How can I find what's running on my Windows computer?

Windows Task Manager

The Microsoft Windows Task Manager is a general quick and easy method of seeing what is running on the computer. As can be seen in the example picture below of the Windows Task Manager will first display the applications currently open. From here you can end any application that may not be responding or can't be closed.

Microsoft Windows Task Manager

Clicking on the Processes tab will not only display the applications that are running on the computer, but also all Windows processes that are affiliated with programs, drivers, and other hardware installed on the computer. In addition to seeing a list of processes, you'll also be able to identify what processes are consuming your resources by clicking on "CPU" or "Mem Usage" buttons to sort by highest to lowest.

Windows Task Manager Processes list

Windows process tool

Unfortunately, not all processes and services can be seen by the Windows Task Manager. Which is why, if you're concerned with hidden background programs or other malicious software, you may want to try running a utility such as HijackThis and processing the log it generates through the Computer Hope Windows process tool to get a full understanding of what is running and installed on your computer.

Additional information