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Defining Process ID or PID and its application

For computers, the process identifier is a unique number used by Windows to identify a program. Each process running is assigned with a decimal number called process ID.

In this article, let’s tackle two ways to know the PID for a given application:

  • using the Task Manager
  • using the Tasklist command

Windows Task Manager

Let’s open the Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. Go to the Processes tab, along with other information each process and its PID will be listed. However, if PID column is not visible by default, click the View Menu and Choose Select Columns.


Make sure that the process identifier is also selected and included as shown.


The Tasklist Command 

For Windows XP, Vista and later versions of Windows, you can use the tasklist command to display each PID from the Command Prompt window. The command returns the list of all processes, PIDs, and other details.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.


Image Name                     PID Session Name
========================= ======== ================
System Idle Process              0 Services
System                           4 Services
smss.exe                       260 Services
csrss.exe                      416 Services
wininit.exe                    456 Services
csrss.exe                      464 Console
services.exe                   512 Services
winlogon.exe                   548 Console
lsass.exe                      560 Services
lsm.exe                        568 Services
svchost.exe                    696 Services
svchost.exe                    772 Services

For more information, type tasklist /?

Monitoring Application

From our previous article regarding netstat, you’ll be able to monitor which and what programs are using your network for both local and foreign host.

At the command prompt, type netstat –ano

In this example, you’ll noticed the PID 3820 is connected to the remote or foreign address sip46 and cs1.


looking for the PID 3820 at the Task Manager, It’s Yahoo messenger.


Really Cool and interesting… Keep on reading!



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