Save all Windows processes to a text file

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 6, 2018
Updated • Jul 6, 2018

It can sometimes be useful to dump the list of all running processes on a Windows machine. While you can use the Task Manager or third-party applications like Process Explorer or TaskSchedulerView to list all running tasks and manage them directly from within the interface.

Third-party apps like Process Explorer support the exporting of all processes to text files on the system but the standard Task Manager of the Windows operating system does not.

Windows includes the command line tool tasklist that is designed to display the list of tasks and filter the listing. While it does not support built-in export options, it does support the option to direct command line output elsewhere.

Tasklist, just like taskkill which we published a guide about earlier, is a handy command line tool that all supported versions of Windows support.

The Tasklist tool

You can run tasklist from the command line and don't need elevated rights for that. Just tap on Start, type cmd.exe and open the Command Prompt from the results to get started.

Simply typing tasklist and hitting the Enter-key displays a list of all running processes on the system. Each process is listed with its name, process ID, session name and number, and memory usage.

You can save the process listing right away by running the command tasklist > output directory and file name, e.g. tasklist > d:\processes.txt.

The utility supports three different display formats. Table is used by default but you may use the command /fo to switch to list or csv view instead. Just use tasklist /fo csv to display the list of processes in a comma separated format instead.

Tasklist shines when it comes to supported filters. You can use filters to display information that you need from information that you don't need. Filters exist to display processes by memory usage, CPU time, process ID, window title, or username among others.

Filters support operators such as eq=equal, ne=not equal, or gt=greater. Note that the filters WINDOWTITLE and STATUS are not supported when you run tasklist on a remote system.

Here is a list of examples that demonstrate filter usage:

  • tasklist /fi "USERNAME eq Martin" -- returns the list of processes run under the user Martin.
  • tasklist /fi "USERNAME ne NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" /fi "STATUS eq running" -- returns all processes that are running under system processes.
  • tasklist /fi "MODULES eq nt*" -- Lists all processes that have a DLL that begins with nt.
  • tasklist /fi "PID gt 2000" -- displays all processes with an ID greater than 2000.
  • tasklist /fi "MEMUSAGE gt 4096" -- lists all processes whose memory usage is greater than 4096 Kilobytes.

You can combine filters with other parameters:

  • tasklist /s BasementComp /svc /fi "MEMUSAGE gt 4096" -- Lists processes on the remote computer BasementComp that use more than 4 Megabytes of RAM.
  • tasklist /s BasementComp /u maindom\joe /p password -- to list processes on the remote computer BasementComp using the user joe and joe's password.

You can save all outputs to a text file using the > destination command.

Additional information is provided when you run tasklist /? and on Microsoft's Docs website.

Now You: Which command line tools do you use?

Save all Windows processes to a text file
Article Name
Save all Windows processes to a text file
The guide provides you with information about the Windows command line tool tasklist and explains how to use it to save all processes to a text file.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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