When we first reviewed System Explorer back in 2007, we came to the conclusion that it was a great Task Manager, Process Explorer and Autoruns hybrid. The developers of System Explorer have released version 3.8.0 yesterday, and I would like to use this release to publish an updated review here on Ghacks.
System Explorer is offered as a portable version and installer. The latest version brought full support for 64-bit operating systems, making the software compatible with all versions of Windows from Windows XP on.
When you first start System Explorer you get the option to run a security scan on the system. This optional scan checks all running processes against an online database. Results are then displayed in the Processes tab next to each process.
The program itself divides information into tabs at the top. The four tabs Tasks, Processes, Performance and History are displayed by default, with options to add new tabs with a click on the tab-bar's plus icon. Here you can enable a good dozen additional services, from auto start entries to installed software, all open connections or installed system drivers.
The process manager displays all running processes in tree form by default so that you see dependencies right there. Each process is listed with its name, cpu and memory utilization, security status, process id and start up parameters if available. A filter at the top allows you to hide Microsoft process, services or processes from all users. A real time search lets you find process fast, and the convenient right-click context menu offers to check a file at online virus scanning services Virustotal or Jotti, or on Google, Process Library or the service's own process database.
It is furthermore possible to change process affinities and priorities temporarily or permanently, and to end, suspend or restart processes right from within the interface.
The performance tab informs you about the processor and ram usage. One interesting aspect is the highlighting of the process that is taking up most of the system's Ram and swap (which is Firefox in this case).
The autoruns tab displays all auto-start programs and scheduled tasks. You can hide Microsoft items here to get a better overview of third party programs that are run during system start.
You can disable programs that are loaded during log on with a single click.
You can configure System Explorer to replace the default Windows task manager. The program is then opened when you use the Ctrl-Alt-Esc hotkey to bring up the task manager.
System Explorer is one of the top task manager replacements for the Windows operating system. You can download the latest program version from the developer website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.