IT admin's guide to the Sysinternals suite

Last updated:December 2015

Editor's note

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.

1What 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.

2A 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.

3How 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.

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