How to Use Windows 8 Performance Monitor to Analyse Your System Performance

There are many factors that can affect the performance of Windows 8. Windows Performance Monitor is a tool created by Microsoft to analyze the history of Windows performance over a period of time. Using this tool, you can find out how your system performs over time and what you can do to improve the performances. In this article, we will show you how you can use Windows Performance Monitor effectively in Windows 8.

Launching Windows 8 Performance monitor

There are various ways to open Performance Monitor in Windows 8. Some of the methods are given below:

  1. Go to Run (Windows Key + R) and type perfmon. This will open Performance Monitor immediately.
  2. Go to Settings Search (Windows Key + W) and search for “performance” and select Performance information and tools. Under Advanced Tools, select “Open Performance Monitor”
  3. perfmon_advanced_tools

  4. You can also open Performance Monitor by going to Control Panel (Windows Key + X + P) -> Search for performance and Select Performance Monitor under Performance Information and Tools.

Windows 8 Performance Monitor Control Panel

Using Performance monitor to trace performance data

The first screen of Performance Monitors a system summary which includes some technical stats about the CPU and memory.

Windows 8 Performance Monitor summary

You will need to go to Performance Monitor under Monitoring Tools in order to set your own data counters. By default, CPU counter is shown in real-time.

Windows 8 Performance Monitor

You can add more counters by pressing the plus button or using “Ctrl + N” shortcut key. The performance counters are categorized into several action categories, making it easier for the user to find the exact counter he’s looking for. For example, if you want to monitor your laptop battery stats like charging and discharging rates, remaining capacity etc., you can expand the “Battery status” category, select the counters you want to monitor and click the “Add” button.

Windows 8 Performance Monitor add counters

Each counter will be represented with a different color. You can check or uncheck counters in order to show the graph of selective counters.

If you are unsure of which counters to monitors, a few pre-defined system monitors are also available. You can go to “Data Collector Sets -> System” and select the collector set of your choice, right click it and select Start to start the monitoring process.

Windows 8 Performance Monitor monitoring

The default system monitors will run for 60 seconds only. If you want to monitor certain aspects of your computer regularly, you can create a new Data Collector Set by right clicking “User Defined” under Data Collector Sets and create a new set. Go to its properties to add new counters and set a schedule for running this performance counter.



Some uses of Performance Monitor

Now that we have learned how to capture performance data using Windows 8 Performance Monitor, let’s go through some interesting uses of the Performance Monitor.

Generating system health reports

To generate system health report, open Performance monitor and go to “Data Collector Sets -> System -> Right click System Diagnostics” and select start. This will start a 60 second monitoring. When the performance monitor has completed its process, head towards Reports -> System -> System Diagnostics and select the appropriate report. In the right hand pane, you can view detailed health reports about each hardware and software component of the computer.


Analyzing system performance

You can use the Performance Monitor to analyze system performance. The system performance monitor is pre-defined data collector set and can be run under “Data Collector Sets -> System -> System Performance”. This will also generate a 60 second performance report. If you want to run the performance reports for much longer interval of time, you will have to create your own custom data collector set and set its schedule in Properties.


Checking reliability of the system

Performance Monitor can be used the check the reliability of the system by running the following command: perfmon /rel. This will analyze the event logs and display information, warnings and errors in a graphical format. The overall system stability is assessed from a scale of 1 to 10.


Running Performance Monitor like Task Manager performance tab

Windows Task Manager performance tab comes with a default set of resources to monitor. If you want to check the performance counters of specific resources, you can run Performance Monitor as a standalone tool and configure your performance counters. To run Performance Monitor in standalone mode, use the command perfmon /sys


By following this guide, you will be able to monitor the performance of your system properly and identify the factors that bog down your system.

What other tools do you use to monitor the performance of your system?

Usman Khurshid

Usman is a technology enthusiast and loves tweaking Microsoft products. In addition to MakeTechEasier, he contributes regularly to

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