I am trying to dig deeper into task manager. I am using Windows 7. In services tab of task manger, we can see all the services, but some PIDs are shown, while some doesn't.

Aren't all the running services are different processes? If yes, then why some PID are not shown.


No - not all services run in different processes. It's possible (and common) that a group of services run under control of shared host (svchost.exe). You may find more information in wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svchost.exe

But even if [a service was a shared one], it's pid (or more precise - PID of its host) would be shown. In your case those without PID are simply not running (stopped) so there is no process (and no PID)


If you will look at the status of these services, you'll see that they are stopped, therefore obviously there's no process associated with them.


On a basic level only processes which are currently running will show a PID under the Services tab of Task Manager. To see and confirm this yourself, follow the instructions below.

In Windows 7, press and hold ctrl + alt + del and then choose 'start task manager' In task Manager under the Services tab, click the Status column. This will sort all services listing the 'Running' on top and 'Stopped' below. Go down to where the 'Running' and 'Stopped' processes meet, then look at the PID column and you will be able to easily see that only processes which are currently Running show a PID. Services which are Stopped will show nothing in the PID column.


It is possible to have Active Connection Protocols running which have a PID that does NOT show up under the Services tab in Task Manager. To see this for yourself follow the instructions below.

In Windows 7 go to the start menu and type cmd. A black window will pop up. Where the cursor is flashing, type netstat -ano (netstatSPACEDASHano). This will show all Active Connections on the computer. You can view PID's for protocols that are LISTENING or ESTABLISHED. ESTABLISHED PID's are actively running and connected to something... the computer, but not necessarily to the Internet or a Local Area Network(LAN).

There you may see PID's for one or more Active Connections which do not appear in the services tab of task manager at all.

Once connected to a LAN and/or the Internet, many ESTABLISHED connections may appear with various Foreign Address IP addresses shown. The PID for ALL of them may be the same, such as 6008 for example.

You will see that those Protocols are currently Active Connections but the PID may not appear anywhere in task manager; although I'm not certain why.

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