How do I determine which system processes are essential to run

I have about 60 processes running when I open Windows Task Manager - can someone tell me which I should keep and which ones I can close?  Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Assuming your machine is set up to work and has proper antivrus installed, 60 processes is normal. I have near 100 running on my laptop. So long as each application is properly setup (particularly antivirus), processes do not absorb CPU, just memory. And so long as you have enough memory, reducing processes does not accomplish anything.

Open Task Manager, set to hide when minimized and then watch it for a while. Your machine should run at less than 5% CPU more than 95% of the time.   ... Thinkpads_User

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If you are asking what should be running at startup, run msconfig. Select the Startup tab. Things like Adobe updater, quicktime task, hp updater, adobe reader and acrobat manager, java updater are all processes you can do without. Not all startup apps are processes, but all can slow your machine down. Even Roxio can be removed from startup. Just use the icon to run. You can selectively 'turn off' any of the startup items and reboot to test the change. If something does not work, turn it back on. You can do the same with services in msconfig, but take a greater chance on not being able to boot back up properly.
When you make a change in msconfig, it will require a reboot at some point to make the changes. Like thinkpads_user, I have a lot of 'processes' running all the time. But then again, I have 8 gigs on a 64bit system. I can handle the load.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Once started (any machine needs to start), running processes will generall not slow down a machine if they are properly set up. Now things that are alway updating can cause issues, so I limit the activity of such processes.  Right now, I have 108 processes running and total CPU load is under 10% (and under 5% at idle).

... Thinkpads_User
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you. I trust you have the information from both of us to help you out. ... Thinkpads_User
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