Process.GetProcessesByName Method (String, String)


Creates an array of new Process components and associates them with all the process resources on a remote computer that share the specified process name.

Namespace:   System.Diagnostics
Assembly:  System (in System.dll)

Public Shared Function GetProcessesByName (
	processName As String,
	machineName As String
) As Process()


Type: System.String

The friendly name of the process.

Type: System.String

The name of a computer on the network.

Return Value

Type: System.Diagnostics.Process()

An array of type Process that represents the process resources running the specified application or file.

Exception Condition

The machineName parameter syntax is invalid. It might have length zero (0).


The machineName parameter is null.


The operating system platform does not support this operation on remote computers.


There are problems accessing the performance counter API's used to get process information. This exception is specific to Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.


A problem occurred accessing an underlying system API.

Use this method to create an array of new Process components and associate them with all the process resources that are running the same executable file on the specified computer. The process resources must already exist on the computer, because GetProcessesByName does not create system resources but rather associates them with application-generated Process components. A processName can be specified for an executable file that is not currently running on the local computer, so the array the method returns can be empty.

The process name is a friendly name for the process, such as Outlook, that does not include the .exe extension or the path. GetProcessesByName is helpful for getting and manipulating all the processes that are associated with the same executable file. For example, you can pass an executable file name as the processName parameter, in order to shut down all the running instances of that executable file.

Although a process Id is unique to a single process resource on the system, multiple processes on the local computer can be running the application specified by the processName parameter. Therefore, GetProcessById returns one process at most, but GetProcessesByName returns an array containing all the associated processes. If you need to manipulate the process using standard API calls, you can query each of these processes in turn for its identifier. You cannot access process resources through the process name alone but, once you have retrieved an array of Process components that have been associated with the process resources, you can start, terminate, and otherwise manipulate the system resources.

You can use this overload to get processes on the local computer as well as on a remote computer. Use "." to specify the local computer. Another overload exists that uses the local computer by default.

You can access processes on remote computers only to view information, such as statistics, about the processes. You cannot close, terminate (using Kill), or start processes on remote computers.


The machineName parameter is not supported on Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me).

The following example retrieves information of the current process, processes running on the local computer, all instances of Notepad running on the local computer, and a specific process on the local computer. It then retrieves information for the same processes on a remote computer.

Imports System
Imports System.Diagnostics
Imports System.ComponentModel

Namespace MyProcessSample
    Class MyProcess
        Sub BindToRunningProcesses()
            ' Get the current process. You can use currentProcess from this point
            ' to access various properties and call methods to control the process.
            Dim currentProcess As Process = Process.GetCurrentProcess()

            ' Get all processes running on the local computer.
            Dim localAll As Process() = Process.GetProcesses()

            ' Get all instances of Notepad running on the local computer.
            ' This will return an empty array if notepad isn't running.
            Dim localByName As Process() = Process.GetProcessesByName("notepad")

            ' Get a process on the local computer, using the process id.
            ' This will throw an exception if there is no such process.
            Dim localById As Process = Process.GetProcessById(1234)

            ' Get processes running on a remote computer. Note that this
            ' and all the following calls will timeout and throw an exception
            ' if "myComputer" and do not exist on your local network.

            ' Get all processes on a remote computer.
            Dim remoteAll As Process() = Process.GetProcesses("myComputer")

            ' Get all instances of Notepad running on the specific computer, using machine name.
            Dim remoteByName As Process() = Process.GetProcessesByName("notepad", "myComputer")

            ' Get all instances of Notepad running on the specific computer, using IP address.
            Dim ipByName As Process() = Process.GetProcessesByName("notepad", "")

            ' Get a process on a remote computer, using the process id and machine name.
            Dim remoteById As Process = Process.GetProcessById(2345, "myComputer")
        End Sub 'BindToRunningProcesses

        Shared Sub Main()
            Dim myProcess As New MyProcess()
        End Sub 'Main 

    End Class 'MyProcess

End Namespace 'MyProcessSample


for full trust for the immediate caller. This member cannot be used by partially trusted code.


to call unmanaged code. Associated enumeration: SecurityPermissionFlag.UnmanagedCode

.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
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