Windows Task Manager is one of the most useful tools that Microsoft has developed. It’s very simple to use and it shows you all the running processes and how many resources they consume. But for those who want more features, there are some Task Manager alternatives that they can try out. These programs offer much more than the default Windows tool, some of them displaying much more information and giving more possibilities.

Also, because the Windows Task Manager has certain restrictions, it cannot always perform all the operations you need it to do, so, in some instances, a third party app is better for closing tasks that the default program cannot. Here are a few Task Manager alternatives for you to enjoy on your Windows computer

Best Task Manager Alternatives

6. System Explorer

System Explorer

Having a more classic look, System Explorer gives you a complete list of running system processes, drivers, add-ons and more. Also, you can check online for information on each process, terminate the process and modify startup services. The program is easy to use and gives users much more information that the traditional Task Manager and it allows you to check processes in a virus database, so you can find malware or other harmful processes. And with all the extra information it provides, you can be sure that it will be of great use to you.

5. Process Liquidator

Process Liquidator

If you are looking for the most simple tool you can find, then Process Liquidator is the one you need. The app offers only the very basic of features, but it does so in style: you have the option to close tasks with one click (although this could be risky sometimes) and to open the process list, all you have to do is hover your mouse pointer on the right side of the screen. Another great aspect of this app is that it uses very little system memory (around 4 MB), so you will never notice it running.

4. Process Explorer

Process Explorer

A simple and yet effective tool for killing running processes comes in the form of Process Explorer. Although it does not offer outlandish tools, and sometimes it can be a bit hard to navigate, it does make up for this drawback in performance.

It’s like a supercharged Windows Task Manager (curiously enough, it’s also developed by Microsoft) with color coded processes and a smoother feel. I can even say it resembles the new Task Manager implemented in Windows 8. Also, it offers the possibility to take the place of the default Task Manager, which, I must say, it’s not a bad idea.

3. Anvir Task Manager

Anvir Task Manager

One of the best Task Manager alternatives I have ever seen comes in the form of Anvir. This program offers a battery of tools, such as startup control (allows you to control what services start at boot), and it can also delay some processes to some degree, making your boot time faster. Also, you can check services against a virus database, so you can rest assured that there are no malware running through your computer. The only downside is that for all these features you have to pay (the free version has some of them, but not all.)

2. What’s Running 3.0

What's Running

If it’s information on running processes that you seek, then What’s Running 3.0 is what you need. This program offers you all the information you could want on any process in a few seconds, and it also gives you the possibility to go online and seek information. When you click a process, it will give you a graph showing the resource drain of that particular process. Although at times the interface can be a little confusing, its great assortment of features make it a great alternative for Windows Task Manager.

1. Process Hacker

Process Hacker

This tool provides both ease of use, an intuitive interface and lots of great features. Even though it does not have all the features that others in this top pack, Process Hacker performs great, it has a snappy response and it’s not confusing. Also, you can pause, terminate or resume a process, and set the amount of memory a process can use up. A great alternative to Task Manager that everyone should try. Have a look in the video below at it.

Now you can go about closing tasks that you previously couldn’t, but be careful which ones you close, because some are critical to running Windows OS and you might find yourself in front of a blue screen if you are not careful. The question that remains is this: are these third party apps better than the new Task Manager that the guys at Microsoft reinvented in Windows 8? Although it does not have all the features that these apps have, it’s still a pretty good tool and, from my experience with it, a massive update to the old Task Manager. We will just have to wait and see it it’s any better than the Task Manager alternatives featured here.


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I often wonder, where is technology heading? What do all of these advances mean for us and for our future? I sometimes miss the days when I didn’t know how to use a floppy disk, or how a computer CPU works, but now, until I find an answer to my questions, I’ll keep tracking these advances and show everything I find to those who share my interests.