Stopping malicious items before they cause damage is the entire purpose of the plethora of available antivirus systems. Similarly, Task Blocker works by stopping processes before they can be executed. Create a list of blocked programs by their process name to have them promptly shut down upon execution.
This is useful not only for blocking known virus names, but also stopping people from accessing certain programs on your computer. Think of it like a firewall but for preventing launch access rather than network access.
Prevent Programs from Running on Your PC
Add Items to the Blocked List
Download Task Blocker and complete the installation. Launch the application and click the green plus sign to add a new process name to the block list.
Three options are available for new names. Either enter it manually in the form of “Name.exe”, browse for a file in the second field, or select a running process from the list.
Here’s a little information on which you should choose and when.
Known virus names, say “bad_V1irus.exe,” can be entered here. This field is great for inputting files you don’t want to run even though they don’t currently reside on the system. If you’re afraid someone will install a keylogger by the name of “logthesekeys.exe,” for example, enter this to prevent it from ever running.
Browse to select a file that isn’t running, but can be chosen from a known location. This is good for blocking programs like “Firefox.exe” from your children to ensure they don’t run the browser. Enter the process name of a file sharing program like “utorrent.exe” to stop someone from possibly sharing / downloading copyrighted files.
From Active Process:
All currently running processes will populate in this field, letting you choose one to add to the list of blocked items. Again, this is great for stopping viruses – if you know the process name, simply find it and click “Add” to block it.
It’s important to click the “Start Monitoring” button when you’ve added items to the block list as this is the option that puts the program in effect.
We’ve added DriverBooster to the list. When we attempted to open it, it briefly showed before closing down completely, followed by the following notification:
Configure Additional Options
There are a few customizable features from the “Edit > Preferences” window.
Be default, Task Blocker doesn’t open on windows startup, nor does it monitor the blocked items list. Change these settings here.
“Monitor mode” is a nice option that simply prompts with a notification if the program on the blocked list is running. The application won’t shutdown, though. This can be useful for checking if a process is still running even when you close out of it, or simply for notifications on certain program launches.
A nice combo of settings can be to toggle “Enable log on file” and “Monitor mode” on while unchecking to “Show a notification when a task is blocked.” This will log an event every time the listed programs are launched, but will show no visual evidence, which can make Task Blocker act as a hidden monitoring program. If you’re wanting to be discrete, be sure to also uncheck the warning for exceeding the size of the log file. This file is called history.log and is in the install folder under “…\Task Blocker\”.
Task Blocker is a useful tool to ensure the programs you don’t want want to execute on your computer are prevented from running. It’s really simple to use and can be assigned to any process.