How to Set CPU Priority To Prefer Foreground Apps? [Easy Methods]

Did you know if you open an app, Windows automatically loads up a list of new applications in the background without you even knowing it? Well, that’s because Windows has it’s priority level to start and stop an app. If you want to keep Windows OS in control, you need to “Set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps.” The higher the priority of the application the higher time Windows will allocate to it.

So if you want to run foreground apps more than your background apps then stick around with me because in this article I’ll show you step by step on how you can set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps in Windows 10 with easy to understand methods.

Now then, let’s get started!

Set CPU Priority To Foreground Apps

Everything You Need To Know About Setting CPU Priority

If you aren’t interested in understanding the information you can always skip it and directly move on to the methods. However, it’s always good to learn new things. 🙂

CPU priority means the actual power given to a certain application. While you open the task manager, you see a whole bunch of applications running in there. But that’s not all Windows OS is running a lot of other apps in the background which isn’t visible in the Task Manager. These background apps start on its own and work for a specific period and then shuts down.

This is where setting up the CPU priority matters a lot. There are in total six priority level for any process to occur. Real-time, High, Above Normal, Normal, Below Normal, Low. The higher the priority of the app the longer and smoother it will run. All priorities are assigned by default, but luckily you can change it and assign a higher priority to applications that are more important for you.

But before you do that you need to keep in mind that it can create a problem for the system and it might get confused at times. The reason for the confusion is if you assign a low priority to any of the critical apps Windows might start reacting weird. So that is one thing which you need to keep in mind.

Don’t worry as I’ll show you two working methods to set CPU priority for foreground apps in Windows 10. If you are ready to be a Windows master, then let’s dive straight away to the methods.

How To Set CPU Priority To Prefer Foreground Apps?

Let’s get straight down to the methods, and yes you don’t need to be a technical expert to perform it. It’s a fun and easy process to set CPU priority in your Windows 10 PC.

Method 1: Set CPU Priority with Control Panel

This is a simple method to set CPU priority using Control Panel on your Windows 10 machine (or the version you’re using). Firstly, log in with administrator privileges in your account and follow the below steps:

Step 1: Click on the Start menu and search for Control Panel and click on the first option.

Step 2: Next up, search for the “System and Security” option and click on it.

System & Security

Step 3: Once you are in there. Search for “Settings” and click on it.


Step 4: Now navigate to “Advanced system settings” available on the left-hand side on your screen.

Advanced System Settings

Step 5: You’ll now see a “System Properties” popup. In it head over to the Advanced tab and go to Settings.

System Properties

Step 6: Now again you’ll have a Performance Options window popup. In there navigate to the advanced tab and check the Programs option under Adjust for best performance of.

Performance Options

Step 7: At last, click OK and Apply.

You have now set the CPU priority for programs that require higher CPU memory. There’s another alternative to this method mentioned down below.

Method 2: Tweak DWORD Value in Registry Editor

In this method, we will change the DWORD value to set the CPU priority from the Registry Editor. Follow the below mentioned steps to apply this method in less than 5 minutes.

Step 1: Open the Run dialog box by searching it from the Search bar or use the Windows + R shortcut key.

Step 2: Now type in regedit in the box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.


Step 3: Navigate to the following directory Registry key:


in the Registry Editor.

Registry Editor

Note: The above key differentiates between the priority level of the foreground and the background application. Usually, by default, the values for Win32PrioritySeparation are REG_DWORD 0, 1, or 2.

Step 4: Next up, double-click on the Win32PrioritySeparation present on the right side of the Registry Editor. You’ll then see a popup with Value name as Win32PrioritySeparation and Value Data of 2.

Value Data

Step 5: If you want to set the best CPU performance for the foreground apps change the value data from 2 to 26.

Foreground apps


If you want to set best CPU performance for the background app change the value data from 2 to 18.

Step 6: Once done click OK.

Bingo! You’ve successfully applied the DWORD registry method to boost your CPU priority for the foreground/background applications.


Tweaking the CPU priority to prefer both for foreground and background apps can be beneficial. But only if you do it correctly. After going through both the methods, you now know how to do it perfectly.

Make the best use of it by tweaking the priority by the type of apps you are using. Just make sure you don’t over do it because it will confuse the system and it will start reacting weird.

As it’s an easy process to do you can keep switching both the methods quite swiftly. Other than that if you have any further doubts feel free to leave a comment down below and let me know.

We have also written some other useful articles on our blog that are related to Windows Error consider checking them out. At last, thanks for taking the time and reading the article till here. You’re awesome!

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