Microsoft Windows: How to Process Idle Tasks

Running multiple applications simultaneously in Windows for long periods leads to a gradual decrease in system performance over time. Often the only option is a Restart. Even if you close the application in the Task Manager, the tasks/threads associated with the application are not released completely, depleting the system’s memory resources making the system unstable and sluggish. The following tip is designed to offer fast relief:

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select New > Shortcut
  2. In the text box enter the command:
    %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks
  3. Click Next. In the next screen, name the shortcut: for example, Clear Memory
  4. Click on Finish

Whenever you feel that the system is sluggish you can double click on this shortcut and it will take care of the idle tasks by removing them. This can be used before you resort to restarting/rebooting the system.
DISCLAIMER This tip requires changes to processes/components that may lead to undesirable system behavior. While I personally test all tips before publishing them,  I dont takes responsibility for the potential side effects of tips.
Note to this tip: Because this tip involves shutting down application processes, there is the possibility that some applications could be shut down improperly, leading to unexpected application behavior. That said, the following tip has been running happily on my machine for many months without any problems so far.

Cheers,

Vaibhav

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8 Responses

  1. […] unknown wrote;Running multiple applications simultaneously in Windows for long periods leads to a gradual decrease in system performance over time. Often the only option is a Restart. Even if you close the application in the Task Manager, … […]

  2. Hi Vaibhav,
    This new look of Technofriends looks much better than before:-). This looks more lively.

    Regards,
    NG

  3. Yeah .. i agree with NG …
    old look was good … but this one’s also good …. looking nice !! 🙂

  4. Thanks Shantanu.
    Cheers,
    Vaibhav

  5. […] Microsoft Windows: How to Process Idle Tasks […]

  6. %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

    This command is entirely safe to use since it doesnt remove anything important.

    If it does then you can sue Windows 😛

  7. The author of this article has no understanding of what this command does. By default Windows XP schedules a number of system maintenance tasks that run during idle time. As they run during idle time, when there is no CPU activity or user interaction, they can not impact on performance. The command mentioned will force Windows to do these maintenance tasks immediately. This may require 15 minutes or more to complete and there will be no notification when complete. This will have a negative impact on performance.

    In short, doing as the article suggests will have the opposite effect from what is desired. It will not terminate any processes or free memory. It has no benefits and will impair performance while running.

    Larry Miller
    Microsoft MCSA

  8. […] Turn off Windows Messenger and improve your PC Performance Posted on August 27, 2008 by Vaibhav Pandey There are many windows processes which usually run in the background and thereby tend to eat up system resources and slow down the computer. In my previous post, you learnt how to process idle tasks in Windows. […]

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