How to Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps

Today I will show you how to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps with simple step-by-step instruction. It will let your computer to run more smoothly foreground apps.

Sometimes our computers get unable to run the desired application perfectly. It’s because of consistently running evil background app and process. Witch drains most of your CPU.

It’s all up to your computer’s CPU to prioritize applications. Most of the time, it provides more priority to background apps and process rather than foreground(running) apps.

How to Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps

The first and recommended way to change the CPU priority is Windows control panel. On the control panel, you can set CPU priority of your computer without altering any advanced settings.

Here’s how to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps in windows computers. Although, you can also do the same in a different way. But we will cover it later in the post.

Step 1: Open Control Panel

Firstly, open up the control panel on your windows computer. You can search for the control panel in the start menu.

Then select the control panel from the search result.

Searching in start menu in windows 10 to get control panel

Step 2: Go to System and Security

When you open the Control panel on windows, click on the System and Security title. As it is the first option and titled with green text.

System and Security title in windows 10 control panel

Step 3: Go to System

Then you will all options related to Windows system and security. Click on the System section.

System section in system and security section of windows

Step 5: Go to Advanced System and Settings

Click on the Advanced System and Settings option at the left side of the window

Advanced settings option in Windows 10 computer

Step 4: Open Advanced Tab

The System Property window will pop at your screen, just open the Advanced tab. Then click on the Settings button that located at Performance section.

Advanced tab to get performance settings option

Step 5: Set CPU Priority

Now you will get a window called Performance Options. Go to Advanced tab.

Select Programs option that located under Adjust for best performance of: at Processor scheduling section.

CPU Priority option to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps

Once done, Click on Apply button to confirm.

That’s it! Now your CPU would prioritize running programs rather than background services. It’s called as Processor Scheduling. Many gamers refer to processor scheduling for gaming. Most of the time it works completely fine.

But, this is so generic option as sometime your CPU may give higher priority to services like Windows Updates.

Set CPU Priority on Windows Registry

Guess what, there’s also an option to change CPU priority to foreground apps on Windows Registry. Windows sometimes may cheat you to run their background services. That’s why you can use Windows Registry as a solution.

Here’s the way to set CPU priority on Windows Registry SAFELY!

Step 1: Open Run Window

Firstly, open the Run window on your computer. Press Win + R button to get Run window. Write regedit and press Enter.

Run command to open Windows registry

Step 2: Navigate Registry Editor

Now you have Registry Editor, go to the following directory. The directory is shown at left pane of Registry Editor.

Just click on the folder to open directory.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > PriorityControl

Step 3: Set CPU Priority on Registry

When you are in the right directory, you will get Win32PrioritySeparation file. Just double-click on this registry file.

The registry file to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps

The Win32PrioritySeparation differentiate the priority CPU to prioritize the foreground apps or background services.

However, after double-clicking the registry file, you will get this window. By-default you will get 2 at Value data field.

The value in registry file to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps

To set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps, just change the value into 26 at Value data filed. Click OK button. Done!

Remember, if you want to set CPU priority to prefer background services, then you can set the value to 18. It would be best if you are running a server computer or a little bit like that.

Setting CPU Priority on Older Windows Computers

Although, you can also set CPU priority on older windows computer also. The mechanism is also quite same to an older windows computer.

The mentioned process can be also used on Windows 7, Vista, XP computers. Don’t forget the Windows Registry, you can also apply the registry settings to your older Windows also.

Cancel Background Service via Task Manager

If you still facing problem after setting CPU priority to foreground apps, it’s better to use Task Manager.

You may face CPU consumption on your computer due to any new background process. Maybe it’s some internal process or Windows updates. You can easily stop those background process to speed up your fore grand apps.

Step 1: Open Task Manager

You right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager to open the Task Manager window. Or you can Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc key to open Task Manager.

Step 2: Detect the background Process

When you get the Task manager, you see all apps and process that are using your computer resources. Firstly, detect the background app or process that is causing Hight CPU usage.

Step 3: End Task of the Background Process

After detecting the culprit process, right click on it and select End Task. Instantly the process will stop running and use your CPU

The option to end task of any background apps and process

However, you may unable to stop system process just like Malware removing process, Network removing and others. In those case, you should wait for a little moment to complete those processes. Or you can restart your computer.


  • You can set CPU priority for foreground apps especially if you are a gamer or wants to run applications faster.
  • If you are on a server computer, prioritizing background apps would be beneficial as most of the operation works on background.
  • Don’t put invalid value when you are using Window Registry as it’s may damage your computer system.

Setting CPU priority to foreground apps will let you use your application more smoothly. Although, new updated Windows 10 also provides a special feature for gamers, that when you play any games it reduces background process as much as possible.

It’s recommended to set CPU priority to your running apps as it would speed up your workflow or gaming!

1 thought on “How to Set CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps”

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