Setting a Higher Priority for Scheduled Tasks in Windows Task Scheduler

Posted by SysAdmin Tools on

While Windows Task Scheduler is an incredibly versatile tool for automating tasks, there are moments when the GUI doesn't offer all the configurations one might desire. One such overlooked feature is setting the priority level of a task. But don't worry, there's a workaround for that!

Why Set a Higher Priority?

Setting a higher priority for a task ensures that it receives more CPU time than tasks with a lower priority. This can be crucial when you want to ensure a specific task completes as quickly and efficiently as possible, especially when the system is under heavy load.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Export the Task:

    • Open the Task Scheduler (taskschd.msc).
    • Locate and right-click on your desired task.
    • Select Export and save the XML file to an easily accessible location.
  2. Modify the XML File:

    • Open the XML in your favorite text editor.

    • Locate the <Priority> tag.

    • Adjust the priority value as desired:

      Priority Level Value
      Real Time 0
      High 1
      Above Normal 2
      Normal 3
      Below Normal 4
      Low 5
      Background 7
  3. Import the Modified Task Back:

    • Return to Task Scheduler.
    • Delete the original task to avoid duplication.
    • Right-click on the parent folder or library and choose Import Task...
    • Navigate and select your edited XML file.
    • Review the settings and click OK.

Important Note: Always ensure to test your modified task to guarantee its correct functionality.


Though Task Scheduler's GUI might not provide a direct option for setting task priority, a quick XML modification does the trick. So, the next time you have a crucial task that needs more CPU time, remember this trick to give it the priority it deserves! Happy scheduling!

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