Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a way to tell Windows to give certain programs higher priority for file system access? As an analogy, you can give a certain program higher CPU priority, so that you can keep using a certain program while a CPU intensive process runs in the background. I'd like to know if something similar can be done for file system access. The situation I'm running into is that I'm watching a movie on a hard drive. That drive is also having hundreds of gigabytes moved off of it. The video playback is extremely, unwatchably, choppy because of the large file move. So is there some way to tell windows to give my video player precedence when it comes to file access the same way you can give it CPU precedence?

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Are you talking about I/O prioritization?

You can change a process or thread's I/O priority with Process Hacker.

share|improve this answer
Process Hacker looks like it will do what I need. I figured it existed, even if hidden from users in some way, I just couldn't find anything through my usual googling tactics. Thanks very much! – Blair Mitchelmore May 30 '11 at 4:08

Windows does not have any facilities for setting disk access priority. I would recommend moving the file to another drive and use that for playback or transfer data from the drive when you don't need/want to watch a movie.

share|improve this answer
Windows 7 do have IO priority, background, for background tasks. The feature is designed for idle background process e.g. sync/software update – Dennis Cheung Aug 17 '12 at 1:47

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.