Use PowerShell to find processes using most virtual memory

The following tip was contributed to our WServerNews newsletter by Microsoft Scripting Guy Ed Wilson who shows us how to use Windows PowerShell to find processes consuming the most virtual memory.

Question: You need to find processes that are using the most virtual machine. How can you use Windows PowerShell to help you do this?

Answer: Use the Get-Process cmdlet and pipeline the results to the Sort-Object cmdlet. Send those results to the Select-Object cmdlet and choose the last 5 (for the top five processes). This technique appears here (Sort is an sort form of Sort-Object and Select is a short form of Select-Object).

Get-Process | sort vm | select name, vm -Last 5

Ed Wilson is the bestselling author of eight books about Windows Scripting, including Windows PowerShell 3.0 Step by Step, and Windows PowerShell 3.0 First Steps. He writes a daily blog about Windows PowerShell called Hey, Scripting Guy! that is hosted on the Microsoft TechNet Script Center; for more PowerTips check out the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog.

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


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