Software & AppsOperating System

How To Set Your CPU Priority So It Prefers Foreground Apps

Cpu Priority

There’s a reason your CPU does not prioritize your foreground apps. Preemptive scheduling is the other type of priority scheduling, which is what your system runs with if you keep having this problem.

Don’t worry, though. There’s a straightforward way to change this setting for computers that use Windows.

This blog post will guide you on setting your CPU priority to prefer foreground apps. The best part is you’ll learn four effortless methods to do this seamlessly.

Why Do I Need to Set CPU Priority?

Computers work based on priorities. They run apps in order, and unless you change the settings, your system oversees what it processes and when it does it.

There are background and foreground apps that run alongside the ones you open. Each one requires a series of activated processes when you or your computer run them. In addition, when you open an app, Windows runs several more.

Even when your laptop has been on for only a short time, you’d be surprised by the number of active apps. You set CPU priority to tell the computer which deserves a high performance. There are as many as six priority levels to choose from.

How To Make Your CPU Prioritize Foreground Apps

Foreground apps, which we interact with more, can sometimes run slower than expected. Setting your CPU to prioritize these apps can help you accelerate their performance. The system treats them according to the priority level you choose.


Setting your CPU priority so it prefers foreground apps may reduce the performance speed of your computer!

We’re giving you four options to use to increase the performance of your foreground apps:

Method #1: Use Task Manager

You can use the task manager to increase the performance of a currently running application. You can use it to change the priorities for these apps. To get started:

  1. Open task manager with CTRL + ALT + DLT. Alternatively, you can click on the start button and choose Task Manager.
  2. Locate the “Details” icon, which produces a list of your foreground apps.
  3. Right-click on the one you want to modify and choose “Set to priority” from the options presented. You are on the right track if you see a list that reads Realtime, High, Above Normal, among others!
  4. A popup message that requires you to confirm the request will appear on the screen.

You can do this consecutively for all the apps you want to run as the priority. Then close the Task Manager.

Method #2: Use Command Prompt

You can use the command prompt also to change the priority level of your foreground apps. This method is used in two cases – for the running and starting apps.

If you’ve never used the command prompt on your Windows device, go to the start button and type “cmd.

You can use this control system to do an array of things, such as shutting down the system at a particular time, renaming many files at once, and erasing or formatting a drive, among many others.

 Now, let’s use a command prompt to change the priority level of the running apps:

  1. Locate the window for commands.
  2. Type the command you want the computer to execute alongside the priority you want it to be given.
  3. You can type or copy-paste wmic process where name=“Process Name” call setpriority “Priority Level.
  4. Type the name of the foreground app as a replacement for “Process Name” in the above step.
  5. Replace the “Priority Level” with the value you want, which can be between 256 to 64.

For instance, if you want to make Excel a priority app, its process name is winexcel.exe. The priority level can be 256.

Method #3: Using the Control Panel

You can also use the control panel to make your CPU prioritize the foreground apps you’re using. If anything, it’s one of the more effortless methods. Here goes:

  1. Search for “Control Panel” in the search bar. Click on the icon when it appears.
  2. It reveals a list of features; choose “System and Security.
  3. Choose “System.” You’ll see “advanced system settings,” which you should click on.
  4. It further unveils a “System Property” window – go to the advanced section.
  5. Click on “Performance” and head to “Settings.”
  6. You’ll discover another “Advanced” tab. Tap on it.
  7. The focal point is the “Process Scheduling” tab. Click on the “Programs” options, which you’ll find under the “Adjust for the best performance of.”
  8. Confirm the command and sit back.

The control panel is a straightforward way to tell the computer that your foreground apps are essential and prioritized.

Method #4: Using the Registry Editor

This isn’t a conventionally safe method. If anything, you should avoid using it until you’ve tried the other options we have provided.

Of course, the registry editor method works, but it can damage your computer afterward. The most crucial step is to back up your device first.

  1. Press the “R” button and Windows button jointly. It produces the run window box.
  2. You’ll see a search bar to type an unquoted “Regedit” into.
  3. You’ll receive a warning that you’re attempting to edit the registry. Choose the positive answer.
  4. It produces a list from which you’ll choose “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.” Select “System” when it appears.
  5. CurrentControlSystem” and “Control” will also be unveiled and chosen.
  6. A list on the right of your system contains “PriorityControl;” it reveals another list. Select “Win32PrioritySeparation.
  7. You’ll see a “value data” set to 2. It would be best if you changed it to 26 instead.
  8. Then, restart your computer to notice the changes.

Bottom line

If you’ve made it this far, you’re more likely to set your CPU priority, so it prefers background apps after your first few attempts. By tweaking your task manager, command prompt, and registry editor, you can enjoy their faster performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the CPU priority levels?

The CPU priority levels dictate the degree of priority given to an app. The higher it is, the more resources it has access to. The levels include low, below normal, normal, above normal, high, and real-time.

What is CPU process priority in Windows 10?

This is how Windows shares its processor resources among the numerous apps that run every day. It sets it in the order of priority.

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