On my XP machine, a python.exe process starts every so on which takes up 100% of my CPU. I have to kill it from the task monitor.. How can one identify what this process is and how you can disable it? I have no idea what is starting Python.

  • > every so on? do you mean every so often or every startup?
    – Jonno_FTW
    Apr 25, 2010 at 16:44
  • @Marcus en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Task_Manager#Processes suggests that you should be able to add more information to your display through View->*Select Columns*. If the information you seek is available, it will probably be available through there. Apr 25, 2010 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


Check out Process Explorer. It can arrange processes in a parental hierarchy, so you can see at a glance what process started what.

Plus it has a ton of other useful features (such as inspecting a program's launch parameters- this will also help you identify what is starting python) and can be set to replace the Task Manager.

Process Explorer


I suggests using the Event Viewer to see what is going on. It may take a bit of searching to see where the problem is. The logger takes a lot of information in.

You can find it under administrative tools in the start menu. See these 2 articles for more info:




Look at Uniblue, the software site. They have a free application that works really well - it is called something like Process Quicklink. What it does is append a little button to every process you see in Microsoft's Task Manager. Right now, for example, I have my Windows Task Manager up in the corner of my screen. I can see that soemthing called unsecapp.exe is running and the user name is SYSTEM. Needless, to say, I have no clue what that process is for. If I click on the little button in the column next to the name (a green button provided by the Uniblue product), I will go to a screen provided by Uniblue that tells me what that process is, who it belongs to, what it does.

This has been very helpful to me when I've wondered what the process is that is running and using memory.


I would personally go with Factor Mystic's solution. That being said, sometimes it does not work as the parent process may close (or a few other reasons).

If this happens, I would like to suggest Microsoft / Sysinternals Process Monitor.

You can create a filter set to Operation is Process Create and it should let you know what process opened what process.

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