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How to view hidden processes in task manager RRS feed

  • Question

  • Task manager shows my disk usage as 100%, but none of the listed processes are using more than 0.1 MB/s. How can I get all processes to show up in task manager so I can identify the offending processes?

    Note: I am NOT looking for answers like the one below, since none of those recommendations worked for me.  I am ONLY asking how to get all processes to show up in task manager so I can find the problem myself, NOT a list of common causes of 100% disk usage.

    Saturday, August 5, 2017 12:07 PM

All replies

  • Sorry this is not a development issue (even if it has developed). Here is a suitable forum.

    -- pa

    Saturday, August 5, 2017 7:02 PM
  • There are some things that you must remember here.

    Task manager shows csrss.exe a critical system process, lsass.exe another critical system process, msmpeng.exe the antimalware process, all of the services. On top of that it also shows the most critical of the system processes, the system idle process, system and system interrupts. Wouldn't those be perfect targets for hiding? Yet Microsoft don't do it to core Windows processes.

    So, what is the likelihood of the ability to hide processes exists, Microsoft don't hide the critical system processes but conveniently hides the process that is eating up your hard disk usage?

    The other thing to remember is malware and the arms race that would be caused by this. If a process could hide itself, then that would mean malware would be able to hide itself. In response to this, anti malware programs would need a way to find malware regardless and so a super special way to get a list of all processes would need to exist. This would then possibly lead to people trying to have super hidden processes or everybody using the same methods as the anti malware to list all processes.

    So an unfortunate thing to learn is that the disk use reporting is not 100% accurate, and the best thing you can try is to just close any applications to see if the problem goes away.

    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Saturday, August 5, 2017 8:15 PM
  • @OP: if you have Win10, try the Resource Monitor. This tool is specially designed to show the disk activity in maximum details. (note, it's quite heavy on system resources by itself. When the disk is already at 100% it may take a long time to show up. Start it before the suspicious activity begins).

    -- pa

    • Edited by Pavel A Sunday, August 6, 2017 1:07 PM
    Sunday, August 6, 2017 1:04 PM
  • Hi mcbedford21,

    Thank you for posting here.

    Did you try to use other tools to check the invisible process from task manager ?

    Here is a similar solution that find the hidden process from task manager,  please see the document.

    SysInternals Suite has multiple different monitoring programs.  Process Explorer is very nice from a GUI perspective

    Sysinternals process explorer is your friend. This will show you more information than you're used to from Task Manager, including invisible tasks.

    According to your description, I think that the issue is not related to development, I will move the case to off-topic forum.

    Best Regards,


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    Monday, August 7, 2017 6:59 AM