How to Reduce Processes in Task Manager
- The "Applications" tab in the Task Manager displays programs that the user purposely opened during that session. This most often includes Internet browsers and multimedia programs that are running. To end a program, select it from the list and click "End Task" at the bottom of the utility. This speeds your computer up by reducing the number of active programs you're using. Also, if you close a program from the Task Manager, your unsaved data may be lost.
- Processes include open applications and programs that are running without a direct action by the user. This includes basic processes, such as the Windows operating system and Wi-Fi, but also includes superfluous programs, such as an software update program or an unused virus scanner. To close a process, select it from the list and click the "End Process" button at the bottom. This tab lists each process by its file name, so it can be difficult to know what each one actually is. Research any file name you are unsure about before closing it.
- The Services tab is a list of Windows operating processes. This includes basic features such as the graphic display and Wi-Fi. The difference between a process and a service is that Windows groups similar services together and runs them in a process. For example, all sound functions may be controlled by one program, most often called "svchost.exe". This allows Windows to run less programs -- tens instead of hundreds -- but also safeguards against computer crashes -- if one process fails, the rest are still running. To end a service, click the "Services" button at the bottom to open the Service utility. Right-click on a service and select "Start" or "Stop" to perform that action.