How do I change process priorities?

in macOS edited January 2014
Well how?

For some strange reason those programs designed to do it (processWizard and Nicer) doesn´t work for me. Could it be because I´ve installed X.1.3?

In some cases I would like to give the most power to QT, also from paging routines, but I don´t know how to do it.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    sudo renice [priority] [PID]

    for example:

    sudo renice -16 544
  • Reply 2 of 7
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Thanks. I guess PID means the process/program I want to give more/less room. How do find what number that relate to which process? Will it only last to I quit that process? And what does the number mean? Higher equals more "attention"? And lastly: will the number give the process a certain amount of "more processor room" or just rank the active processes?

    Sorry if I am asking stupid questions but I am as un-UNIX as it gets.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    kaboomkaboom Posts: 286member
    Screw that unix crap!

    Just use this: <a href=""; target="_blank">Process Wizard</a>

    It's a menu that lets you adjust the priority on the fly very easily.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> "Unix crap", eh? Some people actually like to know how and why these "magic picture boxes" work and how to control them with better precision.

    That said, here's how "renice" works. The priority scale goes from -20 to 20, with -20 being high priority and 20 being low priority. By default, all apps you launch have a priority of 0. I never recommend renice'ing a process -20 because there's a chance, albeit slim, that it could make your system unresponsive. To get the PID (process identification) number, you can use one of several different tools. From the command line, you can use 'top' or from the Finder you can launch ProcessViewer (in the /Applications/Utilities folder). In ProcessViewer, simply select the process in question and click the "More Info" switch at the bottom of the window. The first thing listed in the "Process ID" tab should be the PID you need.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Actually Kaboom makes a good point. What makes OSX so great is that it's unix but you don't need to know unix. The original poster stated that he didn't know unix and there is a non-unix method for what he wants to do. This is a concept that the linux folks need to understand if they want to enlarge their user base to non-geeks. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
  • Reply 6 of 7
    stimulistimuli Posts: 564member

    ps -e | grep netscape

    to find netscape's PID

    That symbol in the middle (|) is 'pipe', it is shift-backslash, and backslash is right beneath delete.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    stimulistimuli Posts: 564member
    And yes, Apple should get off their lazy ass and write a task manager with a little search field, where if you type 'net' it limits the list to apps with that prefix. You then select 'netscape' and click a kill button.
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