Monitoring network activity is not easy, especially when in the need of checking the activities that happened in the recent days or weeks. There are 3rd party tools that can help but if you are using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, Microsoft has this neat feature built in that can give you a glimpse of what happened in the last 30 days. Thanks to gHacks for this neat tip.
Open Task Manager (using Ctrl + Shift + Esc), and switch to App history tab. By default, it lists the resource usage for all currently running applications for the last 30 days.
To list all applications you have used in the past 30 days in the App history tab, go to Options and select Show history for all processes. Now you’ve got to see to see a lot of data. You can also add 2 more columns, Download and Upload, for more detailed data by right-clicking the column header.
Both Network and Download/Upload show useful information about the network activities on each application. They can be quite useful to identify the suspicious applications that secretly use the Internet while they shouldn’t.
CPU Time could also be useful as it gives you a quick glimpse of what applications have been running for the longest time.
If you see anything suspicious on the list, you can right-click the name of the application, and choose either Search online or Properties to get more information about this particular process. You can then either block or even remove them from your computer when needed.
This tip works on both Windows 8 and Windows 10 computers. While it’s quick and useful, still, the App history only provides quite basic information about the network activities. If you are interested in the depth of what’s going on on your network, you may still need to look elsewhere for more powerful utilities, such as Microsoft’s Network Monitor or Wireshark, etc.
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Last updated: 01/04/2016