ProcessHacker in version 3 is still under development but I like to write about it and answer the question if it’s better than Windows own and Microsoft Sysinternals Suite ProcessExplorer? The short answer yes, it’s the best TaskManager so far.
Since ProcessHacker v3 is not a finished product I only write about his current status, be warned that the program might get changes, fixes with other nightly builds or in the final version.
You can get the program over the official page, or grab a nightly build here. The program is open source and free to use, it comes with several useful functions to inspect all running processes.
Version 3 comes with a modified installer, which means you can straight from the beginning set it as default Task Manager, install it as service among with other optional given options.
You can also use the portable version which comes in a .zip-archive, the installer got a really nice improvement here compared to version 1 and 2 because it added all the toggles you need and what I expect from a software which has the ‘hacker’ tag in it’s title.
ProcessHacker is a feature rich Task Manager which has all the functions you need, you can inspect everything, I/O handles, GDI handles among tons over tons of other information - this is really outstanding. The program allows you to work with plugins, you can remove the integrated ones or add others, if you’re a plugin developer you can code your own but you won’t need it cause most things are already integrated.
Color coding helps identify, at a glance, what category a running process belongs to. Hovering over a process name provides the command line, the disk file, and what services the process is using.
[caption id=”attachment_2110” align=”aligncenter” width=”574”] Right click on e.g. ‘Description’ - ‘Choose columns…” reveals this menu which allows you to reveal even more info about everything.[/caption]
ProcessHacker has so many options that I can’t mention them all, you can change everything, debugging symbols, processor graphs, gpu graphs, disk logging and stats over network interface related options and more.
An integrated update check mechanism is also integrated which means once you have installed the process hacker it periodically checks for updates on it’s own, or you can do it manually in the ‘About’ section.
No chance for keylogger, everything is revealed, each HDD/SSD activity. Same goes for memory related things, you can check every .exe/.dll file manually and reveal what it does.
[caption id=”attachment_2113” align=”aligncenter” width=”446”] Is ShellExperienceHost a legit process, does it spy? You can figure it out by double-clicking on the process which reveals this tab.[/caption]
ProcessHacker is the most advance solution which you can find, it offers the same function like ProcessExplorer like VirusTotal checks, an process and network overview but when it comes to an in-depth analysis nothing beets the tool. It’s not as lightway as ProcessExplorer but it has a lot of more to offer. If you check your processes daily go with ProcessHacker if you only here and then check your processes use ProcessExplorer instead. Since the program doesn’t use much resources it can run in the background without that you ever notice it.
The problem with Process Hacker v2 and earlier v3 version are that these tools often get detected as ‘hacking tools’ on e.g. Valve’s VAC anti-cheat system, this finally got fixed and on my test machine it not got detected by any Gaming platform or anti-cheat mechanism. Of course it’s not a hacking tool, you can intercept into running processes but that doesn’t make it a cheating tool - I’m glad this finally got fixed and I’m not forced anymore to uninstall it.
Process Hacker doesn’t need any internet connection by itself however, the integrated update mechanism or the optional opt-in VirusTotal, GeoIP database check requiring you to allow the program but that’s not dramatically and totally up to you.
Process Hacker v3 is an awesome product, it’s open source, it’s working in the background without wasting resources and it does a fantastic job. It’s more for professionals but you can learn a lot from it while you discover what’s going on on your PC it gets my recommendation without any doubt and is superior over all other programs I’m aware of.
I’m really looking forward to see a final version and say thanks for such an useful ‘must-have’ tool.