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7 secrets of Windows Task Manager every computer user should know

4. Find program folders

There are times when you need to find the folder where a program or Windows process lives on your hard drive. You could be spending many minutes hunting through the hard drive and Program Files or Windows directories. An easier option is to run the program and then open up Task Manager.

In Windows 8.1 and 10, go to the Processes tab and scroll down to find the program name or another process you want to find. Right-click on it and select "Open file location." The program folder will open right up.

For Windows Vista and 10, open Task Manager and go to the Applications tab. Right-click on the program and select "Go To Process" to select the process in the Processes tab (if you already know the process name, just find it in the Processes tab). Then right-click on the process and select "Open File Location." The program folder will open right up.

5. Keep an eye on performance

Aside from tracking down trouble programs, Task Manager is a great place to keep an eye on your computer's performance. You can see if a particular program is hogging too many resources, or realize you need to upgrade your RAM or get a faster hard drive.

Simply open Task Manager and go to the Performance tab. Here you'll see your processor usage, memory usage, disk usage, network (Ethernet and/or Wi-Fi) usage and more. If you really want to get serious details, click the "Open Resource Monitor" link at the bottom of the window.

In Windows 8.1 and 10, you can click on each small graph on the left to get more detail on a particular system. So, you can see exactly what processor you have and how fast it's running, or how much RAM you have and what kind. You can see how large your hard drive is and how fast your network is sending and receiving information, along with your IP addresses.

Another handy trick if you're trying to collect information for a repair tech or keeping track over time is to right-click on a graph and select "Copy." Then paste into a word processor or email and you'll get a snapshot of all your readings at that point in time.

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