What do the Task Manager memory columns mean?


In Task Manager, you can monitor processes running on your computer by adding columns to the information displayed on the Processes tab. These columns display information about each process, such as how much CPU and memory resources the process is currently using.

  1. Open Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar, and then clicking Start Task Manager.

  2. Click the Processes tab. Task Manager shows the processes currently running under your user account. To show processes running for all users, click Show processes from all users. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. To add more columns, click View, and then click Select Columns. Select the check boxes for the columns you want to see, and then click OK.

Column Description
Column

PID (Process Identifier)

Description

A number that uniquely identifies a process while it runs.

Column

User Name

Description

The user account under which the process is running.

Column

Session ID

Description

A number that identifies the owner of the process. When multiple users are logged on, each user has a unique session ID.

Column

CPU Usage

Description

The percentage of time that a process used the CPU since the last update (listed as CPU in the column heading).

Column

CPU Time

Description

The total processor time, in seconds, used by a process since it started.

Column

Memory - Working Set

Description

Amount of memory in the private working set plus the amount of memory the process is using that can be shared by other processes.

Column

Memory - Peak Working Set

Description

Maximum amount of working set memory used by the process.

Column

Memory - Working Set Delta

Description

Amount of change in working set memory used by the process.

Column

Memory - Private Working Set

Description

Subset of working set that specifically describes the amount of memory a process is using that can't be shared by other processes.

Column

Memory - Commit Size

Description

Amount of virtual memory that's reserved for use by a process.

Column

Memory - Paged Pool

Description

Amount of pageable kernel memory allocated by the kernel or drivers on behalf of a process. Pageable memory is memory that can be written to another storage medium, such as the hard disk.

Column

Memory - Non-paged Pool

Description

Amount of non-pageable kernel memory allocated by the kernel or drivers on behalf of a process. Non-pageable memory is memory that can't be written to another storage medium.

Column

Page Faults

Description

The number of page faults generated by a process since it was started. A page fault occurs when a process accesses a page of memory that's not currently in its working set. Some page faults require page contents to be retrieved from disk; others can be resolved without accessing the disk.

Column

Page Fault Delta

Description

The change in the number of page faults since the last update.

Column

Base Priority

Description

A precedence ranking that determines the order in which the threads of a process are scheduled.

Column

Handles

Description

The number of object handles in a process's object table.

Column

Threads

Description

The number of threads running in a process.

Column

USER Objects

Description

The number of USER objects currently being used by the process. A USER object is an object from Window Manager, which includes windows, menus, cursors, icons, hooks, accelerators, monitors, keyboard layouts, and other internal objects.

Column

GDI Objects

Description

The number of objects from the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) library of application programming interfaces (APIs) for graphics output devices.

Column

I/O Reads

Description

The number of read input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Reads directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren't counted.

Column

I/O Writes

Description

The number of write input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Writes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren't counted.

Column

I/O Other

Description

The number of input/output operations generated by the process that are neither a read nor a write, including file, network, and device I/Os. An example of this type of operation is a control function. I/O Other operations directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren't counted.

Column

I/O Read Bytes

Description

The number of bytes read in input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Read Bytes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren't counted.

Column

I/O Write Bytes

Description

The number of bytes written in input/output operations generated by the process, including file, network, and device I/Os. I/O Write Bytes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren't counted.

Column

I/O Other Bytes

Description

The number of bytes transferred in input/output operations generated by the process that are neither a read nor a write, including file, network, and device I/Os. An example of this type of operation is a control function. I/O Other Bytes directed to CONSOLE (console input object) handles aren't counted.

Column

Image Path Name

Description

The location of the process on the hard disk.

Column

Command Line

Description

The full command line specified to create the process.

Column

User Account Control (UAC) Virtualization

Description

Identifies whether User Account Control (UAC) virtualization is enabled, disabled, or not allowed for this process. UAC virtualization redirects file and registry write failures to per-user locations.

Column

Description

Description

The description of the process.

Column

Data Execution Prevention

Description

Whether data execution prevention is enabled or disabled for this process. For more information, see What is Data Execution Prevention?