Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps on Windows 11/10/8.1


We all know how frustrating it can be when our computers slow down and become unresponsive. But did you know that by setting your CPU priority to prefer foreground apps, you can speed up the performance of your computer?

That’s right! You don’t have to live with a sluggish system anymore. In this article, we’ll explain what processor scheduling is and why it’s important, as well as show you how to set your CPU priority to prefer foreground apps on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 using Command Prompt.

Let’s get started!

What Is Processor Scheduling?

You may have heard of processor scheduling, but do you know what it is?

Processor scheduling is a way of allocating computer processing resources to tasks so that each task can get an equal amount of time. It prevents specific tasks from monopolizing the CPU power and allows multiple processes to run simultaneously on the same machine.

This ensures that each process gets its fair share of resources without slowing down the entire system. Processor scheduling also helps with virtualization by assigning processors to different Windows instances on a single computer, allowing users to access the shared resources remotely.

When setting up processor scheduling, administrators can choose how much processing power each application should receive. They can set CPU priority levels for applications such as foreground versus background apps or determine which app should be given priority over others.

This is especially useful when programs require more computing power than usual to accomplish their tasks such as video-editing software or 3D rendering tools. By setting CPU priorities, those more demanding programs will get more resources while still allowing other applications to run in the background without disruption.

Processor scheduling also provides protection against malicious software and viruses by limiting certain processes’ access to necessary system files and preventing them from taking control of critical components like startup services or drivers.

Setting CPU priority levels helps ensure that important processes are always running at optimal speeds even if malware tries to insert itself into them unnoticed.

Overall, processor scheduling is an important part of managing a computer system efficiently and securely since it balances resource usage among multiple applications while keeping vital functions safe from harm. It’s an invaluable tool for any administrator looking to maximize performance and reliability across their network environment.

Why Do You Need to Set CPU Priority?

Giving your most important tasks the priority they deserve can be the difference between success and failure, so don’t let your system slow you down!

Setting CPU priority to prefer foreground apps is essential for optimizing the performance of your computer. By setting priorities, you ensure that applications running in the background won’t interfere with more critical processes and applications running in the foreground.

When you open an application, several other processes get triggered automatically as well. If these background services take up too much processing power, it will cause lag or even crashes when using your PC. This is why it’s important to understand how processor scheduling works and set priorities accordingly.

By setting CPU priority to prefer foreground apps, you can significantly reduce interference from background tasks such as downloading updates or indexing files. You can also prioritize certain applications over others if needed by adjusting their process affinity settings in Task Manager.

The result of this is that allocating resources more efficiently allows your PC to run smoother and faster while you work on projects or play games in the foreground.

Ultimately, understanding how processor scheduling works and setting CPU priority properly will help keep your computer running optimally without any unexpected interruptions due to resource-hungry services running in the background.

This way, no matter what task you are working on, you can always get maximum performance out of your machine without having to worry about slowdown or crashes caused by resource contention issues.

How to Set CPU to Prefer Foreground Apps on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7?

Method 1: Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps via Control Panel

On Windows 11

In Windows 11, optimizing system performance starts with just a few clicks.

  • Head to Start > Settings > System > About and click the Advanced system settings link.
  • On the pop-up window, switch to the Advanced section and click the Settings button under Performance.
  • Switch to the Advanced section on the next interface and check Programs under Adjust for best performance of, then hit Apply followed by OK in both windows.

step1 On Windows 10/8.1/8/7

  • To set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps, open Control Panel, then navigate to System and Security, Advanced system settings, Performance Settings. From there, switch to the Advanced tab and check Programs under Adjust for best performance of.
  • Finally, click Apply and OK twice for the changes to take effect. 

Method 2: Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps via Registry Editor

  • Press the Windows start button
  • Type regedit into the Run box and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl
  • Find Windows32PrioritySeparation and right-click on it-> Select Modify.
  • Change its value data to 26.
  • Click OK.
  • Exit Registry Editor.
  • Restart your computer.

Method 3: Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps via Task Manager

We’ve already discussed one way to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps – through the Registry Editor.

Now, let’s look at a second option – using Task Manager. This is also an easy process that just requires a few steps.

  • First, right-click Start and select Task Manager from the Win+X menu.
  • Next, switch to the Details tab and find the app you want to give it the CPU priority for.
  • Right-click this app and select Set priority > Realtime (or High if desired).

via-task-manager Method 4: With Command Prompt

Popping open the Command Prompt, you’re ready to give your active apps a boost in performance. Setting the CPU priority is relatively simple if you know what you’re doing – all it takes is a little bit of typing and following some straightforward steps.

  • First, type ‘wmic process’ followed by the full name of your program including its extension. Then add ‘call setpriority’ followed by either “High” or “AboveNormal” depending on how much priority you want to assign it.
  • For instance, if you wanted to allocate maximum priority for Telegram, you’d enter: wmic process where name=”telegram.exe” call setpriority “High” into the command prompt window and hit Enter.
  • Once done, your app will receive more resources from the CPU since it has been designated as high-priority. This means that when other processes are running in the background or if there’s heavy multitasking going on, this one application will be given preference over others – resulting in smoother and faster performance overall!

Of course, having too many high-priority applications can lead to an imbalance so make sure that only those which require extra resources are allocated higher priority levels while keeping all other tasks at normal levels for best results.

Also See: Solved: VT-x is not available (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX) Error [100% Fix]


We’ve explored how to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7. It’s an important step that can help keep your computer running smoothly and efficiently, and it doesn’t take long to do.

By setting the priority, you’re allowing your computer to prioritize the apps that you’re using most often, so that they get the best performance possible.

We hope this article has been helpful in showing you how easy it is to set CPU priority for your system. Now that you know how, go ahead and give it a try! Your computer will thank you for it.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...