Task Manager columns in Windows 7 Explained

The main use of Task Manager in Windows 7 is to monitor the applications, processes and services running on your computer. It is also used to monitor the performance of computer hardware and network statistics.

By default, only five information columns are selected to display information in Processes tab. If you want more in-depth information then this can be done by adding columns to the information displayed on the Processes tab.

These columns display information about each process, such as how much CPU and memory resources the process is currently using.

So, in this article I am explaining about all the information columns available in the Task Manager.

To add more columns, follow the steps:

  1. Right click on Task bar and open Task Manager.
  2. Click the Processes tab and check the Show processes from all users box.
  3. To add more columns, click View, and then click Select Columns. Select the check boxes for the columns you want to see, and then click OK.

26 Jul 11 5 12 37 PM 600x497 Task Manager columns in Windows 7 Explained

Columns and their Description

  • PID (Process Identifier): An unique ID number assigned by Windows to every process which helps processor to identify each process separately.
  • User Name: The user account under which the process is running.
  • Session ID: It is used to identify the owner of the process in case if multiple users are logged on, each user has its own unique session ID.
  • CPU Usage: The percentage of time that a process used the CPU.
  • CPU Time: The total processor time, in seconds, used by a process since it started.
  • I/O Reads: The number of read input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Reads directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren’t counted.
  • I/O Writes: The number of write input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Writes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren’t counted.
  • I/O Other: The number of input/output operations generated by the process that are neither a read nor a write, including file, network, and device I/Os. An example of this type of operation is a control function. I/O Other operations directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren’t counted.
  • I/O Read Bytes: The number of bytes read in input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Read Bytes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren’t counted.
  • I/O Write Bytes: The number of bytes written in input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Write Bytes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren’t counted.
  • I/O Other Bytes: The number of bytes transferred in input/output operations generated by the process that are neither a read nor a write, including file, network, and device I/Os. An example of this type of operation is a control function. I/O Other Bytes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren’t counted.
  • Memory – Working Set: Amount of memory in the private working set and shared by the other processes.
  • Memory – Peak Working Set: Maximum amount of working set memory used by the process.
  • Memory – Working Set Delta: Amount of change in working set memory used by the process.
  • Memory – Private Working Set: Subset of working set that specifically describes the amount of memory a process is using that can’t be shared by other processes.
  • Memory – Commit Size: Amount of virtual memory that’s reserved for use by a process.
  • Memory – Paged Pool: Amount of pageable kernel memory allocated by the kernel or drivers on behalf of a process. Pageable memory is memory that can be written to another storage medium, such as the hard disk.
  • Memory – Non-paged Pool: Amount of non-pageable kernel memory allocated by the kernel or drivers on behalf of a process. Non-pageable memory is memory that can’t be written to another storage medium.
  • Page Faults: The number of page faults generated by a process since it was started. A page fault occurs when a process accesses a page of memory that’s not currently in its working set.
  • Page Fault Delta: The change in the number of page faults since the last update.
  • Base Priority: A precedence ranking that determines the order in which the threads of a process are scheduled.
  • Handles: The number of object handles in a process’s object table.
  • Threads: The number of threads running in a process.
  • USER Objects: The number of USER objects currently being used by the process. A USER object is an object from Window Manager, which includes windows, menus, cursors, icons, hooks, accelerators, monitors, keyboard layouts, and other internal objects.
  • GDI Objects: The number of objects from the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) library of application programming interfaces (APIs) for graphics output devices.
  • Image Path Name: The location of the process on the hard disk.
  • Command Line: The full command line specified to create the process.
  • User Account Control (UAC) Virtualization: Identifies whether User Account Control (UAC) virtualization is enabled, disabled, or not allowed for this process. UAC virtualization redirects file and registry write failures to per-user locations.
  • Description: The description of the process. It helps beginners to identify the process easily.
  • Data Execution Prevention: Whether data execution prevention is enabled or disabled for this process.

I have tested the new Task Manager which will be introduced by Microsoft in Windows 8. The new Task Manager will come with lot more new and enhanced functionality and more information columns to make the task handling work more easy.

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Nitin Agarwal is a Microsoft MVP and a Pro Blogger. He has been awarded as Most Valuable Professional for three times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.
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