Win32 Priority Separation

I usually have my PC on for days and weeks, after a while I notice my system processes slowing down even though I have a few programs running and I came to realize that this was because even though I had shut down the other programs, they were still running in the background. To fix this, I would usually restart my system because this should optimally stop everything running in the background causing my programs to run a bit faster. But just like you guessed, this seems a little overboard. This article explores Win32 priority separation as an alternative to restarting the Windows PC. We discuss what the Win32 Priority Separation is all about, remarkable facts about the feature and how to use it.

Page Contents

What is Win32 Priority Separation?

The Win32 priority separation is a feature that allows users to optimize the processor time for programs on the foreground and in the background. Although the feature has been set automatically, users are still allowed to manually tweak the programs running on their foreground and background to obtain a more optimized user experience.

The value of the Win32 priority separation is a 6-bit bitmask which is made up of three sets of pairs of bits with values that can be changed to optimize your system. So for example, if the six-bit is AABBCC, the three sets of pairs of bits are AA, BB, and CC.
The first pair of bits – AA – is the highest bits that determine how long or short the processor intervals are
The second pair of bits – BB – determine if the intervals are fixed or variable.
The last pair of bits – CC- determine whether the foreground processes get more processor time compared to the background ones.

Remarkable Facts About This Feature and Its Benefits

The selling point of this feature is that it allows you to tweak your system processes thereby maximizing performance and optimizing performance time. It has the ability to perform low-level tweaking of thread performance. It allows you to have control over the amount of processor time allocated to each process.

Here’s How to Use Win32 Priority Separation

There are two ways to optimize your system performance using the Win32 Priority Separation:

Tweak System Properties –

You can adjust your system’s performance based on your specific needs. To do this –

  • Hold down the Windows key + R to launch the dialogue box
  • Type sysdm.cpl into the dialogue box and then click Enter
  • On the System Properties, navigate to the advanced tab and choose settings under      the Performance header
  • From the performance options window, select the advanced tab once again
  • You can adjust for best performance for either Background services or programs
    Select Background Services if you want priority to be given to background processes and programs if you would rather priority be given to foreground processes.
  • Press Ok and close all windows
  • Restart your PC

Using Registry Editor (REGEDIT) –

You can optimize your PC using the registry but you have to adhere to the rules strictly as any unusual changes could corrupt the files. To use the registry editor –

  • Hold the Windows key + S to bring up the search box
  • Type Regedit into the search box
  • Select the Regedit run command from the search results
  • Click on Allow to let the program make changes to your system

    Win32 Priority Separation
  • Double click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE from the list on the left-hand side to reveal a dropdown
  • Click on SYSTEM and then ‘CurrentControlSet
  • Double click on Control
  • Select Priority Control to reveal a list on the right-hand pane.
  • Right-click on WIn32 priority separation
  • Select Modify
  • The Edit DWORD(32-bit) window that pops up has the value 2 as default
    Change value data to 26 for Hexadecimal as Base or 38 for Decimal as base
    Click OK to save changes and then reboot your PC to save changes

Between these two processes, you should notice improvements in your PC and a noticeable decrease in lag time.