Configure Task Manager to Display Full Path and Command Line of Running Processes

Out of all the built-in troubleshooting tools in Windows, Task Manager is probably the most useful tool. Almost every end-user knows what to do when an application stalls. They just fire up Task Manager using Ctrl + Shift + Esc and end the nonresponsive task. Also, Task Manager can be an extremely valuable tool to troubleshoot processes, monitor disk I/O rates or other system performance issues.

Task Manager’s Details tab lists all running processes. By default, it doesn’t display the complete path of the running processes and the command-line arguments used by those processes. This article tells you how to enable this critical bit of information in Task Manager.

Show Command Line and File path of Running Processes

To display the full file path and command-line of running processes in the Processes tab, in the Task Manager’s Processes tab, right-click the column header and enable Command line option.

task manager show command line

Here it is:

task manager show command line

Show Command-line column in Details tab

In Task Manager, click on the Details tab. Right-click the column header and click Select columns

task manager show command line

Enable Command line and Image path name checkboxes and click OK.

task manager show command line

Note that “Command line” field would show the image file path anyway. So, enabling the Command line column alone is sufficient.

task manager show command line

The above instructions below apply to Task Manager in Windows 8 and 10.

Task Manager in earlier versions of Windows

Task Manager user interface appears a bit different in previous versions of Windows. For Windows Vista and 7, use these steps:

Launch Task Manager. From the View menu, click Select Columns… Scroll down the listing, select the following options and click OK.

  • Image Path Name
  • Command Line

    (Fig 1: Task Manager showing Image Path Name and Command Line)

Note: You may also use Process Explorer or any other process viewer to see the path name and command line of a running process. You’d also like to read my earlier article titled What’s the suspicious Rundll32.exe process?

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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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