You may have noticed that when you run applications on your Windows PC, their allocated processor resources vary. This happens because the resources of your system are limited. So, Windows assigns a priority level for each program, to determine how much “power” it can be granted. Typically, Windows applications and processes are prioritized into the following levels:

  • Realtime
  • High
  • Above normal
  • Normal
  • Below normal
  • Low

The higher the priority level is assigned to the process, the more resources the app is allocated — and the better it runs.

Now, by default the priority levels are assigned to different processes automatically by the Windows system. However, you do have the option of altering them manually. In the guide below, we will tell you how to change process priority for running processes using, Command Line, Task Manager and PowerShell.

There are three ways to change the priority level of processes running on your machine. You can do this using the following methods:

  • Change the priority in the Task Manager.
  • Set the process priority, using PowerShell.
  • Set the priority level using Command Prompt.

Here’s How to Change the Priority of a Windows 10 Process via the Task Manager

In order to set the priority of a task in Task Manager, do the following:

  • Right-click the Start button and select Task Manager.
  • Click the down arrow icon at the bottom for More details.
  • Go to the Details tab at the top of the window.
  • Locate the process or processes for which you want to change the priority.
  • Hover the cursor over Set Priority.
  • In the context menu, choose the priority level you want to assign to a particular process.
  • Now, click the Change Priority button and close the Task Manager.

Here’s How to Change the Priority of a Process via PowerShell

Another way to change a priority level of a process in Windows 10 is by using PowerShell. However, PowerShell doesn’t present the priority levels in “human” terms. Instead, you will be choosing which level to assign to the task based on the level’s designated ID. This makes things a bit more complicated but we have listed the meaning of the ID codes below for your convenience:

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

Now that you know the IDs, you can proceed with the following steps:

  • On your keyboard, press the Win key and run a search for PowerShell.
  • Click the first search result.
  • In the PowerShell window, enter the command below and hit Enter:

Get-WmiObject Win32_process -filter ‘name = “ProcessName.exe”‘ | foreach-object { $_.SetPriority(PriorityLevelID) }

  • In the command above, instead of ProcessName, enter the name of the process (app) for which you want to change the priority level. Instead of PriorityLevelID, enter the needed priority level code.

Here’s How to Change the Priority of a Process, Using a Command Line

Finally, you can also change the priority level of an on your PC by using Command Prompt. Here’s how:

  • On your keyboard, press the Win + R key combo to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type in “cmd” (no quotes) and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • In the Command Prompt window, enter the following command and press Enter:

wmic process where name=”ProcessName” CALL setpriority “PriorityLevelID”

  • In the command above, replace ProcessName with the name of the program that you want to change the priority level for.
  • You will also need to change PriorityLevelID to the corresponding ID from the table above. Yes, with Command Prompt, you have to use number IDs for priority levels just like with PowerShell.

However, if you prefer to use the actual names of priority levels (just like with Task Manager), you can use a different command to make it happen. Here it is:

wmic process where name=”ProcessName” CALL setpriority “PriorityLevelName”

In the command above, you will need to change ProcessName to the name of the process and PriorityLevelName to the priority level you want to use. In this case, you can use actual level names: Realtime, High, Above normal, Normal, Below Normal or Low.

How to Stop a Process from a Command Line on Windows 10?

Finally, if you want to simply stop one of the processes running on your PC, you can also do so via Command Prompt. Here’s how:

  • Open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
  • Type “tasklist” (no quotes) to see a full list of processes currently running on your PC.
  • If you want to stop a process, you can do it by either using the process’s name or its PID (PID is a unique decimal number assigned to the process).
  • To stop a process using its name, enter the following command:

taskkill /IM “process name” /F

Note: You need to replace “process name” with the name of the process that you want to stop.

  • If you want to stop a process using its ID, enter this command:

taskkill /F /PID pid_number

Note: You need to replace “PID number” with the number of the process.

There you have it — the process has been stopped and is no longer occupying your system resources.


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