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Set or Change CPU Priority to Prefer Foreground Apps

Are you willing to prefer foreground apps running faster in your Windows 10 computer? Just follow the article to see how to do.

Two ways to set CPU priority to prefer foreground apps in Windows 10:

  1. Control Panel
  2. Registry Editor

Way 1: Adjust for best performance for foreground apps in Control Panel

After you sign in Windows 10 with administrator or account with administrative privileges, press Windows + X to open Quick Access menu. Click Control Panel option in the menu to open Control Panel.

Step 1: Navigate to "System Properties settings" through Control Panel.

1. Click System and Security in Control Panel and tap on System in "System and Security” window.

click system and security in control panel

click system in system and security window

2. In next System window, click the Advanced system settings option in the left pane to open System Properties dialog.

choose advanced system settings

Step 2: Change Performance settings for foreground apps.

1. Click on Advanced tab in System Properties dialog, and click Settings under Performance.

choose to change system performance settings

2. In pop-up Performance Options dialog, click Advanced tab again, and check Programs to "Adjust for best performance of Programs".

adjust best performance for programs

3. Click Apply and OK to finish.

Usually this option is set by default, so generally you don’t need to change it and your Windows has been optimized to prefer apps.

But if you want to adjust the best performance for foreground apps, you could also follow way 2 through registry editor.

Way 2: Change DWORD value to prefer foreground apps in Registry Editor

Step 1: Press Windows + R keys, type regedit in Run box, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Step 2: Navigate to following registry key in Registry Editor.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl

navigate to specified registry key

Note: The PriorityControl key defines the foreground vs. background priority differential. And the possible default values for Win32PrioritySeparation are REG_DWORD 0, 1, or 2, which specifies the priority to give to the application running in the foreground.

Step 3: Change value of Win32PrioritySeparation to make foreground apps perform the best.

Double click the Win32PrioritySeparation in the right pane of Registry Editor. And you can see its value data is 2 now. If you want to adjust best performance of Windows for foreground apps, just set the Value data as 26.

default value data for priority registry key

change registry key value data for prefering foreground apps

Tips: Suppose you want to adjust best performance of Windows for background processes or services, you can set the Value data as 18.

change value data for best performance of background apps

Because it doesn’t mean that you must choose "Adjust for best performance of programs". For example, if you use your PC as a server or if you constantly have to run background services, such as printing or disk backup etc, and you want them to respond faster, you can share processor resources equally between background and foreground programs by choosing the other option, ie. Adjust for best performance of Background Services or changing Win32PrioritySeparation value data as 18.

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