You all probably known how to view information about your computer using different tools such as Task Manager or System Information. For this article, we thought it would be useful to learn how to view complete system information directly from the Command Prompt and how to manage your running processes, with the use of a few advanced commands.
How to View Your System Information
Command Prompt allows you to view system information by using a simple command called systeminfo. Let's type it and see what happens. As you can see below, a complete list of information about your operating system and computer components is displayed. You will notice that there are details like the version of the operating system, status of your memory or processor type. Also, some network information is available like IP or MAC addresses.
Display the List of Currently Running Processes
To view the list of currently running processes, you have to use the tasklist command. Type tasklist and press Enter. You should obtain a list similar to the one below where you will see details like process name, PID (Process identifier) or memory usage.
Stop a Process Using Taskkill
To kill or stop a running process, you need to use the taskkill command. Let's assume that we want to stop the application Snipping Tool that is running on my computer. Its process is called SnippingTool.exe. We will type the command taskkill /im snippingtool.exe. The /im parameter is used to stop a process by typing process name.
There are times when you need to open a program twice or even several times. Every new window of a specific program (for example Internet Explorer) creates a separate process called instance that has attached a unique PID (Process identifier).
To stop a single instance of a process, you need to specify the PID(Process identifier). Let's assume that there are two instances of Internet Explorer. The process name is iexplore.exe and you want to close one of the two running processes.
If you want to kill the process that has a PID of 3224, you will type taskkill /PID 3224 and the press Enter.
It is worth mentioning another interesting parameter called /T, which is used with the taskill command. This parameter allows you to terminate a specified process and any child processes which were started by it. We will use the same example Internet Explorer process. Let's assume we have three processes and we want to kill them using the parameter /t. We will type the command taskkill /t /im iexplore.exe and then press Enter. Check the picture below to see the confirmation of the command we've typed.
Important: If you misuse the commands listed in this article, you can risk losing the data opened in the running processes. It is important to be careful and have a backup available for your data. Therefore proceed carefully and don't say we did not warn you. :)
NOTE: In order to kill any running process, you need to have administrative permissions and run the Command Prompt as administrator. Check out How to Run Programs as Administrator in Windows 7 to see how to run Command Prompt as administrator.
I hope you've liked this guide which continues our series of advanced commands which can be run in the Command Prompt. We will have one more article before closing the series. It is going to be about how to use the Command Prompt to repair your computer.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the commands shared in this article, don't hesitate to leave a comment.