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IT admin's guide to the Sysinternals suite

IT admins can manage their Windows systems with more authority using the Sysinternals suite, which delivers a host of tools that can do more than native Windows utilities alone.


Many IT administrators struggle to control and manage desktops because Windows-native tools sometimes don't get the job done.

That's where the Sysinternals suite comes in. The Sysinternals toolset consists of six major categories of utilities: File and Disk, Networking, Process, Security, System Information and Miscellaneous utilities. Admins can use the Sysinternals suite to see disk usage by directory, measure network performance, remotely execute processes, dump event log records and much more.

Despite everything the Sysinternals suite can do, many admins are still just learning about it. Dive into this guide for a comprehensive look at Sysinternals tools to identify which ones are the most useful or to find the one that will make a specific job easier.


Sysinternals suite terms to know

Get familiar with some key Sysinternals suite terms.

2Sysinternals suite overview-

What the Sysinternals suite can do

The Sysinternals suite gives IT admins greater control over their Windows systems than the operating system's native tools can generally provide. If admins know what they're doing, they can use Sysinternals tools to monitor computer activity, clean up any congestion slowing a computer down and more. Almost every Sysinternals tool works across the family of Windows OSes, including Windows 8.


Don't sleep on the value of Sysinternals

The Sysinternals suite is an often-overlooked toolset that lets admins really peel back the layers of Windows. Find out how to access Sysinternals, some of the most useful utilities and more. Continue Reading


Sysinternals tools deliver nearly unlimited power

Sysinternals tools such as AccessChk and ProcessExplorer are not for the faint of heart -- one wrong move can really damage a computer -- but if admins know how to use the suite, they can take complete control over files, disks, networking, security and more. Continue Reading


Sysinternals tools clean hard-to-reach places

Sometimes all a slow computer needs is a cleaning, but the tools Microsoft includes in the Windows OS can't always get the job done. Sysinternals' Process Monitor and Process Explorer are two free tools that pick up the slack because they understand exactly how Windows processes work. Continue Reading


Put Sysinternals tools to work for security

Sysinternals are valuable management tools that can help scan for open network shares, monitor system activity during an intrusion and analyze transmission control protocol sessions. Continue Reading


Sysinternals still right tool for the Windows 8 job

Although no Sysinternals tools are designed specifically for Windows 8, the utilities -- including AccessEnum and Process Explorer -- work on the operating system. Continue Reading


Sysinternals co-creator writes the book on his own tools

Is there any better source to learn about Sysinternals tools than from the creators themselves? Find out about the book Sysinternals co-founder Mark Russinovich wrote about the freeware suite. Continue Reading

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A look at the best Sysinternals tools available

It might be tough for the uninitiated to sort through the Sysinternals suite to find the right tool for the job at hand, but that tool is probably there. Looking for information on the processes running on a system? Process Monitor has admins covered. Trying to make changes to the Active Directory? Take the Active Directory Explorer out for a spin. Find out more about some of the top tools in the Sysinternals suite.

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Five best Sysinternals tools

Sysinternals tools can deliver a level of insight into Windows when admins need to troubleshoot a problem that the OSes native tools simply cannot. And the best part is, the toolset is free. Continue Reading


Top Sysinternals utilities

Sysinternals tools such as AccessChk can help admins determine what permissions are in effect. Other top utilities, including Handle, Process Explorer and PsTools deliver even more valuable insight into Windows systems. Continue Reading


Explore under-the-radar Sysinternals tools

If admins are familiar with the Sysinternals suite they have probably worked with Process Explorer or Process Monitor, but there are some unheralded utilities, including AutoRuns, Contig and NotMyFault they should try too. Continue Reading


Sysinternals tools to enhance security

Admins will use the File and Disk and Process Sysinternals tools most often, but AdExplorer, LogonSessions and PsLoggedOn are just a few of the valuable security utilities available on the freeware suite. Continue Reading


Deep dive into the six Sysinternals utility categories

Admins can download the entire Sysinternals suite all at once or install tools individually from one of the six utility categories, including File and Disk, Networking and Process. Continue Reading

4Specific Sysinternals tools-

How individual Sysinternals tools work

Each tool in the Sysinternals suite does something different than the next, and in some cases they can even replace native Windows tools. Process Explorer, for example, can stand in for the Task Manager as admins try to protect against malware. And Autoruns helps admins identify and remove any software that may be slowing down a computer because it does not belong.


Process Monitor paints a detail-oriented picture

Process Monitor, a free Sysinternals tool, shows admins what a process is actually doing and logs process-related information to deliver a greater level of granularity than native OS diagnostics. Continue Reading


Top three features of Process Explorer

Replace the Task Manager with the even better Process Explorer to troubleshoot and investigate problems. Admins can use it to view running processes properties, check out the details of a machine and more. Continue Reading


Autoruns diagnoses software hiccups

Autoruns, a must-have Sysinternals tools for admins, delivers detailed reports on every component the system automatically loads, including programs, drivers and hooking DLLs. Continue Reading


RAMMap demystifies memory usage

RAMMap gives admins graphs and charts that display memory usage and allocation using active, standby, modified and free statuses. It also shows how much memory processes, physical pages and more use. Continue Reading

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