Changing Windows XP Process Priority

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Filed under: Windows XP 

When programs are running under the Windows XP operating system, the operating system ensures all running processes are allocated computer resources. Execution speed strongly depends on the amount of processor (or CPU) time is allocated to a process. And the CPU time is one of the resources that is distributed over the running processes.

The distribution mechanism is trying to allocate the processor time evenly, so all processes, or applications, get an equal amount of processing time. This way all applications will be running based on the amount of CPU time they are allocated. In some cases however, you might want one application to get more CPU time so that the application will run faster.

You can change the process priority to selectively speed up processes or applications. How to change the process priority is best answered by listing the steps involved:

  1. First start the Task Manager. You can press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc key combination, or right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the popup menu.
  2. Next, select the process tab in the Windows Task Manager.
  3. Now select the process you want to speed up in the process list.
  4. Right-click the process Image Name and from the popup menu select Set Priority.
  5. In the submenu, select the priority to Realtime, High or AboveNormal. By default a process will have Normal priority.

Note: You do need to realize that allocating a higher priority to a process, will result in that process receiving more CPU time than normal. This will mean that other processes will receive less CPU time. In effect you might notice a slowdown of other processes or applications. So use this option with consideration.

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