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Overview of Windows Performance Monitor

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

Windows Performance Monitor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that provides tools for analyzing system performance. From a single console, you can monitor application and hardware performance in real time, customize what data you want to collect in logs, define thresholds for alerts and automatic actions, generate reports, and view past performance data in a variety of ways.

Windows Performance Monitor combines the functionality of previous stand-alone tools including Performance Logs and Alerts (PLA), Server Performance Advisor (SPA), and System Monitor. It provides a graphical interface for the customization of Data Collector Sets and Event Trace Sessions.

Windows Performance Monitor performs data collection and logging using Data Collector Sets.

To launch Windows Performance Monitor

  • Click Start , click in the Start Search box, type perfmon , and press ENTER.

Performance Monitor

Performance Monitor provides a visual display of built-in Windows performance counters, either in real time or as a way to review historical data. You can add performance counters to Performance Monitor by dragging and dropping, or by creating custom Data Collector Sets. It features multiple graph views that enable you to visually review performance log data. You can create custom views in Performance Monitor that can be exported as Data Collector Sets for use with performance and logging features.

Access to Windows Performance Monitor features

Members of the local Administrators group, or equivalent, may use all the features of Windows Performance Monitor. The list below summarizes which features are accessible to members of other groups:

Members of the Users group

  • Can open log files for viewing in Performance Monitor, and can change the Performance Monitor display properties while viewing historical data.

  • Cannot create or modify Data Collector Sets or view real-time performance data in Performance Monitor.

    noteNote
    You cannot configure a Data Collector Set to run as a member of the Users group.

Members of the Performance Monitor Users group

  • Can use all the features that are available to the Users group.

  • Can view real-time performance data in Performance Monitor, and can change the Performance Monitor display properties while viewing real-time data.

  • Cannot create or modify Data Collector Sets.

    noteNote
    You cannot configure a Data Collector Set to run as a member of the Performance Monitor Users group.

Members of the Performance Log Users group

  • Can use all the features that are available to the Performance Monitor Users group.

  • Can create and modify Data Collector Sets after the group is assigned the Log on as a batch user user right, as described in Enable Logging for Performance Log Users Group Members.

    noteNote
    If you are a member of the Performance Log Users group, you must configure Data Collector Sets that you create to run under your own credentials.

  • Cannot use the Windows Kernel Trace provider in Data Collector Sets.

Additional references

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