How to Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps on Windows

Follow these easy steps to get it done on Windows

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
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Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
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Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure
  • The foreground apps and background services use the CPU when we use our devices.
  • If too many background services are running, your computer might run slow.
  • This guide will discuss how you can modify CPU priority on Windows.
Set CPU Priority To Prefer Foreground Apps on Windows[Complete Guide]

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Windows operating system runs various processes in the background with the foreground apps. However, it doesn’t equally provide them with resources, such as memory and CPU.

If your apps are crashing or freezing, it could be because background services use too much CPU. To resolve this, it would be best if you changed the CPU priority assigned to foreground apps.

In this guide, we will talk about the different methods to set CPU priority for foreground apps. Let’s get started! 

How can I prioritize CPU to prefer foreground apps on a Windows PC?

1. Use the Registry Editor

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.REGEDIT RUN COMMAND
  2. Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  3. Follow this path:  Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControlPriority Control
  4. Double-click on Win32PrioritySeparation and change the Value data to 26. Click OK.
  5. Restart your computer.

2. Use the Task Manager

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.Task Manager High
  2. Go to the Details tab, go to the app you want to prioritize, right-click on it to choose Set priority, then click High.

3. Use the Control Panel

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel and click Open.
  2. Select Category from View by.System and Security CP
  3. Click System and Security, then click System.System CP
  4. On the next window, click Advanced system settings.Advanced system settings
  5. Go to the Advanced tab, and click Settings under Performance.Settings performance
  6. On the next window, go to the Advanced tab and click on the radio button beside Programs under Processor scheduling.Programs
  7. Click Apply and OK.

4. Use the Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key, type CMD, and click Run as administrator.CMD elevated
  2. Type the following command and press Enter after replacing the Process Name with the full name of the process with its extension and changing the Priority Level to High or AboveNormal: wmic process where name=”Process Name” call setpriority “Priority Level”

So, these are the methods you can use to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps on Windows 7, 10, and 11. Try them and let us know which worked for you in the comments below.

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