Manager

MKN TaskExplorer:

MKN TaskExplorer is an advanced process management tool that enables you to easily manage the tasks and applications running on your system. TaskExplorer shows detailed information about each process, including performance and memory graphs, DLLs loaded, threads, and access token. It also shows the information about the handles opened by a process and provides a function to read processes' virtual memory.

TaskExplorer displays information about each process, that includes its CPU and memory usage, the resources it is using, as well as other performance factors.

Download MKN TaskExplorer (No longer available)

AnVir Task Manager:

AnVir Task Manager provides full set of Windows enhancements that help in every-day work. It shows full information about processes, services, Internet connections, drivers, DLLs. It also monitors CPU, memory, HDD temperature and load, network, notebook battery and shows icons in system tray.

Download AnVir Task Manager

Please let us know your opinion about these free alternatives to Task Manager. Which one do you like the most and why? Are you already using any of them in your Windows? If you use any other freeware, please share it with us in your comment.

Thanks to our reader "NZero" for sharing them...

PS: Also check out following AskVG exclusive Windows 8 look-like Metro Task Manager for Windows XP, Vista and 7:

Download Windows 8 Metro Task Manager for Windows XP, Vista and 7

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Posted in: Software, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Is it possible to implement a task killer script in Context Menu which terminates a software, especially portable ones which you have to close via Task Manager, it's so slow sometimes and frustrating always open Task Manager if you like to terminate a portable software, it would be so much easier to terminate software via Context Menu.

    Here's a command for CMD window which terminates Notepad.exe:

    taskkill /f /im notepad.exe

    I'm curious if there's a trick which runs a special script via Context Menu which closes a portable software, I justs don't know how to write this kind of script.

  • Don't worry, I got it already ;)

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