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The MX-3 Supervisor is a power-user utility that enables immediate suspension or termination of problematic processes. It was specificaly designed for use in corner cases where Task Manager won't open, like when running problematic full-screen games or high-priority resource-intensive tasks. The purpose of the MX-3 Supervisor isn't to replace Task Manager or Process Explorer but to efficiently complement them.


  • 01.09.2010: Freeware version 1.0.1 released

Download: Supervisor.exe

MX-3 Supervisor installer. Version 1.0
File size: 153 kB

Installation and upgrade

After the installer finishes the installation, open the Control Panels, locate the MX-3 Supervisor control panel (32 bit, on Windows Vista these are in separate category). You will find a Start button on the first tab, that will run the Supervisor. To have it automatically started when the Windows starts, check the Enabled check-box.

Check for an available upgrades directly from the control panel; just click the link at the bottom of the About page. To upgrade, simply install the latest version over the current installation. All settings and license informations are preserved when upgrading.

OS and resource requirements

  • Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or later
  • 10 MB of free RAM
  • 1 MB of free hard drive space

Verified compatibility

  • Windows XP (also XP Embedded)
  • Windows Vista and 7
  • Windows Server 2003 (including R2)
  • Windows Server 2008 (including x64 and Server Core)


You will typically use the MX-3 Supervisor to kill unresponsive process or a process that is so active that a Task Manager won't open. Function to suspend (and resume later) such a process temporarily is also available.

The purpose of the MX-3 Supervisor isn't to replace Task Manager or Process Explorer but to efficiently complement them. The MX-3 Supervisor, when running, can be brought visible by pressing a Ctrl+Win+Del (customizable), or Ctrl+Break for analysis. It allows the user to suspend (and resume) or terminate any process that is accessible. Additionally, in analysis mode, it displays short list of the most resources-intensive processes and allows immediate termination of any one of them.


The MX-3 Supervisor is available as Freeware.
For detailed text of the license see Freeware license.
Please consider supporting this software: How to support the development.

Important notes and known issues

  • The MX-3 Supervisor was developed for Windows XP in particular.
  • To ensure maximal responsibility, especially when the system is overloaded, the Supervisor runs with maximal possible priority. Because of that it is not suitable for servers running real-time and time critical tasks.
  • Windows Vista: The Turn Off button immediately logs the current user out. On Windows XP and Windows 7 a dialog with question is displayed.
  • Functionality of the program may be restricted when running under account of a user with limited rights and privileges. The same applies when run on 64-bit operating system.
  • If there are too many threads running (tens of thousands), the program update slower than usually.
  • Tasks that use notification icons (tray icons) started on the Supervisor's desktop won't be able to display those icons, since there is no notification area there.
  • Functionality of the program can be suppressed by other software. If you experience sudden spontaneous switch back to the primary desktop shortly after activating the Supervisor, try to terminate other programs one by one to determine which one causes this behavior. Technical details regarding this problem are described here: Desktops on Windows ultimately broken by every other application using IsWorkstationLocked.
  • Error message Unable to initialize resources required to run this program. on attempt to Start the Supervisor usually means that there is not enough resources to create the secondary desktop. It is necessary to log out and log in again or to restart your computer in order to be able to use the MX-3 Supervisor.


There were two main motivations to create the Supervisor. First of course was own bad experience with problematic software and Windows XP's inability to cope with it. The second one was discussion under the I've seen why people steal the foreground window for their dialog box blog of Raymond Chen, where users are calling for something similar incorporated into Windows's Task Manager. Although the MX-3 Supervisor is not running inside any special protected mode, the very high priority and separated desktop will ensure preemption over most problematic programs.

Relevant links

exertion of the imagination, portfolio library and software repository