This post shows students and new users steps to find or view what’s running in Windows to help troubleshoot or diagnose and resolve issues. If your computer is running slowly, the first thing most people do is open the Task Manager to see if there’s a program or service that’s using too much CPU, Memory, or other resources that may be causing the problem.
The Task Manager is a tool that provides a quick, and easy method of viewing what programs, background processes, and apps are running on your computer. Using this information, one can quickly find and discover issues related to performance or threats, including viruses and malware.
The Task Manager comes with multiple tabs, with the Processes tab being the default tab which always opens with Task Manager. From the Processes tab, you can stop or end any app that is not responding or using too many resources and impacting the system performance.
In the Task Manager, under the Processes tab, select the app you want to kill or stop and click the End Task button to stop the app from running.
You can also use the Command Prompt or PowerShell to view or list running processes in Windows. In the Command Prompt, use the tasklist command or get-process if you’re using PowerShell. Another way to see what’s running in Windows is to use the WMI wmic process command.
Below we’ll show you how to use them.
How to view what is running in Windows 11
As mentioned above, if you want to view what’s running in Windows, you will probably want to use Task Manager. However, there are also commands that you can run to view all processes currently running in Windows.
Open the Task Manager, then on the Processes tab, you’ll see all processes running in Windows.
When the Task Manager opens, under Processes, you can see all running tasks.
How to list all processes in Windows 11
If you’re comfortable using the command prompt, then use these commands to list or view all running processes in Windows.
Go to the Start menu, then search for and open the Command Prompt as administrator.
Then run the commands below to list all running processes.
You can also get running processes from PowerShell. Open PowerShell as administrator.
Then run the commands below:
Or use the commands below in either the Command Prompt or PowerShell.
wmic process get ProcessId,Description,ParentProcessId
Something to be aware of is you might not find everything that’s running in Windows using the methods above in some cases. If a malicious program or virus is designed to not list its process, you may not be able to view it with Task Manager or the other commands above.
You may have to use an antivirus or threat removal software to do that for you.
This post showed you how to find what’s running in Windows. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.