A. It is possible to start an application at a priority other than normal, however if you run applications at high priority THEY may slow performance. Priorities range from 0 to 31, 0 - 15 are used by Dynamic applications, such as user applications and most of the operating system parts, 16-31 are used by real time applications like the kernel which cannot be written to the page file. Normal priority is level 8 (NT 3.51 normal was 7). The full list is
- realtime, priority 24
- high, priority 13
- normal, priority 8
- low, priority 4
- abovenormal 10 (Windows 2000 only)
- belownormal 6 (Windows 2000 only)
To start an application at a priority other than the default use the start command, e.g.
start /<priority> <application>, e.g. start /high winword
To do the same thing from a shortcut just use:
cmd /c start /<priority> <application>
Be warned that if you run applications at high priority, that may slow performance as other application get less I/O time. (See also, "How can I improve I/O performance?"). To use the /realtime option you have to be logged on as a user with Administrator privileges.
To modify the privilege of a currently running application use Task Manager
- Start Task Manager (Right Click on the Start Bar and select Task Manager)
- Click on the Processes tab
- Right Click on the required process and select "Set Priority"
- You can then select a different priority
- Close Task Manager
It is also possible to increase the priority of whichever application is currently in the foreground, as opposed to the background processes.
- Start the System Control Panel Applet (Start - Settings - Control Panel - System)
- Click the Performance tab
- In the Application Performance tab move the arrow
- None - The foreground application runs the same as background applications (quantum value of 6)
- Middle - The foreground application has its priority increased to a quantum value of 12, background applications stay the same.
- Maximum - The foreground application has its priority increased to 18, background applications stay the same.
See also, "Thread priority."