RSS Feed

Please wait while my feed loads

See more posts...


Subscribe to either one of our two newsletters for regular updates and information

Downloads newsletter

This is a weekly newsletter with download news, updates and other information

This is a monthly newsletter with software store information, offers and deals

wtrace 1.3

A command-line process monitor

by Mike Williams

Our Rating:
Your Rating:
Login to rate
Based on 0 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 19 March 2017
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 66
Developer: Sebastian Solnica
RSS News Feed:
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $34.99, saving 50%, from
A command-line process monitor

Wtrace is an open-source command line monitor which displays the file I/O, TCP/IP, ALPC and RPC actions (local and remote procedure calls) for a specific process.

Usage is simple, in theory at least. At a minimum, you can run the program from an elevated command line with the name of the process image - wtrace outlook.exe - and it displays file creates, reads, writes, closes, thread starts, procedure calls and more. Monitoring stops when the process closes or you press Ctrl+C.

One issue we noticed immediately is wtrace refused to monitor most processes when specified by name, giving the utterly useless non-specific error code 0x80004005. If you see the same, the workaround is to use the process ID instead (grab it from the PID column in Task Manager and enter something like wtrace 8012).

Once we'd got the program working, it ran without any issues. Actions were displayed in real time at the command line, like this.

1134,4316 (1072) FileIO/Create 'C:\' (0xFFFFFA801D789CA0) rw-
1135,2725 (1072) FileIO/Create 'C:\Windows\Prefetch\' (0xFFFFFA8023E185A0) ---
1135,5118 (1072) FileIO/Create 'C:\Windows' (0xFFFFFA8023E185A0) rw-
1135,5514 (1072) FileIO/Create 'C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\wow64.dll' (0xFFFFFA801D789CA0) rw-
1135,8384 (1072) FileIO/Close 'C:\' (0xFFFFFA801D789CA0)

When we closed the process, wtrace displayed summaries of various actions. For example, a === TCP/IP === section listed all detected connections with the source and destination IPs, and the total bytes sent and received.

You can take the program further with standard redirect and other tricks. Use - wtrace 14200 > log.txt - to save the output to disk, or use it with Findstr to filter it for specific text.

v1.3 changes:

Powershell support
More consistent output to make filtering easier - summary is printed as summary events


Process Monitor will be a better monitoring choice for most users, as it records more actions, has built-in filtering and a GUI for ease of use. But if you need a command line tool, RPC and ALPC reports or summaries for TCP/IP and other actions, wtrace could be handy too. Give it a try.

Your Comments & Opinion
Related Download Articles
Process Monitor

Process Monitor 3.32


Find out exactly what the programs running on your PC are doing

Process Lister

NoVirusThanks Process Lister 1.1


View & manipulate Windows processes


MultiMon Home Edition 3.00

Free, for personal-use only

Monitor file activity, Registry changes, more

Windows Service Master 1.0

Windows Service Master 1.0


Find out more about the Windows services and drivers on your PC

Other Download Articles From This Category
EASEUS Partition Master Professional

EaseUS Partition Master Professional 12.0

Trial Software

An advanced partitioning tool that places you firmly in control of your hard drives

EASEUS Partition Master Free 12

EaseUS Partition Master Free 12.0


Create, resize, copy, format and split partitions with ease

Total Uninstall

Total Uninstall 6.19.0

Trial Software

Completely remove unwanted software from your computer

O&O Defrag v20.5

O&O Defrag Professional 20.5

Trial Software

Ramp up your PC's performance with this very configurable defrag tool

PC & Tech Authority Software News

Please wait while my feed loads

See more posts...


Spotlight: Free Full Software

Unreal Engine 4.15.1

Free Full Commercial Software

Unreal Engine is Epic Games' game engine, a powerful suite of tools for developing anything from basic 2D games to professional RPGs, first person shooters and whatever else you like.

Wide standards support - DirectX, OpenGL, JavaScript/ WebGL - means your projects can be targeted to almost any platform: consoles, iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Linux, HTML5 browsers and more.

There's a vast amount to learn, of course, and that's even before you start building your game. But there's plenty of documentation, tutorials, demos and sample projects to point you in the right direction.

The package is now entirely free, too - no annoying limitations, nag screens or anything else. Epic now only requires that you pay a 5% royalty after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter. And even then, you "pay no royalty for film projects, contracting and consulting projects such as architecture, simulation and visualization."

4.15.1 brings:
- Bug Fixes