I have been using Performance Monitor to monitor CPU usage in the taskbar notification area, with one icon per logical CPU. Now I upgraded from a 4 core / 8 thread to a 10 core / 20 thread processor, and Performance Monitor is taking up too much space (~ 470 pixels with my settings) for my taste.

Is there an alternative which also shows each logical CPU's usage, but squeezes more than one into each icon (4 per icon would be nice, but 2 would be okay too)?

Ideally, like Performance Monitor, it should show a history graph, but that's not a requirement.

Fallback: Instead of each logical CPU, it could live with one icon for the average, and one for the maximum of all. Windows Task Manager already does the former, so I'd only need a tool for the maximum.

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    Thanks for posting this great question (upvoted). Our community uses the Windows tag when a question is applicable to most versions of Windows, and reserves the Windows 10 tag for questions that are specific to Windows 10. Do you think recommendations stemming from this question will be specific to Windows 10, or will such software generally run on most other versions of Windows too? Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 1:09
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    Thanks for the info. You are right, this is not Windows 10 specific. I changed the tag. Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 15:40
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    You're welcome, and thanks for the tag update. This happens quite a lot in our community (which is really due to a UI/UX in SE), so I'm going to leave our comments here so others may stumble upon them and spread the word. Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


Xmeters. Have a free and paid customizable version

  • Thanks. Not strictly an answer, because it is a toolbar (DeskBand?), not part of the notification area. Therefore not ideal for the right side of the taskbar where it leaves empty space when the notification area shrinks. OTOH, that has the benefit of more flexible graphics. I am using it now and like it so far. Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 15:45


I implemented it myself: TaskbarBarChart. It shows history, can squeeze multiple charts into one icon (using the -chartAndGapWidths parameter). And by tuning the script block passed to its -cmd parameter, a preprocessing (which I am going to add soon) could reduce the number of values to show. I am planning to sort the logical CPUs by usage, leave the top 5 as-is, group the others in groups of three, and show the average per group. So 5 icons of single CPUs plus 5 icons of 3-CPU groups => 10 icons. Using two charts per icon (-chartAndGapWidths ('7,-2,7')) => 5 icons.

However, it still has a major bug (for which I opened issue #1 and could use some help). (EDIT 2024-04-26: This seems to be fixed in Windows 11 23H2 with PowerShell 5.1.22621.2506.)

Open Hardware Monitor

While searching for that bug, I stumbled over Open Hardware Monitor. It shows only physical cores, i.e. 10 on my 10 core / 20 thread computer. The notification icon feature is a little hidden: Every entry in its main window tree structure has a context menu with "Show in Tray". It does not seem to have a history, just the most recent single value.

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