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Is it possible to view a remote computers "Task Manager" information locally?

I'd like to be able to see the process list of a remote XP computer in the same sort of format as "Windows Task Manager" gives, so that it's possible to see which process specifically is taking up what percentage of processor time.

I specifically do not want to logon via RDP or such like and preferably using tools that come with WinXP. I understand that "tasklist" can show processes, performance manager can show cpu %, but they don't really marry up.

It's also be useful to be able to kill a process remotely without having to sue PSKill or such like.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Process explorer can't, to my knowledge, connect to a remote computer.

But you may want to check out the pstools program pslist, also from Sysinternals. You can list the processes running on another machine. pslist is a command line tool, however.


BTW, you need to run in task-manager mode to get the CPU % e.g. pslist \\computername -s

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Although not interactive, this does what I want - will give a continually updated processor check. – Tubs Jun 5 '09 at 13:11
absolutely awesome suggestion. just had cause to use this and it works like a charm – Tim Alexander Oct 20 '10 at 10:37
Thanks for this, saved me from being remoted in just to view memory usage. – DeeKayy90 Nov 27 '15 at 0:28
Can pstools give other stats about remote processes like memory usage? – ivan_pozdeev Feb 24 at 6:20
Yes @ivan_pozdeev it can; from the help: All memory values are displayed in KB. Abbreviation key: Pri Priority Thd Number of Threads Hnd Number of Handles VM Virtual Memory WS Working Set Priv Private Virtual Memory Priv Pk Private Virtual Memory Peak Faults Page Faults NonP Non-Paged Pool Page Paged Pool Cswtch Context Switches – Chris Feb 24 at 13:28


Remote Process Explorer

Showing the parameters of running processes
(Process ID, Parent PID, CPU, Memory Usage, Priority, Handles, Threads and much more) in real time. Killing the selected process at any moment, etc.

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Did you try this program ? I think it's much better than pslist. – Jindrich Jun 9 '09 at 22:57

You can use taskkill.exe to kill a process on a remote Windows system. I don't think tasklist.exe is going to give you the output you want so you will need to use sysinternals pslist.exe as another commenter suggested. You can also use pskill.exe instead of taskkill.exe.

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Ive been now trying the Remote Process Explorer that Roy posted and i have to say that im impressed. I had quite a bit of fun with it. The best functionality i saw was the ability to log off and shut computers down.

Tubs commented that is not realtime view, but its very very close to it, you can choose the refresh time according to the priority of the process (high, every 2 secs, etc.)

The only thing that i couldt really manage to do was to run a process, the process run but for some reason it doesnt pop on the users screen.

Apart from that i would really consider this program.



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Thanks, I suggested pslist first and then edited my post because pslist isn't real time. – Jindrich Jun 4 '09 at 15:16
Yes :-) I've deleted my comment now saying it doesn't do realtime. – Tubs Jun 8 '09 at 8:35

Take a look at Process Explorer from MS (used to be system internals). I believe it has what you're looking for, Process Explorer

The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

alt text

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How do you get it to connect to a remote computer? – Tubs Jun 4 '09 at 10:06
My bad, we also use DebugView for debugging output on remote computers and it seems I confused the features between the two. – Aaron Jun 4 '09 at 12:55

I haven't connected to an XP machine this way, but it should work. I googled it quickly and it seems this will work.

You can use the terminal server manager that is part of the windows server admin pack (free download from microsoft) Open this and then connect to the XP machine. It will show you the session, who's logged in and any running processes. I use this to see what's happening on servers, works well. From what I saw on google to connect it to XP might need a couple of registy edits but should work.

Update, I just looked and while you can see the processes it doesn't appear to give you any information about CPU usage. Sorry thought it did initially.

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You can use tasklist that comes with Windows (I think not available in home edition).

Tasklist /S remote system (name or IP address) /U username /P password
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Although not meant for monitoring remote Windows PCs, but if anyone is interested in monitoring Windows Embedded Compact devices (or WinCE devices) from their PC remotely, the Remote Task Monitor is a good option.

The thing I found helpful was being able to remotely restart the device, and get CPU usage alerts and emails when certain CPU threshold or peak is reached.

It is not free, but does the job for us well.

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