In the system tool – Windows 11 and Windows 10 Task Manager, or using other methods, you can set the priority of a process in order to increase the performance of a running application. In a running Windows operating system, many different processes are running at the same time, which are necessary for the normal functioning of the computer.

By default, Windows process priorities for most software are set to Normal, with no preference given to individual processes. Depending on their functional purpose, applications consume some of the computer’s resources.

In some cases, programs request the higher priority they need to complete their tasks. The operating system can change the process priority for a particular application if necessary.

The user has the ability to independently manually set the priority to the process in order to more correctly allocate resources at a given time. For example, you need to set a high process priority for a specific program or computer game.

Changing the priority of a process will improve application performance because the program will have more computer resources to perform its functions compared to other processes running on the system.

Change the process priority in Windows: what is it

In most cases, users are looking for information on how to increase the priority of a process in the operating system so that it is processed by the central processor in the first place. In other situations, on the contrary, it is required to lower the priority of the process so that it consumes minimal computer resources when performing its tasks.

The user may need to change the process priority in Windows 10/11 in order to improve the performance of the software, for example, on a PC with insufficient processing power of the processor.

Do not change the process priority in the following situations:

  • Changing the priority of processes to a lower class can lead to crashes and system malfunctions.
  • Setting several high process priorities at once for concurrently running programs causes hangs or crashes.

To improve performance in games, it is advisable to use the game mode in Windows 11 or Windows 10.

If something went wrong, we recommend that you return the default priority values.

For a user in Windows, there are several options for choosing the priority of processes (there are 32 priority classes in the system):

  • Realtime is the highest priority level and is executed first. Keep in mind that such a priority can cause system crashes due to untimely execution of other processes.
  • High – used for important system processes, this mode can be used for programs, but after its use, the stability of the system may be disturbed.
  • Above average – a slight increase in the performance of an application or game without harming system processes.
  • Normal is the default operating mode for most programs.
  • Below Medium – Reduced consumption of PC resources by applications that should not be terminated, but are independent of runtime.
  • Low – In this mode, processes run only after other active tasks have completed.

To apply this or that priority, a numerical value is also used, which is specified in the configuration file:

  • 4 – Idle class (low);
  • 6 – Below normal class (below average);
  • 8 – Normal class (normal);
  • 10 – Above normal class (above average);
  • 13 – High class (high);
  • 24 – Real time class (real time).

In this article, we will analyze how to change the process priority in Windows 10 / 11 using various means of the operating system or using third-party software.

How to increase the priority of a process in Windows – 1 way

The system tool – Task Manager, among other functions, manages process priorities in the Windows operating system.

Setting process priority in Task Manager:

  1. Right click on the start menu.
  2. Select “Task Manager” from the menu that opens.

If the Task Manager window opens on the desktop with incomplete information, click on “Details”.

  1. In the Task Manager window, click the Details tab.

This tab displays all the processes currently running in the Windows operating system. In Windows 7, the priority of processes is set in a similar way in the “Processes” tab.

  1. Highlight the desired process.
  2. Right click.
  3. In the context menu, click on the “Set Priority” item.
  4. In the submenu that opens, specify the appropriate priority for this process.
  5. The warning window reminds you that changing the priority of some processes may cause system instability.
  6. If you are sure of your choice, click on the “Change Priority” button.

You perform all actions with setting the priority of processes in Windows at your own peril and risk. Don’t make rash decisions if you don’t understand what the changes might lead to. When making settings in the parameters, it is not recommended to affect the priority of system processes.

You can add an additional column to the Task Manager that will display the status of process priority in Windows. You can do this in the following way:

  1. Click on the title of any of the columns.
  2. From the context menu, choose Select Columns.
  3. In the “Select Columns” window, find “Base Priority”, in front of which you need to check the box, and then click on the “OK” button.
  4. The “Details” tab now has a “Basic Priority” column, which reflects the status of running processes.

How to change the priority of a process in Windows using the command line – 2 way

To solve this problem, you can use another system tool – the Windows command line (cmd.exe). With the help of the system tool, we will apply the “start” command.

Go through the steps:

  1. Run command prompt as administrator.
  2. In the command line interpreter window, enter the command, and then press the “Enter” key:
start [/command name] [/d full path to the application executable]

Use the command name from this table:

Team Name Priority
low short
below normal below the average
normal middle
above normal above the average
hight tall
real time real time

The command might look like this, using Notepad as an example:

start /belownormal /d "C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe"

How to set process priority in Windows 10 / 11 using wmic.exe – method 3

Using the wmic.exe command line utility, you can change the process priority of a running application.

Do the following:

  1. Run command prompt as administrator.
  2. Run a command like this:
wmic process where name="process name" call setpriority "priority level”

Insert the process name in quotation marks, and set the priority level using a numeric value or a priority name from this table:

Priority level value Priority level name Priority level
64 Low short
16384 below normal below the average
32 Normal middle
32768 above normal above the average
128 Hight tall
256 real time real time

An example of identical commands for the Notepad application:

wmic process where name="notepad.exe" call setpriority 16384

wmic process where name="notepad.exe" call setpriority "Below normal"

How to increase the priority of a process in Windows 10 / 11 from a program shortcut – 4 way

There is an easy way to launch an application with the desired priority using the shortcut for this program.

You need to do the following:

  1. Create a shortcut to the file of the desired program, which has the extension “.exe”, on the Desktop or in another convenient place.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut, and in the context menu, click on “Properties”.
  3. In the “Object:” field, paste the following parameter (leave the current file path unchanged):
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c start /abovenormal /d <file path>

Instead of “abovenormal”, specify another priority class you need (“low”, “belownormal”, “normal”, “hight”, “realtime”).

As a result, after clicking on the shortcut, before starting the program, a command will be executed on the command line, which will set the required process priority for this application.

How to set process priority on Windows 10 / 11 in Process Explorer – 5 way

You can carry out work on changing the priority of processes in the Windows operating system using third-party software. Programs will help you with this: Process Lasso, Process Explorer and others.

Process Explorer is a free utility from the Windows Sysinternals system toolkit by Mark Russinovich that solves various tasks with running processes in the operating system.

Follow these steps:

  1. Download the program from the official Microsoft website: .
  2. Unpack the ZIP archive with the application.
  3. Run the program from the file corresponding to the bitness of your system from the folder.
  4. Highlight the desired process in the Process Explorer window.
  5. In the context menu, first click on the “Set Priority” item, and then set the required value.

Article Conclusions

When working on a computer, users are looking for an answer to questions about how to increase the priority of a process in Windows 10 / 11, or vice versa, reduce this value. Changing the priority will allow you to use more of the CPU resources needed to run a particular application. In the Windows operating system, you can choose the priority level yourself using built-in tools or third-party software.