Process Explorer, from the clever people at SysInternals, has long since been a go-to troubleshooting tool for Windows experts. It helps you find out which programs and services are running in the background on your PC, along with how much processor time and memory they're taking up. The tool is a great way to find out just how much stuff your PC is doing in the background, along with running the programs and applications you actually choose.
The latest version of Process Explorer, released in the last couple of months, also includes a handy new feature. You can now right-click on the name of a program or service, and it'll automatically be submitted to VirusTotal for instant checking. Within just a few seconds you'll have a display of whether any malware was found in the file, right alongside all the other details about it. So now you can check not only what's running on your PC, but also get a simple indication as to whether a file whose name you don't recognise might be hiding a nasty surprise.
Process Explorer is free, and is also portable. It's a 1 MB download from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653 and runs on everything from Windows XP to 8.1 (including 64-bit versions). If you've never used Process Explorer to check out just what your PC is up to, now is the perfect time.
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