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August 18, 2008 / Upnishad

Use command line to track Windows processes.

If you need to get a quick list of running processes on your computer or another computer on your network, you can use the Windows Instrumentation command-line interface (WMIC) to quickly generate this. You can even generate a text file so you can print the list if need be. This trick applies to Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

  • Open a command prompt. 
    Execute the following command: windows_commandline

wmic process get description,executablepath

To list the processes on another computer, execute the following command:

wmic /node:<computer name> process get description,executablepath

Where computer name is the name of the desired computer.
to generate a textfile, execute the following (make sure to change the output path to your liking):
Your computer:

wmic /output:d:\process.txt process get description,executablepath

Another computer:

wmic /node:<computer name> /output:d:\process.txt process get description,executablepath

If you are trying to find out what services are needed on your system so you can disable the unnecessary ones, a good place to start is by checking the current list of running processes on your computer. By using the command line, you can quickly generate a list of all running processes and the service(s) associated with each process.

tasklist /svc

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