Process Explorer v16.21

billon on 17 May 2017
  • 4MB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 16 May 2017
  • Suggested by Andrew Lee

Process Explorer is an advanced task manager. It is an indispensable tool for both beginners and power users. I use it all the time to kill tasks that refuse to be killed, or find what which processes are still holding on to a particular file or DLL so it refuses to be deleted.

Alternatively, Process Explorer Portable is also available, which is stealth.

System Requirements: WinXP / Vista / Win7 / Win8 / Win10
Writes settings to: Windows registry
Stealth: ? No
Unicode support: Yes
License: Freeware
How to extract: Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Delete Eula.txt. Launch procexp.exe or procexp64.exe.
Similar/alternative apps: Process Hacker
What's new?
  • This Process Explorer release includes a fix for an intermittent bug in the Virus Total scanning logic, and is signed with Win7 RTM-compatible certificate.

51 comments on Process Explorer  The Portable Freeware Collection Latest Entries Feed

Moroni 2006-07-11 10:25

You can really tell this is an Advanced Task Manager! It by far surpass Windows Task Maganer! Give it a try!

Hairball 2006-07-12 12:23

This program rocks. Ever try to find that pesky virus that won't go away? Squash it with this program. Tells you everything about everything going on inside you machine. All of it.

Zat 2006-08-10 13:23

nice prog to see what''s happened with process

a 2006-10-16 17:40

when you set it up just the way you like it.. then suddenly all the custom settings have magically dispeared! that is freaking annoying, other then that it's a very good program, but could be better with more process manulipation features (free memory, crash process, ect)

Zen Render 2006-11-07 23:24

There's a BUNCH of great standalone apps are SysInternals, but this is the one I use almost every day at work. When trying out this app, make sure you right-click on the column headings, and check the Command Line checkbox, which will tell you where the listed process' file actually resides (makes it much easier to figure out which is the virus or spyware, if the file is sitting in the root or temp folders of the drive). "A"'s comment is correct about the settings, but they're "per-machine." Not entirely sure what they mean by "crash process" but you can "kill" processes and ever entire process trees (the process and every process it may have spawned).
All in all though, a great utility for anyone's "pocket-toolkit."

Nyarnon 2006-11-09 02:07

Great just what I was looking for for my portable collection. Smart prog. Thanks.

GBJ 2007-01-09 04:53

The only thing this beauty lacks is an INI file to store your custom settings, including visible columns and column widths. Then it would be truly portable.

guest 2007-05-10 12:25

GBJ, one posting in this thread says that JPE can be used to make process explorer truly portable

Lego 2007-09-07 00:15

Since Micro$oft took this great utility over, you can not kill several MS processes, like WPALogon.dll.
Guess why.... ;-)

Many Many Many User 2008-02-27 09:28

would you kindly support INI file?

saving is a must i would say

Static 2008-02-27 20:59

Is there a pre-MS version still available?

Erind 2008-02-28 11:00

I've got some older versions if you want it. Back when it was split into 4 different versions. 9x, Amd64, Ia64, Nt

Erind 2008-02-28 11:01

Erm... email would probably help, eh? a s c h e e l (at) g m a i l (dot) c o m
Or find me on AIM JohnC256

Midas 2008-02-29 03:16

Like others before, I must say this is one of my essential utilities. I run it permanently on all my computers!

Although I haven't had that problem, I am really disapointed by what Lego revealed ("Since Micro$oft took this great utility over, you can not kill several MS processes, like WPALogon.dll") which I find a serious breach of confidence -- we're so used to get 'coned' by M$, aren't we?

Does anyone know, which was the last version that wasn't crippled in this way? I might still have it laying around...

avoidz 2008-03-04 20:38

10.2 - Jul 14 2006 - Final version prior to acquisition by Microsoft


Dan 2008-04-18 05:08

Look at the screenshot;

"Micro$oft took this great utility over", incorporated their own 'taskmgr.exe' and called it a new version

Bigoeuf 2008-04-21 03:37

Re:avoidz: 10.2 - Jul 14 2006 - Final version prior to acquisition by Microsoft

Midas 2008-04-22 07:04

Where's the changelog? Is it really worth getting the M$ bloat instead of keeping the version Bigoeuf kindly put at our disposal?

GBJ 2008-06-10 07:19

First, this is one GREAT utility. However, that being said, how anyone can consider it 'portable' (as it indeed writes all settings to the registry) simply blows my mind. Hello ? It is NOT PORTABLE ! ! Just TRY running it from a USB stick and see if your views and column settings remain ! PLEASE learn the true meaning of 'portable.' You cannot change the definition based on your personal taste and whether or not you like one app over another.

Midas 2008-06-17 02:49

My take on Portable Software is programs that just work when I run them without installing... Features like INI file based settings, stealth and removable drive awareness are very welcome pluses, but they don't change that basic tenet.

Just my 2 cents.

Midas 2008-06-17 02:53

Does anyone know of a changelog for PE? Thanks...

a 2008-08-11 09:20

be cautious of some of these programs from sysinternals, i've had some restarts, bsod, crashes, freeze ups, and lingering processes from using their utilities, never had this problem with any other software. i'm a fan of process explorer, procmon, autoruns, and a few others.. but man do they have issues. i suppose because i have older versions or whatnot. more reason to not use the registry for settings!

Samalama 2008-10-15 23:40

Writes to the registry - NOT PORTABLE.

Like GBJ says....GREAT utility. However, that being said, how anyone can consider it 'portable' (as it indeed writes all settings to the registry) simply blows my mind.

Will not use until really is made portable - why is it even on this site?????????????

a 2011-03-16 16:33

@Samalama It's on this site because it's useful, simple as that. Despite writing registry keys, I now use it daily on multiple machines, and in my USB Toolkit, most SysInternals have become more stable now days.


Shodan 2011-03-17 11:57

The latest version - 14.1 - is a CPU cycle hog. HUGE difference between 11.1 and 14.1 in cycles the app uses.


ChipsNHotSauce 2011-06-10 23:43

@Shodan, I've noticed that too, that's the why I use 11.x on my laptop. I updated to 14.x on my other pc and I haven't noticed the CPU issues, since then, perhaps it has been fixed.


zak_711 2011-08-20 14:40

15.02 Better check the site again


Checker 2011-08-20 20:29

Site says: V15.01 ... TPFC says: V15.02 ... Download is: V15.03
TPFC-DB updated ;-)


Emka 2011-12-16 17:04

Link to website seems to be broken.


webfork 2011-12-16 20:09

emka: modified link, should work now


mukhi 2012-06-07 11:27

giving me the following download error:
This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.
OutOfRangeInputOne of the request inputs is out of range.


abc 2012-06-07 16:59

Seems that dreadful "unreadable memory" error has FINALLY been fixed in this version.


abc 2012-06-07 17:29

\Files\ part of the URL needs to be lower case \files\ I can't change the entry until I spam the forum with 50 posts, so...

here's the proper link:


JohnTHaller 2012-06-07 18:08

abc - I fixed it.


Ruby 2012-06-08 11:13

I've changed the 'Download' link as it hasn't been updated to reflect the 'Live' site


lautrepay 2012-12-19 01:38

PA.c released a wrapper (online installation) that makes Process Explorer truly portable:


Midas 2013-03-01 15:36

For correct Process Explorer "Configure Symbols..." options check, for instance,

For a portable, this essentially means you have to get an updated 'dbghelp.dll' file to place alongside the PE executable, and then point to it in the "Debug.dll path" field; in the "Symbols path" field, after creating a 'symbols' folder inside the one you keep PE in, you could paste the following:


(You can change the part amidst stars (the cache path) to whatever you want or leave it out for no caching.)


__philippe 2013-08-02 09:43

Sysinternals' Process Explorer now updated to v15.40



Checker 2013-08-02 17:18

@ __philippe: Thanks ... and updated.


__philippe 2014-01-30 20:42

SysInternal's Process Explorer updated to v16.0 (January 29, 2014)

Thanks to collaboration with the team at Vir*sTotal, this Process Explorer update introduces integration with Vir*, an online antivir*s analysis service. When enabled, Process Explorer sends the hashes of images and files shown in the process and DLL views to Vir*sTotal and if they have been previously scanned, reports how many antivir*s engines identified them as possibly malicious. Hyperlinked results take you to Vir* report pages and you can even submit files for scanning.

Note that Process Explorer v16.0 itself includes precious little explanation about the new Vir*sTotal checking feature. The internal help (F1) does not mention it at all.

However, Martin Brinkmann (from provides a neatly illustrated elaboration on the subject :



Checker 2014-01-31 19:17

@ __philippe: Thanks ... and updated.


__philippe 2014-02-05 09:13

Process Explorer updated to v16.0.1 - (Feb 4,2014)

This release fixes a bug that could cause a crash when the Vir*sTotal column is added to the process view, and another that could cause a crash when verifying digital signatures.

Process Explorer v16.0.1 download here:



__philippe 2015-03-11 20:31

Process Explorer updated to v16.05 (released 10-MAR 2015)
PE now includes a Protection column that shows process protection status


Checker 2015-03-11 22:09

@ __philippe: Thanks ... and updated ;)


DarkShadow 2016-01-06 05:22

Why is it listed as portable if it writes its settings to registry ?


webfork 2016-01-06 21:15

DarkShadow: Some programs that write minor or inconsequential settings to the registry can be accepted.


smaragdus 2016-01-18 21:03

I do not consider Process Explorer to be portable, just like AutoRuns. Minor or major settings, they are saved to the registry which kills portability on the spot, at least for me.


__philippe 2016-01-19 17:40

@smaragdus, @DarkShadow

For sponsors of registry's virginity preservation society (yours truly included),
Process Hacker is a worthy alternative to Process Explorer.

ProcessHacker includes quite a few unique functions too, lavishly detailed here:


smaragdus 2016-02-05 21:57

Thanks for the useful article you provided. In fact I use both Process Hacker and System Explorer and I wonder which one I like more, both are exactly to my taste.


__philippe 2016-11-18 14:44

ProcessExplorer v16.20 released 18-NOV-2016

Annoyingly, SysInternals's powers-that-be are lapsing again into releasing utilities updates without bothering to provide some kind, any kind of timely changelog...:-(

Mercifully, this new release is still running happily under good ole Win XP, official disclaimer to the contrary notwithstanding...;-)


__philippe 2016-11-19 12:08

Process Explorer v16.20

Day late changelog...;-)

This release of Process Explorer
- adds reporting of process Control Flow Guard (CFG) status
- dynamically updates to reflect changes to process Data Execution Prevention (DEP) configuration.


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