15 Windows Diagnostics Tools to Improve Your PC’s Health

Diagnosing Windows is not only something IT analysts need toworry about. Anyone who owns a computer should be comfortable using Windowsdiagnostics tools to do basic troubleshooting.

Believe it or not, you can fix most problems yourself if youhave the right tools available and know how to use them.

Diagnosing Windows problems doesn’t require complicatedtools or advanced computer knowledge either. With the right tools, any computerowner should be able to narrow down issues they may be having.

The following are 15 of the most effective Windowsdiagnostics tools you can use to identify what may be ailing your Windows PC.

Process Explorer

The first tool is one of those diagnostics apps you don’t realize you need until you’ve used it. Most computer experts will direct you to use the Processes tab in Task Manager to see what applications may be consuming all your CPU time.

The problem with Task Manager is it only shows top level processes. On the other hand, Process Explorer uses a tree structure to show you not only top-level processes, but also child processes connected to that application.

This tool is a favorite among programmers looking to make sure their application processes don’t have memory leaks or CPU usage issues.

Process Explorer also includes all the following diagnosticsfeatures:

  • Real-Time CPU, Memory, I/O, and GPU charts.
  • Color coding to see most active processes.
  • Get detailed properties about processes like memory, priority, handles, and more.
  • Customize multiprocessor CPU load and process priority.

Download Process Explorer

CPUID

When you’re working with a remote help desk and need CPUinformation, CPUID is a powerful tool to view everything you need to know aboutyour CPU. It can also help gather GPU or memory card information if you’relooking to upgrade your system and want to find a perfect match.

It’s free to download and use and works on both 32-bit and64-bit systems. The amount of information it shows you about your CPU and othersystem information is impressive.

  • Processor brand and all specifications
  • Cache sizes
  • Motherboard brand and version.
  • Current memory size and timings
  • Specs for memory cards in each slot
  • GPU brand, clock speed and memory
  • CPU benchmarking and stress testing tools

Download CPU-Z

System Explorer

System Explorer is an impressive tool that gives you moreinsight into your overall system performance than most other available tools.

In addition to running processes, it includes real-timecharting, all active internet connections, and a history of process activity.

Features in System Explorer include:

  • Tree structure breakdown of all active processes
  • Built-in tool to perform a file security checkon active processes
  • Double click a process to see what company createit and all associated modules
  • Excellent system usage real-time charting ofCPU, RM, and I/O
  • All running processes using your computer’sinternet connection
  • Historical list of processor activities

Download System Explorer

Reliability Monitor

There is one useful diagnostics tool built right into Windows 10 that you can use without the need for an install. This is called the Reliability Monito r.

To open it, click Startand type reliability. Select View reliability history.

The reliability history graph shows you where any errorshave occurred in your Windows system. These are the same errors you might seein the Windows Event Logs but laid out in a graphical way where errors are easyto spot.

How to use the Reliability Monitor:

  • Click on any red X to see more information inthe bottom pane about those errors.
  • Click any yellow ! to see more information aboutthose warnings.
  • Use Viewtechnical details to see more detailed information about warnings orerrors.

You don’t need to worry about all errors and warnings. MostWindows systems have random errors that occur. But if you see a recurringpattern of critical errors over a long period of time, you might haveidentified an issue that’s impacting your system performance.

Wi-Fi Analyzer

This is a free application you can install from the Microsoft Store. It’s a powerful tool for quickly analyzing all wireless networks where you are.  

It provides the current strength of available Wi-Fi signals.It also shows you a breakdown of details for the network you’re currentlyconnected to. These include the channel, frequency, bandwidth, and more.

Other features of the free version include:

  • Realtime graph of all local Wi-Fi signals andtheir strength
  • Filter Wi-Fi graphs based on wireless frequency
  • Bar chart of the strength of all availablewireless networks
  • Link speed of your currently connected network

Download Wi-Fi Analyzer

Angry IP Scanner

If you feel like the bandwidth of your current network seems slow, you can use a tool like Angry IP Scanner. This tool will scan your entire network and show you all devices connected to your network .

Actively connected devices show up as IP addresses with blue dots. You’ll also see the device hostname and current ping status.

Features of Angry IP Scanner include:

  • Export the IP list to different file formats
  • Works with third party data fetcher applications
  • Includes a command-line tool you can use to scanyour network with a scheduled task
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems
  • Runs from an EXE file and doesn’t need to beinstalled

Install Angry IP Scanner

WinDirStat

This is a powerful tool for analyzing your disk drives. Findwhich folders consume the most space and discover areas where you might haveold files wasting space.

When you first launch the tool, it’ll perform a full diskdrive scan and analysis. This information is presented in three areas andformats:

  • Directorylist: Lays out an entire list of all directories on the drive
  • Treemap:Shows you the contents of the directories in a creative tree format
  • Extensionlist: See a list of all file types on the drive along with their statistics

The graphical display at the bottom lets you quickly spot what’s taking up most of the space on your disk drives.

If you click on the largest areas, you’ll see a list of those files and their locations so you can remove them and quickly clean up your drive space .

Download WinDirStat

CrystalDiskInfo

This free utility is another useful tool for analyzing the hard drives on your system. It’s a useful tool for monitoring your drives and making sure they’re running optimally. View temperatures, error rates, power issues, and more.

Key features of CrystalDiskInfo include:

  • Acoustic and power management controls
  • S.M.A.R.T. drive graphs
  • Set up alert emails for when your disks areexperiencing issues
  • Get system notifications when there are errors

This is a simple app, but it’s very powerful for getting ajump on disk issues before they get to serious and you lose all your data.

Download CrystalDiskInfo

HWiNFO

This impressive diagnostics utility combines existingWindows diagnostics tools all into one single package.

It provides you with insight into your entire system,including information about hardware in your system, real-time monitoring of allyour system components, and the ability to log and export in-depth reportsabout your computer.

Features include:

  • Detailed information about all hardware listedin the Device Manager
  • View data from all sensors installed inside yourcomputer
  • Generate reports of the data gathered by theutility
  • Customize the utility using HWINFO64 Settings

Download HWiNFO

hddscan

This freeware tool provides you with multiple tools for hard drive diagnostics for any kind of hard drive, including RAID arrays, USB drives, or SSD drives.

The software includes test features for checking for badblocks, bad sectors, and gathers multiple parameters about your hard drives.

Features include:

  • Health test your drives
  • Predict the life of your drives based ondegradation
  • Get a full S.M.A.R.T report of your drives

Download HDDScan

Windows Sysinternals Suite

Process Explorer listed in #1 is a SysInternals appavailable for download from the Microsoft website. SysInternals offers anentire suite of utilities and tools. You can download them all at once bydownloading the entire suite.

This suite includes utilities like:

  • AdExplorer
  • Autologon
  • ClockRes
  • Coreinfo
  • Desktops
  • DiskView
  • PageDefrag
  • RAMMap (image shown above)
  • Sysmon
  • TCPView
  • Much more

If you want software that can monitor processes, hardware,services, and everything else about your system, this utility suite is probablythe best single diagnostics suite you can download.

Download SysInternalsSuite

Malwarebytes

Malware is a scourge that infests computers, slows down yoursystem, and interrupts your time spent on the internet. Antivirus software isgreat for cleaning up viruses and infected files, but it can sometimes overlookmalware.

Malwarebytes is a tool built specifically to identify andclean your system of any malware that might have made its way into your system.

Using Malwarebytes is also easy. Once you install it, justrun a full system scan and see what the utility discovers. You can alsoconfigure the application to run automatically on a schedule, so you don’t haveto worry about your system getting cluttered with more malware as time goes on.

Download Malwarebytes

JScreenFix

This online utility is probably the easiest diagnostics toolto use since it’s web based.

If you’ve ever had a bright dot that remains on your screenno matter what you do, this is caused by what’s known as a “stuck pixel”. Youcan look for these by viewing a black screen and looking for light dots.

Using the JScreenFix utility, you can drag the static blockover the stuck pixel, and it’ll fix the problem in less than 10 minutes.

Use JScreenFix

ESET SysInspector

If you don’t want to dig through system errors andtroubleshoot yourself, you could try this all-in-one tool that’ll scan yoursystem and try to diagnose typical system issues for you.

It’s a free application that’s normally integrated into theESET Antivirus software. It’s at least an excellent first tool to try if you’renot sure where to start. The software scans and detects issues with all thefollowing:

  • Processes and services
  • Suspicious files
  • Problem software
  • Incompatible hardware
  • Outdated or problem drivers
  • OS files that require updates
  • Registry problems
  • Suspicious apps accessing the network or internet

Even if you don’t find the answer, it’ll at least point you in the right direction.

Download ESET SysInspector

Debug Diagnostics 2

This tool for advanced Windows users allows you to take fullmemory dumps of a Windows process and have Debug Diagnostics analyze the file.

This diagnostics tool will allow you to analyze dump filesin a way that’s easier to understand than digging through the files yourself.

This tool is best suited for users who already understandhow dump files work (and how to create them). The tool will make your jobanalyzing these files much easier.

Download DebugDiag2

Using Windows Diagnostics Tools

As you can see there are many tools available for manydifferent purposes. The one you choose depends on what kind of problems you’rehaving.

The list above should help you decide which one to downloadand use to fix whatever Windows problems you may be having.