Tutorials Windows

How to Limit the Number of CPU Cores used by A Process on Windows

multi-core-processor
Written by Naveen Robsworth

The advancements in technology have increased the need for powerful computing devices and thus evolved the multi-core processing units which are capable of parallel processing. Each computer has a different CPU core configuration which makes it hectic for the developers to optimize their programs for all computers. So, most of the software you install on your PC would make a terrible waste of the computing power by not utilizing it efficiently.

If you open the performance tab in the Windows task manager, you will see the detailed CPU information of your PC and also the CPU utilization information. Usually, most software are programmed to utilize the CPU cores equally but it’s not always necessary that they share the load equally. Some of the programs usually utilize less power and hence it is unnecessary that it use all the cores. You might also find some rouge process which is hogging the CPU resources, and you want to limit its use by reducing the CPU cores for that process or may be you want to allocate more CPU cores to some process.

windows-task-manager

In such cases, you need to alter the number of CPU cores used by a process in Windows and you could do that simply from the Windows Task manager. If you know what’s wasting your CPU resources, proceed with the below procedure to limit the number of CPU cores used by a process on your Windows machine.

How to Limit the Number of  CPU Cores used by A Process

  1. Right-click on the Windows taskbar and select the “Task Manager” option to open the Windows task manager. You can also do this by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc buttons on your keyboard.
  2. In the Task manager, click on the Process tab (Windows 7) or Details tab (Windows 8/8.1/10) to see the list of process running on your PC.
  3. Right-click on the process you want and select “Set Affinity” to change the CPU cores number.
    process-select-affinity
  4. A new window will open which list the CPU cores that the process is using.
  5. Now select the cores which you want to set for the process and click OK.
    cpu-affinity

Note: Be wise while reducing CPU cores for any process. Make sure you’re not limiting resources to any system-critical process which might affect your PC performance.

That’s it. Now the process will only the limited cores until it’s active. Once the process is restarted, it uses all the cores by default.