If you use the Windows Task Manager on a regular basis there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve tinkered with an application’s priority. This is typically accessed from the “Processes” tab when you right-click on one of the entries, and from there you can assign the particular process a priority that the OS will use to determine which applications/processes should be given special treatment.
Basically how the priority system works is that Windows will execute most processes as a “Normal” priority by default. If you go in and change the priority (or an app does it through the use of code) the system will give any processes that are higher on the totem pole the CPU time they need whenever they request it. Similarly you can specify lower priorities for those apps you care less about, which means they will be the first ones to forfeit their CPU time if it should succumb to that. An example would be giving the search indexer a higher priority so that new files on your machine are indexed as fast as possible, and maybe giving your instant messaging application a lower priority (unless your chat conversations are that important).
Process Priority Saver is a free Windows app that integrates into the native task manager, and lets you set a default priority level for any given process. That means the next time the app starts up it will continue with the priority that you had set for it previously, which would otherwise be set to the “Normal” level in most cases.
How does it work? Quite simply. Once this is installed (and after you reboot your machine) you should see a new option in the “Set Priority” menu called “Save Priority.” Easy and useful, a killer combination when it comes to freeware.