When Task Manager isn't enough, try Process Liquidator
When you need to view or close a few running processes, then Task Manager isn’t too difficult to use. A quick Ctrl+Shift+Esc, the Processes tab will show you precisely what’s running, and you can close whatever you like with some assistance from the “End Process” button.
But if you need something even easier, though, there’s always Process Liquidator, a simple Task Manager alternative which claims it can display all your running processes, and delete your preferred choice with a single click.
The program is a compact download, which installs fairly quickly. It does use the Install Monetizer, though, and by default this will install browser toolbars or assorted other junk on your system. So be sure to look out for this during the setup process, and if you’re not interested, click “Decline”. This won’t block the main installation, just the “extras”.
Launch Process Liquidator after setup, and it runs quietly in the background, making minimal demands on resources (it uses a little over 4MB RAM).
Then, when you need to view your running processes, there’s no need to press a hotkey, or click a system tray icon. Just move your mouse cursor over to the right edge of the screen, and the Process Liquidator panel slides into view.
This is essentially just a lengthy list of your running processes, and their IDs. Although if you click on any one of these, you can see a little more information about it: the number of windows and child processes associated with it, the process architecture (32 or 64-bit), owner, and domain.
And if you spot a process which really needs to go, for whatever reason, then closing it is as easy as right-clicking the offending executable, and confirming that, yes, you do want it to be terminated.
If you don’t like some aspect of how this all works, then there’s a good chance it can be changed in the program’s Options dialog.
You can have the Process Liquidator panel appear on the left or right-hand side of the screen, for instance.
You’re able to configure how a process is deleted (left-click, right-click, double-click, delete button), and whether you’d like a warning (turning this off really does give you one-click deletion, although that’s obviously risky).
And there are options to launch the program when Windows starts, tweak the interface colour scheme, display hidden windows belonging to a process, and more.
What you don’t get here is very much power. The process listing is a little basic, with the program not even telling you how much RAM a process is using. The termination method seems to be utterly standard, so you shouldn’t (for instance) expect it to be able to close a protected malware process. And you can only specify one process to close at a time; being able to multiselect processes could also be useful sometimes, particularly when fighting malware.
The real value of Process Liquidator comes in its ease of use, then -- the way you can launch it with a mouse move, and terminate processes with a single click (if you’re willing to take the risk of turning off its warnings, anyway). If that’s of interest to you, then the program may be worth a look. But if it’s features you’re after, stick with Task Manager -- it’s far more powerful.