The Performance tab in Task Manager provides advanced details about how your computer is using system resources, such as random access memory (RAM) and the central processing unit (CPU).
Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar, and then clicking Start Task Manager.
Click the Performance tab.
The Performance tab includes four graphs. The top two graphs show how much CPU is being used both at the moment and for the past few minutes. (If the CPU Usage History graph appears split, your computer either has multiple CPUs, a single dual-core CPU, or both.) A high percentage means that programs or processes are requiring a lot of CPU resources, which can slow your computer. If the percentage appears frozen at or near 100%, then a program might not be responding. For more information, see Exit a program that isn't responding.
The bottom two graphs display how much RAM, or physical memory, is being used in megabytes (MB) both at the current moment and for the past few minutes. The percentage of memory being used is listed at the bottom of the Task Manager window. If memory use seems consistently high or slows your computer's performance noticeably, try reducing the number of programs you have open at one time or install more RAM. For more information, see Preventing low memory problems.
To view memory use for individual processes on your computer, click the Processes tab. The Memory (Private Working Set) column is selected by default. Private working set is a subset of working set, a technical term that describes how much memory is being used by each process. Private working set specifically describes the amount of memory a process is using that can't be shared by other processes.
If you are an advanced user, you might want to view other advanced memory values on the Processes tab. To do so, click View, click Select Columns, and then select a memory value:
Memory - Working Set. Amount of memory in the private working set plus the amount of memory the process is using that can be shared by other processes.
Memory - Peak Working Set. Maximum amount of working set memory used by the process.
Memory - Working Set Delta. Amount of change in working set memory used by the process.
Memory - Commit Size. Amount of virtual memory that is reserved for use by a process.
Memory - Paged Pool. Amount of committed virtual memory for a process that can be written to another storage medium, such as the hard disk.
Memory - Non-paged Pool. Amount of committed virtual memory for a process that can't be written to another storage medium.
Three advanced tables below the graphs list various details about memory and resource usage. Under Physical Memory (MB), Total is the amount of RAM installed on your computer, listed in megabytes (MB). Cached refers to the amount of physical memory used recently for system resources. Available is the amount of memory that's immediately available for use by processes, drivers, or the operating system. Free is the amount of memory that is currently unused or doesn't contain useful information (unlike cached files, which do contain useful information).
Under Kernel Memory (MB), Paged refers to the amount of virtual memory being used by the core part of Windows, called the kernel. Non-paged is the amount of RAM memory used by the kernel.
The System table includes five fields:
Handles. Number of unique object identifiers in use by processes. This value is mostly of interest to IT professionals and programmers.
Threads. Number of objects or processes running within larger processes or programs. This value is mostly of interest to IT professionals and programmers.
Processes. Number of individual processes running on the computer (you can also view this information on the Processes tab).
Up Time. Amount of time that has passed since the computer has been restarted.
Commit (MB). A description of virtual memory use (also known as paging file use). The paging file is space on your hard disk that Windows uses in addition to RAM. The first number is the amount of RAM and virtual memory currently in use, and the second number is the amount of RAM and virtual memory available on your computer.
To view advanced information about how much memory and CPU resources are being used, click the Resource Monitor button. Resource Monitor shows graphical summaries like those in Task Manager, but in greater detail. It also includes more details about resources, such as disk use and network use.
For more information about Task Manager, see Open Task Manager.