If you want to know how to prioritize tasks in 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. 

Do you know how to set a priority in the 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.

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

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.

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

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? 

How to Set Priority from the Details Tab

Here’s how to change the priority of a process in 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 normalin 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 in 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) }
PowerShell Get-WmiObject

You can change the priority level and the process name as you want. The table below allows you 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.


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.

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

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.

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.