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Posted 7 Dec 2016
Licenced CPOL

Actually USE TaskManager to Suspend Dominating Services and Regain Workflow Speed

, 7 Dec 2016
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Suspend, by "stopping", then when done doing what you need to do, restart ... or not!


It kills me recollecting how much time and energy I've spent in all my years of using Windows leading up to the discovery of how easy it is to turn off needy processes that are running in the background, those which cut into CPU usage by more than 30%. TOO MANY! Anyway, WSearch, or SearchIndexer.exe, is one such culprit. Surely there are others in the array of "Image Names" that you can see in the "Performance" tab of TM that are leaning on your time and effort.


This is a no-code tip/trick. There's nothing particularly challenging to get Windows to do something as undocumented as any one of a hundred normal things that Windows can do, after it loads all its constituent processes and begins to sit there with a desktop, a full tray of icons, and a big vacuous silence waiting for user input. As much as there's a blinking cursor on a CRT in any number of late '80's Sci-fi movies, there's also the elephant's right buttocks ... the place where it's written down that the user can turn off processes started by the monolith for no reason any monkey could/would ever fathom.

Enter taskmgr.exe ... (C:\Windows\System32)

Only a bit more colorful and resolute now in 2016, when running an app, Windows is potentially full of plush animations which occasionally roar like CRT-bashing animatronic monsters. And the CPU can be easily overburdened by this "engine" monitoring that "script" outputting text to this "console" which needs to wake up when that "event" happens ...

Not Code, Just A Tip/Trick

Steps to fashion more time permanently or at least until what you need to do gets done and you have enough of that now and remember that there's a suspended process that could potentially be valuable to the system that needs restarting:

  1. Right-click the time displayed on the far right end or bottom end of the main task bar and select "Start Task Manager".
  2. (aside) Choose the "Performance" tab to see a graphic representation of what's going on with respect to CPU & Memory in real time.
  3. With the "Processes" tab displayed, sort on "CPU" usage and note that any activity causes the order of the list by "Image Name" to shift or rearrange so that the current most CPU usage per item assumes the top position in the stack. This is an aside also, but it's safe to say that if double-naught usage is posted under CPU while the stack keeps shuffling about with a random look, the "zero" usage is more likely not random at all but only a fraction of one ("1"). So keep in mind: "not zero" but more usage than those proximally in view also "zero".
  4. For a more robust list of running processes, be sure to tick "Show processes from all users" beneath the panel's textbox. Many background processes even more CPU-hogging reside in the domain of system ... you'll see "System Idle Process", for example, which I like to think of as the dark side of the core. When hidden; not really accessible but more sentient to developers because typically Microsoft allows access through .NET/etc. (faint of heart Beginners ... get thee to Visual Studio!)
  5. Click on a top-of-the-list CPU drainer ... preferably not the task you wish to do using the program you want to use to get your work done. On my box, with the full list displayed, "SearchIndexer.exe" is one that is always hoofing it down the path trying to put trees between its posterior and my line of sight, while I'm trying to use 100% of my CPU. Right-click on it and choose "Go To Services". TaskManager (TM) will tab to "Services" automatically and highlight "WSearch" in the list.
  6. Right-click once again on WSearch and choose "Stop Service". Status should go from "Running" to "Stopped". For confirmation that this is so, tab to Performance once again and see that the graph is no longer in a fugue state. Best observations are done with "Update Speed" set to "High" ... and that's set under Main menu "View".
  7. That's really all there is to it. Finding other running processes which are competing with the one you wish to run might also free up CPU power for you. Some will not be stoppable. Things like anti-virus ... not stoppable. For obvious reasons.

Points of Interest

Of course, Task Manager has this little feature which is even more interesting and that's "Resource Monitor". It can be accessed (bad word "access" ... how about "tricked into doing something useful for its master") through the "Performance" tab. And strictly speaking, it's possible to turn off stuff which will cause your computer to stop functioning entirely. But don't panic when this happens to you.

If SAFEMODE upon F8 poweron/startup still works on your aging Windows machine, after all these years, hit the restart button (next to the power-on) to send the freeze into oblivion and restart under that. Just in case.


This is a tip/trick submitted 161207-1201


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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