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Windows Task Scheduler: changing task-priority

Reading Time: 2 min

Tags:  Windows

The default priority of processes run using Task Scheduler in Windows is below-normal. To be more precise, the default task-priority is 7 which comes under the below-normal process-priority category.

Task Priority Priority Category
0 Real-time
1 High
2-3 Above Normal
4-6 Normal
7-8 Below Normal
9-10 Idle
Priority categories in Windows

Below-normal priority works fine in most cases since Task Scheduler is primarily meant for running background tasks. But there may be cases where you want to run a normal task or even a task that you want to finish as soon as possible. For instance, I often use Task Scheduler to schedule TV recordings; this is a task which requires higher than normal priority on many computers.

Priority of a scheduled process as shown in Task Manager
The priority of a scheduled process as shown in Windows Task manager

Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the task-priority from within the Task Scheduler GUI. Here is one of the relatively easier ways to change the task-priority. Right click on the task in Task Scheduler and export the task as an XML file.

Export task as XML

Modify the element named priority in the XML file to the task-priority you want. For example, you could set priority to 5 for setting normal priority.

Modify XML to set priority to 5

Delete the original task from Task Scheduler

Choose the import task option either from right-click menu or actions sidebar to import the task back.

import XML markup of task into Task Scheduler using actions pane
import XML markup of task into Task Scheduler via right click menu