If you want to know how to prioritize tasks Windows 10, this quick guide will help you. One advanced and practical way to boost your PC performance is to change the process priority. Setting the process priority is easy, but it can be tricky if you don’t have the right instructions. 

So how to set priority in task manager? And what is even process priority? This guide will answer these questions and more. 

Let’s begin.

Understanding Process Priority

Computers rarely perform multitasking. Your computer is actually moving between them while it is managing numerous apps or background processes at once.

There is a limit to the number of tasks that can run simultaneously, even in computers with multi-core processors. So, it’s important to manage the time assigned to each task. 

Also Read: CPU Cores Explained: Does the Number of Cores Affect CPU Performance?

Your computer must establish a priority system to determine which jobs are more crucial to appear to be functioning in real time.

The process priority determines the “importance” of each task. Tasks essential for the smooth operation of your PC get priority, mainly system processes rather than standard applications. 

This ensures that your computer’s core operations continue running normally, even when working hard.

What Are the Various Levels of Process Priority?

Like a ranking system, process priority is separated into numerous levels. Processes are ranked from most important to least important in this order.

There are six priority levels in Windows, but you or other apps can only change five. Let’s go through them: 


Most applications operate at this standard priority level.

Below Normal

Fewer resources are assigned to processes at this level than standard applications. This makes them appropriate for less essential activities without strict deadlines.


Windows’ lowest priority level is where activities only receive resources after other processes have finished.

Above Normal

This level is marginally above average and can be applied to tasks that require a modest performance boost without competing with system functions.


Reserved for vital system operations required for efficient computer functioning. It is not suggested for regular user applications.


This is the highest priority level where tasks run in real-time, interfering with other processes. System crashes may result from utilizing it for routine applications when it is intended for hardware interfacing tasks.

It’s usually advisable to stick with “Normal” and occasionally “Above Normal” priority levels for routine jobs. Leave the lower levels for less significant background tasks and the higher levels for system processes.

In the next sections, we’ll go through how to change priority in task manager.

Related: How to Keep the Task Manager’s CPU Data in Windows 10 Tray? 

Setting Priority from the Details Tab

Here’s how to change the priority of a process Windows 10

  • Type “Task Manager” in the search bar and click on it to open. Alternatively, press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open “Task Manager.”
  • Click on the “Details” tab and right-click the preferred process. 

Task Manager Details

If you want to know how to set high priority in Task Manager, this is the easy way. However, you’ll have to restart your computer to see the effects of the change. 

Changing Priority Via Task Manager Using Command Prompt

Here’s how to prioritize tasks in Task Manager using Command Prompt

  • Type “Command Prompt” in the search bar, right-click, and select “Run as administrator.” 

Run Command Prompt as Admin

  • Enter “wmic process where name=”firefox.exe” CALL setpriority “Above normal” (without quotes) in the command prompt when it starts. 

command prompt above normal command

  • Alternatively, you can use a numerical value to set process priority. For example, you can set a value like this “wmic process where name=”msedge.exe” CALL setpriority 32.”

However, the process you want to change needs to be running before you set this command. You can change the process name and priority level as needed. Here is the list of priority values you can set: 

Realtime High Above normal Normal Below normal Low
256 128 32768 32 16384 64

Using PowerShell to Adjust Priority

Here’s how to prioritize tasks Windows 10 using PowerShell: 

  • Enter “PowerShell” in the search bar, right-click “Run as administrator,” and click on it to open. Alternatively, press “Windows Key + X” and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin).” 

Windows Powershell Run as Administrator

  • Copy and paste the following command into PowerShell: “Get-WmiObject Win32_process -filter ‘name = “msedge.exe”‘ | foreach-object { $_.SetPriority(32768) }” (without quotes.)

PowerShell Get-WmiObject

You can change the priority level and the process name as you want. You can use the table below to choose the preferred priority level. 

Realtime High Above normal Normal Below normal Low
256 128 32768 32 16384 64

Also Read: Quick Tips: How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows 10

Launching Applications with Specific Priority Using Command Prompt

If you want to know how to start applications using the command prompt, follow the steps below: 

  • Type “Command Prompt” in the search bar, right-click on it, and select “Run as administrator.” 
  • Enter the following command: ” /AboveNormal ” C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\msedge.exe”

You can use this method to launch Microsoft Edge with an “Above Normal” priority. Choosing the right approach gives every program a varied priority level.  

If you want to know how to increase priority in Task Manager, select the “Details” tab if you don’t want to use the command prompt or PowerShell. 


If you want to know how to set priority in Task Manager, follow this guide. We’ve discussed the effective ways to set process priority for smooth operation and prevent system errors.

Process priority is especially helpful when you need to provide software that uses many system resources with higher degrees of priority.

For example, choosing a higher priority level can improve the performance of a game with high system needs. In some cases, raising the priority level can even assist in fixing game crashes.


Why Can’t I Set Priority in Task Manager?

If you can’t set priority in your Task Manager, the process might not enable priority changes, or you might not have administrative rights. You can’t change the priority of some system-critical processes.

How Do I Set Performance Priority in Task Manager?

The process is simple. Right-click on the process in Task Manager’s “Details” tab and select “Set priority.” After that, choose the preferred priority level.

What Is the Best Priority in the Task Manager?

For most applications, “normal” priority is the ideal option. You should limit using “Realtime,” if at all, and “High” priority should be saved for crucial system tasks.

What Happens If I Set the Priority to High?

Increasing a process’s priority to “High” allows it to receive additional CPU time, which can enhance performance. It should only be used for essential tasks because excessive use can reduce your system’s responsiveness.