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Process Monitor 3.0 adds bookmarks, environment details, more Windows 8 support

24 March 2012, Mike Williams

Windows Sysinternals has released Process Monitor 3.0, the latest incarnation of its popular system monitoring tool. And while it isn’t exactly packed with the major new features you’d expect from a move to the big 3.0, the program does have enough enhancements to make it well worth the upgrade.

When you launch a new trace, for instance, it’s common to find yourself quickly faced with a report containing hundreds of thousands of lines. Setting up a filter can cut this down to size, but if you’re still a little overwhelmed then Process Monitor 3.0 now allows you to bookmark important lines (right-click, “Toggle Bookmark”) – even when you’re looking at old trace files. The line turns bold to improve visibility, and you can hop from one bookmark to the next by pressing F6, making it much easier to review the key trace details.

Process Monitor 3.0's new bookmarks make it easier to browse lengthy trace reports

Process Monitor 3.0 also enhances its support for recording environment variables, particularly during a process start event. To take a look, locate and double-click the “Process Start” operation for your target application, and you’ll see its starting directory and a complete copy of the current environment. (Which may be useful when troubleshooting, as most processes get their own copy.)

Elsewhere, there’s increased flexibility, so for instance you’re now able to convert a highlight filter to an include filter whenever it’s convenient.

And Sysinternals also point out that the new build now “displays the names of new Windows 8 file system control codes”. Such as? We’ve no idea, but if you’re already using the program to better understand Windows 8 then any extra details will be important. It’s another welcome addition to an already excellent tool, and if you’ve any interest in low-level Windows troubleshooting then you should probably go and download your very own copy of Process Monitor 3.0 immediately.

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