What Processes on Windows Are Running

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Often when I look at the Windows Task Manager, I ask myself what all these programs are. Here's a list of the ones on my system, and what they do:

  • wuauclt.exe - Wuauclt.exe is a process managing automatic updates for Windows. This process continuously checks for the latest updates by going online. This process should not be removed if you want to get informed about new updates.
  • proquota.exe - A disk quota manager is a tool that lets you control how much server disk space a user can use.
  • tlntsvr.exe - Microsoft’s Telnet Server service for Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003. When running, this service gives Telnet access to remote users. For the layman : Telnet access is a method of connecting and login onto a remote computer and run DOS commands, command-line programs, and DOS commands which can start Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003 services on the remote PC/server.
  • ctfmon.exe - ctfmon.exe is a part of the Microsoft Office suite. It activates the Alternative User Input Text Input Processor (TIP) and the Microsoft Office XP Language Bar.
  • VPTray.exe - VPTray.exe is the traybar process for Norton ~AntiVirus. It gives the user fast access to Norton ~AntiVirus. This process can safely be removed without reducing system security.
  • MDM.EXE - mdm.exe is associated with Microsoft Windows process debugging system. It allows the user to debug Internet Explorer errors by using a script interface tool. This is a non-essential process. Disabling or enabling this is down to user preference


Some of these things can be prevented by removing them from the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ ~CurrentVersion \ Run