Just recently my PC's performance has become dismal, I even got about 10 'pauses' in the editor while typing these two sentences. Now if I used Process Explorer, I can sort by CPU, memory, and IO, descending, so the culprits are always visible at the top of the table.

The problem with that is that the top resource hogs change very rapidly, and it is hard to narrow down processes that are long term hogs. I would like to monitor per process CPU, memory, and IO over several hours or days, and log this data, and then extract reports to identify the lager and more consistent hogs.

I have looked at Process Monitor, but that seems more oriented to capture process activities vs. overall resource usage, and I haven't yet found a way to aggregate these activities by summing and grouping by process.

The problem sometimes seems to be I/O related, based on Process Explorer, and sometimes on CPU "overloading". I would like to track and log usage of these resources per process, for every process, over a period of 24 to 48 hours, as the sluggishness is transient.

It is however more pronounced in some applications, like Chrome and Visual Studio, while e.g. Notepad++ suffers no bad performance. I am also starting to suspect slow memory paging to and from disk, and am anxiously awaiting opportunity to get an SSD for the OS and one or two large on I/O apps, but that will take some time.

  • Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they become outdated quickly and attract opinion-based answers. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve. Share your research. Here are a few suggestions on how to properly ask this type of question.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:10
  • "Just recently my PC's performance has become dismal, I even got about 10 'pauses' in the editor while typing these two sentences." - This typically points to a storage I/O problem'
    – Ramhound
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:11
  • @Ramhound I've tried to edit it more down to purely asking how to solve a problem I experience as a computer user.
    – ProfK
    Feb 10, 2017 at 22:57
  • 3
    use ETW to trace the usage: superuser.com/a/1164299/174557 expand the stack of the process which has the high CPU usage. Feb 11, 2017 at 7:30
  • I'd say you just back up your "stuff" (e.g. full file backup and an image), then just wipe the HD and reinstall Windows fresh with no apps, fully update it with Windows Update, install apps, fully WU updates again, make a new image for your base\main, and now restore your files from the full file backup. Now delete the old backups and create new ones and automate those on a schedule. Now if you have a disaster, you push the latest or BASE/main Image and restore your files with the latest of those.... <;;::;;::;;::;;::{[xxxxxx]}~o Feb 13, 2017 at 4:56

2 Answers 2


What you want is described in this page:

At this step, you can either click the Finish button or progress though the next few steps where you can specify the location of the log file or configure the Data Collector Set to run as a specific user.

Once the data set is created, run it. The Data Collector Set will start recording data from the chosen performance monitor, in our case, CPU utilization. Reports aren’t available when the data set is running. After you stop it, you can see your report under the Reports directory in the navigation panel.

And more about Performance Monitoring:

  • Thank you. So much better, and easier to maybe accept, that just a comment telling me "use WPM".
    – ProfK
    Feb 15, 2017 at 14:06
  • 1
    but this doesn't show any details only an overview. But do what ever you want. I'm out of this toipic @ProfK Feb 15, 2017 at 17:35
  • Yes, all I get is a graph of total CPU usage usage, not per-process CPU usage.
    – ProfK
    Feb 18, 2017 at 5:18
  • @ProfK and this is what I told you before. Run WPR/WPA. I posted it once for SYSTEM Process and IE (superuser.com/a/1179938/174557) how to trace CPU usage in detail. Capture 5-7 minutes and look if you have enough RAM to open it in the analyzer Feb 18, 2017 at 7:42
  • @magicandre1981 I'd plus 1 your answer if you added one with that detail as it seems like a reasonable solution to me and has GREAT detail per the linked post. Feb 19, 2017 at 20:00

To diag the CPU usage issues, you should use Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) to capture CPU Sampling data / Profile.

To capture the performance data, install the Windows Performance Toolkit, which is part of the Windows SDK.

enter image description here

Download this profile from my dropbox, store it on the HDD, now open a command prompt as admin in the folder where you stored the WPRP profile and run this command:

wpr -start slowWindowsShell.wprp -start ReferenceSet -fileMode

Capture now around 5-7 minutes of the slow Explorer/Shell. Now run this command to stop logging:

wpr -stop slowWindowsShell.etl

Double click the ETL to open it in Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA.exe), load debug symbols and analyze it for CPU usage or memory usage.

This profile also includes Windows Explorer/Shell events if CPU and memory usage are low. Open the ETL in Perfview and open the Events data:

enter image description here

Search for Shell Events in the details Perfview generates the Duration in MSEC (ms) for the events. Look which Tasks are slow.

  • The SDK page you link to is for Windows 8.1 and below, and dates as far back as 2104. My question's very title states I am looking for solutions for Windows 10.
    – ProfK
    Feb 21, 2017 at 13:39

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