Microsoft is very open about its dedication to making Windows 10 the best performing operating system. While numerous updates have yielded positive results, system slow-downs are still a thing. You can do many things on your end to boost your computer’s performance, and one of them involves checking the processes that consume your system’s resources and killing them off.
Windows has many built-in resources that you can use to review resource usage. The Task Manager is probably the most well-known. It shows how individual processes use system resources and allows system administrators to kill whichever they choose to end. Almost everyone, including novices, knows how to use the Task Manager. The legendary CTRL + ALT + DEL shortcut is engraved into the memory of nearly every Windows user as the go-to combination whenever their OS hangs.
However, utilities such as the Performance Monitor and Resource Monitor can offer you more information about CPU, disk, memory, and network usage. The Resource Monitor is the best utility for analyzing and investigating performance issues concisely and simply. We’ll show you how to use the program to study your system’s resource usage.
Why Use Resource Monitor on Windows 10?
Indeed, the Task Manager gives you an overview of how individual processes use your system’s resources. However, the Resource Monitor allows you to go in-depth to get information that the Task Manager can’t display. You can also use the tool to find out how programs have been using your resources over time.
How to Open the Resource Monitor on Windows 10
There are several ways to open the Resource Monitor on Windows 10. We’ll walk you through the different processes, and you can choose the most convenient.
The Start Menu
This should be the easiest way to launch the tool. Tap the Windows logo key on your keyboard or click on the Start button in the taskbar. After the Start menu opens, type “resource monitor” or “resmon” (no quotes) and click on the first search result you see.
You can also go to the All Apps category in the Start menu, scroll down to Windows Administrative Tools, expand it, and then click on Resource Monitor.
The Run dialog box
- Right-click the Start button and click Run or press the Windows and R keyboard buttons together.
- Once Run opens, type “resmon” (no quotes) into the text box and click on OK or press the Enter key.
The Command Prompt
- Open the Run dialog box.
- Type “CMD” (no quotes) into the text box and hit Enter.
- After the Command Prompt opens, type “resmon.exe” (no quotes) and then click on OK.
- Right-click on the Start button or tap the Windows and X keyboard buttons together.
- Select Windows PowerShell in the menu that appears.
- After Windows PowerShell opens, type “resmon” (no quotes) and hit Enter.
Explaining the Resource Monitor’s Interface
The Resource Monitor interface looks the same in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7. The window has different tabs that it uses to separate data. They include:
The Resource Monitor window normally opens in a floating window, but you can expand it to full-screen mode. Each tab has subtabs to expand or collapse by clicking on the arrow in its title bar.
The right pane contains graphical representations of each element’s resource usage. You can increase each pane’s size by placing your mouse pointer over the dividers in the middle and dragging it sideways once the arrow appears. For example, if you want to view more graphical data, you have to place your mouse cursor over the navigation bar in the middle and move it to the left.
You can completely hide the graph section (the right pane) by clicking on the arrow at the top of the pane. Use the View drop-down menu at the top of the right pane to change the graphs’ size.
Now let’s look at each tab.
The Overview Tab
This is the first view of the Resource Monitor. It shows a glance at how processes use your system’s resources, just as its name suggests. There are four sections on the Overview page: CPU, Disk, Network, Memory.
The CPU section is expanded by default, while others are collapsed. You can expand or collapse each section by clicking on the arrow in their title bar.
Each section contains information about every process listed under it. Let’s give you a rundown.
PID: Process ID
Description: Brief background info of the process
Status: If the process is running or not
Threads: How many active CPU threads are being used by the process
CPU: Current percent of CPU resources consumed by the process
Average [Average percent of CPU resources consumed by the process]
PID: Process ID
File: Name of the file in use by the process
Read (B/sec): How many bytes per second on average have been read from the file at the last minute
Write (B/sec): How many bytes per second on average have been written to the file in the last minute
Total (B/sec): How many bytes per second on average have been written to and read from the file in the last minute
I/O Priority: Priority of I/O transfers
Response Time (ms): Disk response time in milliseconds
PID: Process ID
Address: Address that the process connects to
Send (B/sec): How many bytes per second on average have been sent in the last minute
Receive (B/sec): How many bytes per second on average have been received in the last minute
Total (B/sec): How many bytes per second on average have been sent and received in the last minute
PID: Process ID
Hard faults: How many hard page faults per seconds on average the process has triggered in the last minute
Commit (KB): Amount of virtual memory in kilobytes that the OS has reserved for the process
Working set (KB): Current amount of physical memory in kilobytes used by the process
Shareable (KB): Current amount of physical memory in kilobytes used by the process that can be shared with other processes
Private (KB): Current amount of physical memory in kilobytes used by the process that cannot be shared with other processes
You can use the CPU section to filter the processes you want to see throughout the Overview tab. For example, if you tick the box beside one process under CPU, that process alone will be displayed in the Network, Memory, and Disk sections. This cannot happen in the Task Manager.
There are graphs in the right pane for each section. They show an overview of CPU, Disk, Memory, and Network activity.
Studying CPU Usage in the Resource Monitor
You need to navigate to the CPU tab if you want to view CPU usage in detail. There are three different sections under the CPU tab:
- The Processes section – This is basically what you’ll see in the CPU section of the Overview tab.
- The Services section – This is a list of running Windows services.
- The Associated Handles section – This lists system resources such as Registry values and system file.
- The Associated modules section — This lists special files such as dynamic link libraries that a process might be using.
You can click on a process in the Processes section to see its link with one or more services, associated handles, and associated modules. The Resource Monitor also allows you to stop and start services. Right-click on a service and choose an option in the context menu.
Analyzing System Memory Usage
The Memory tab lists processes just like you’ll see in the Memory section of the Overview tab. You can right-click on each process to end it, end its tree, suspend and resume it, analyze its wait chain, and search for it online. Under the Processes tab, you’ll see a visual representation of physical memory reserved, amount of memory in use, amount of memory modified, amount of standby memory, and amount of free memory.
The right pane is the graphical representation of used physical memory, commit charge, and hard faults.
Checking Disk Usage
When you switch to the Disk tab, you’ll find the Processes with Disk Activity, Disk Activity, and Storage sections. The Processes section is a list of processes currently using your hard drive. They’re the same as the processes you saw in the Disk section of the Overview tab.
You can check the box for a single process under Processes with Disk Activity to find details of how it uses your hard drive under Disk Activity.
The Storage section shows your hard drives and the available and total space on each drive. It also details the percentage of time the disk is running and its queue length.
The right pane shows graphical representations of the disk and its queue length.
The Network Tab
The Network tab shows Processes with Network Activity, Network Activity, TCP Connections, and Listening Ports.
The Processes with Network Activity section shows you the processes currently using your system internet connection and the data they send out and receive.
The Network Activity section shows you those processes, including their addresses.
The TCP Connections section shows connection details of the processes such as Local Address and Port, Remote Address and Port, Packet Loss, and Latency.
The Listening Ports section shows details of the addresses and ports on which each process is listening, each process’ protocol, and each process’ status.
Now you know how to use the Resource Monitor to check how programs are using your system’s resources in more detail.
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