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Task Manager DeLuxe: A task manager alternative for non-geeks

15 March 2012, Mike Williams

If the regular Windows Task Manager isn’t powerful for your needs then most people will recommend you try something like Process Explorer or Process Hacker. But while these are great programs, they’re also packed with highly technical details and options, which may seem intimidating if you’re not totally familiar with how Windows works.

Sounds familiar? If you’ve found this to be a problem before then you might prefer MiTeC’s Task Manager DeLuxe. It’s a free and portable tool which delivers more functionality than you get from Windows alone – in some areas, at least – but won’t expose you to the low-level complexities you’ll often see elsewhere.

Launch Task Manager DeLuxe, for instance, and you’ll see a list of every process currently running on your system. This displays most of the usual details – PID, name, type (32 or 64-bit), account name, launch time, working set and file name – and if you expand the Process Details pane then there’s more information on offer (“peak working set”, say, or “number of threads”). It’s easy to filter the list to view, say, all your user processes, or non-responding processes. And you can select and terminate multiple processes with a single click.

View, filter and terminate multiple running processes with a click

The Services tab is a little more basic. It displays all your Windows services, including their startup type; you can enter a text filter to find a particular service name; and there’s a button to stop or start individual services, but otherwise it’s more or less the same as the services section of the Windows 7 Task Manager.

The Autoruns tab is welcome, though, as it displays the key programs which are configured to launch when your PC starts, and enables you to remove any that you decide you don’t need. It’s nothing like as comprehensive as Sysinternals Autoruns, but is still powerful enough to be useful.

And the Performance tab again emulates the Windows 7 task manager, with its graphs of CPU and memory usage history. Although there are also useful improvements in this section, too, with the program also reporting on CPU speed, and providing a little extra system information (IP addresses, MAC addresses and so on).

There are some notable omissions here. We’d like to see process private working set listed to get a better idea of memory use, for instance. And the author really needs to list the CPU usage for each process: that’s a critical weakness.

Task Manager DeLuxe does provide a simple and unintimidating way to browse your running processes, though. The filtering features help you zoom in on the details you need, while the ability to terminate multiple processes simultaneously could be very useful if, say, you’re trying to manually remove malware. And the program’s portability is a convenience: it runs on any version of Windows from 2000 through to 8.

Overall, then, a promising start, which will be significantly better once per-process CPU usage is reported. But if you can live without that for the moment, Task Manager DeLuxe 1.1 is available now.

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