In Windows XP (and perhaps up to Windows 7) in Task Manager there was a Windows tab where I could right-click an entry for an unidentified message box and then switch to the process which owns that window.

In Windows 10 however, Task Manager has drastically changed. I no longer find anything resembling the Windows tab, so can't seem to do the same procedure I could in Windows XP.

Is the functionality lost? If yes, what stock utility can be used in Windows 10 to determine which process owns a particular toplevel window?


1 Answer 1


This is still possible in Windows 10 (explained below), but a more robust version of this ability is available in Microsoft's freely available Process Explorer utility. By "more robust" I mean it can identify the process associated with any visible on-screen element, right down to individual icons displayed in the System Tray. Here's how:

Using Process Explorer

  1. Run Process Explorer (As Admin if the target process is likely to be running outside the current user's security context).
  2. Click and drag the Find Window's Process tool from the toolbar to the window or GUI element in question. The tool looks like this: enter image description here
  3. Process Explorer will highlight in its list the process that owns the window:

enter image description here

The old-fashion way: Windows 10 Task Manager

  1. Start Task Manager.
  2. If necessary, switch to the Detailed view by clicking More details at the bottom.
  3. On the Processes tab right-click an application and click Go to details. enter image description here
  4. You'll be taken to the Details tab where the owning process will be highlighted. enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.