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Get easier access to protected Windows processes

by Mike Williams

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License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 14 October 2013
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Downloads To Date: 481
Developer: joakim
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Get easier access to protected Windows processes

ProcessCritical is a small command line tool which removes the "critical" flag from one or more Windows processes.

Why bother? Some core Windows flags are marked as critical, and if they close then your system will crash. That's reasonable, but unfortunately malware will sometimes protect its own processes in the same way: try to close them down and you'll also see a "blue screen of death" crash. If this happens you'll be able to use ProcessCritical to remove the critical flag from the process, which it may then be possible to close as normal.

The safest way to do this is to find the malware's Process ID (check the Details column in Windows 8's Task Manager, for instance), then enter it at the command line, like ProcessCritical.exe -pid 244 -CriticalFlag 0

You can also run ProcessCritical.exe on its own to remove the critical flag from all processes. Although beware, this may then allow you to close some key Windows processes, and there's no telling what might happen then (but it probably won't be good).

And if you can think of a good reason to do so, then you can also add the critical flag to a given process, like ProcessCritical.exe -pid 2366 -CriticalFlag 1 . It then won't be possible to close that process without crashing your PC.

Please note, ProcessCritical can be dangerous if misused, as for example it includes a BSOD.EXE example which will crash your system as soon as it launches. Don't even download it unless you know precisely what you're doing and why you need it.


This isn't the kind of program you'll use regularly, if ever, but ProcessCritical still deserves a place in every geek's toolkit

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Windows 10 May 2019 Update ISO (build 1903)

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This is the latest version of Windows May 2019 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

May 2019 Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO will give you build 1903 which is the May 2019 Update.