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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 static Process[] GetProcessesByName(
	string processName,
	string machineName


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.


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.

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

The following example retrieves information of the current process, all instances of Notepad running on the local computer, all instances of Notepad running on a specific computer using the computer alias and an IP address, all processes running on the local computer and a remote computer, a specific process on the local computer or a remote computer using the process id.

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.ComponentModel;

namespace MyProcessSample
	/// <summary>
	/// Shell for the sample.
	/// </summary>
	class MyProcess
		void BindToRunningProcesses()
			// Get the current process.
			Process currentProcess = Process.GetCurrentProcess();

			// Get all instances of Notepad running on the local
			// computer.
			Process [] localByName = Process.GetProcessesByName("notepad");

			// Get all instances of Notepad running on the specifiec
			// computer.
			// 1. Using the computer alias (do not precede with "\\").
			Process [] remoteByName = Process.GetProcessesByName("notepad", "myComputer");
			// 2. Using an IP address to specify the machineName parameter. 
			Process [] ipByName = Process.GetProcessesByName("notepad", "");
			// Get all processes running on the local computer.
			Process [] localAll = Process.GetProcesses();

			// Get all processes running on the remote computer.
			Process [] remoteAll = Process.GetProcesses("myComputer");

			// Get a process on the local computer, using the process id.
			Process localById = Process.GetProcessById(1234);

			// Get a process on a remote computer, using the process id.
			Process remoteById = Process.GetProcessById(2345, "myComputer");

		static void Main()

           		MyProcess myProcess = new MyProcess();



.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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