Process Explorer in Sysinternals may be a cool geek tool that gives you deep control over every process on your Windows computer. While playing around with its controls can be fun, its real application is as a troubleshooting tool. Here are two examples: one of how you would use Process Explorer to get rid of bad software and another of how you would use it to unlock a file that Windows claims is ”
open in another program .”
Conduit is a browser extension/plug-in. It changes your default search engine to its own and places all kinds of annoying ads on your search results. Most people unwittingly allow Conduit on your computer when they install poorly vetted freeware of some kind. Once Conduit gets on your computer, it can be impossible to remove it using regular methods.
Looking for Conduit’s trail
You certainly can go to Programs and Features and uninstall Conduit. Next, you can go to your browsers and disable their Conduit extensions. The problem is, these actions do nothing for your problem — your homepage and default search still belong to Conduit and your new tab pages still open with Conduit’s annoying set of options. If you use a registry tool to check if Conduit is in the registry, you’ll come up empty-handed. How does Conduit continue to control your browser when it’s nowhere to be seen?
Process Explorer can help you root Conduit out. You can open up your browser so that Conduit’s home page shows and then turn to Process Explorer icon. When you click on the icon that looks like a bull’s-eye target on the toolbar at the top Process Explorer will highlight the processes that run your browser window. Then, locating the process is as simple as looking for the word Conduit .
Double-clicking on one of the Conduit processes opens its Properties dialog box. In the dialog box, you’ll be able to see the full path for the executable file that runs the process. Now that you have the name of an executable file, you can use uninstalltion software to uninstall it.
Using Process Explorer to deal with files that are in use
Windows can sometimes prevent you from deleting or renaming a folder, telling you that The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program . Windows can bring this statement up for folders that aren’t open or in use, at all. What you need, then, is to find what program it is exactly that is gumming up the works.
You can simply go to Process Explorer, open search (Ctrl-F) from within Process Explorer and then type in the name of the folder that you’re trying to delete or rename. Right away, you’ll see the name of the process. You simply need to right-click on it and either kill it. Problem solved.