CPU Throttling, or dynamic frequency scaling, is a technique implemented in most operating systems, including the latest Windows 11, to adjust the clock speed of the processor dynamically. It’s a power-saving feature that helps manage the device’s energy use and heat generation.
CPU throttling is a normal and expected behavior in Windows that can help extend the life of your battery and prevent your computer from overheating, but it can also slow down your system's performance. If you are a power user or a gamer, CPU throttling can impact your PC's performance. So, disabling CPU throttling can fix these issues.
What is CPU Throttling?
CPU throttling, also known as Dynamic Frequency Scaling (DFS), is a technique used by computers and smartphones to manage the clock speed and temperature of the CPU (central processing unit) when it is running at maximum temperature. This is done to protect the CPU from overheating and damage.
All CPUs have a predefined TDP (Thermal Design Power) and a maximum allowed core temperature. When the CPU is under heavy load, it needs more power and generates more heat. CPU throttling helps to reduce the amount of power and heat generated by the CPU by slowing it down when it is not needed. It does this by dynamically adjusting the CPU's clock speed and voltage based on the system's power demands.
There are two main types of CPU throttling: Thermal throttling and Power throttling.
- Thermal throttling: When the CPU temperature reaches this threshold, the clock speed will be automatically reduced to prevent further heating.
- Power throttling: When the CPU power draw exceeds a certain limit, the clock speed will be automatically reduced to conserve power.
CPU Throttling in Windows 10/11 computers is a built-in feature designed by Microsoft to conserve power on battery-powered devices. When your CPU is working hard or getting too hot, Windows kicks in and slows things down a bit to prevent any potential problems and save energy.
This also helps to limit the resources used by background processes, ensuring that your battery lasts longer. The amount of CPU throttling that occurs will vary depending on the CPU and the computer's settings.
How to Check Which Processes are Using Power Throttling
Although Power Throttling is enabled by default, not every app uses it. If you are not sure which apps are using the power throttling feature in the background, you can easily find them using the Task Manager.
The Task Manager provides a comprehensive overview of all running processes and their related resource usage, including power throttling status. Here's the step-by-step process to do so:
- Right-click the Taskbar and select 'Task Manager' from the menu.
- In the Task Manager window, switch to the 'Details' tab.
- After that, right-click any of the column headers and select 'Select columns' from the context menu.
- In the Select columns window, scroll down and find the 'Power throttling' checkbox. Make sure the checkbox is selected, then click 'OK'.
- This will add a new column named 'Power throttling' to the Details tab. This column will show you whether power throttling is enabled or disabled for each process.
Modifying Power Plan Settings to Prevent CPU Throttling
In Windows, you have the freedom to tweak power settings to suit your needs. This can done through various power plans, each providing a unique balance between performance and power consumption.
The 'High Performance' plan prioritizes performance by minimizing power-saving features, including CPU throttling. Moreover, setting the minimum processor state to 100% ensures that the CPU operates at its full potential. Here's how to modify power plan settings:
- Open the Control Panel on your system.
- In the Control Panel, change the 'View by' setting to 'Large icons' (from the default Category view). Then, find and click on 'Power Options'.
- You'll see multiple power plans, such as Balanced, Power Saver, and High Performance. Select 'High Performance' to minimize power-saving functions and prioritize better performance.
- After that, click on 'Change plan settings' next to the High Performance plan.
- Then, click on the 'Change advanced power settings' link.
- When the Power Options dialog box opens, find and expand the 'Processor power management' option by clicking on the plus sign.
- After that, expand the 'Minimum processor state' and 'Maximum processor state' options. Set both values to '100%' to ensure the CPU always runs at full capacity. Simply click on the percentage value and type the value or use the arrow buttons to adjust the values.
- Then, click on 'Apply' and then 'OK' to save your changes to the power plan settings.
Disabling CPU Throttling via Power Settings
Power Throttling activates automatically when your laptop switches to Battery saver or Balanced Mode. So, the quickest way to disable the CPU throttling is to plug it into an outlet or switch to High-Performance mode. You can easily adjust the Power plans from the Power & battery section of the Settings app.
- Open the Settings app, and go to the 'System' settings. Then, click the 'Power & battery' option in the right section.
- Under Power & battery, scroll down and click the 'Power Mode' option in the right section. You will see three options:
- Best power efficiency: When you choose this option, the power throttling feature will be enabled. This mode prioritizes energy saving, so your CPU may not run at its maximum speed to reduce power consumption.
- Balanced: The power throttling feature is also enabled in the balanced mode. This mode provides a balance between power efficiency and performance.
- Best Performance: When you choose the best performance feature, the power throttling feature is turned off. This mode prioritizes performance, so your CPU will run at its maximum speed to deliver the highest level of performance.
Choose the Best Performance mode to disable CPU throttling and release your computer's full processing power.
Disable CPU Throttling for an Individual Process Through Task Manager
Boosting a process's priority in Task Manager can effectively disable CPU throttling for that particular process. Here’s how you do this:
- Open Task Manager by pressing
- Then, go to the ‘Details’ tab in the Task Manager window.
- To prevent CPU throttling from interfering with a particular process, locate it in the list, right-click on it, and choose ‘Set priority’.
- Then, select ‘Normal’ or any higher option.
This raises the process's priority, telling the system that this process should be given access to more resources, effectively reducing or eliminating CPU throttling for it.
Turning off Power Throttling using the Group Policy Editor
If you are a power user or an administrator who manages a large number of computers and users, you likely want to use the Local Group Policy Editor.
While it is primarily intended for IT professionals, standard users can also use it to configure various settings on their PCs. Using the Group Policy Editor, you can disable power throttling system-wide across all users. However, it is only available in the Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions of Windows 11.
- Search for
gpeditin the Windows Search and select the ‘Edit Group Policy’ control panel from the result.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to 'Power Throttling' settings using the below path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Power Management > Power Throttling Settings
- In the right-hand pane, double-click ‘Turn off Power Throttling’ to open the policy edit window.
4. Now, select the ‘Enabled’ option, click ‘Apply’, and then ‘OK’.
5. Restart your computer to apply the changes.
If you wish to turn back the CPU Throttling, navigate back to the ‘Turn off Power Throttling’ policy and set it as ‘Disabled’ or 'Not Configured'.
Turning off CPU Throttling using Registry Editor
If you are a Windows 11 Home user and don’t have access to Group Policy Editor, you can use the Registry Editor to turn off CPU throtlling. However, you should be cautious when using the Registry Editor, as making wrong changes can lead to severe system malfunctions. It's recommended to back up your registry or create a system restore point before modifying the registry.
regeditin the Run command box and hit
Enterto open Registry Editor.
- To create a backup of registry entries, click the 'File' menu and select 'Export'. Then, save the file to a desired location.
- Then, browse to the following location or copy-paste the below path in the address bar of the Registry Editor.
- Now, right-click the 'Power' folder choose 'New' from the context menu, and then select 'Key' from the sub menu.
- Then, rename the new key to 'PowerThrottling'.
- With the 'PowerThrottling' key selected, right-click on the right-side pane, and choose 'New' then select the 'DWORD (32-bit)' value.
- Now, rename the newly created 'DWORD (32-bit)' value as 'PowerThrottlingOff' and hit
- After that, double-click the 'PowerThrottlingOff' DWORD, and change its 'Value data' to
1, then click 'OK' to save the changes.
- Then restart your computer to apply the changes.
- To enable Power Throttling on Windows 11, repeat step 8, but this time, modify the Value data to
0instead of 1. Once done, click the 'OK' button.
Turning Off CPU Throttling for Specific Apps in Windows 11
Windows 11 gives you the power to decide which apps should be throttled to conserve battery power. If you want an app to run at full speed even when in the background, you can prevent Windows from throttling its CPU usage.
- Open the Settings app, go to the 'Apps' section, and select the 'Installed apps' option on the right.
- Under the Installed apps, find the app you want to exclude from CPU throttling and click the three dots button next to it. Then, select 'Advanced options'.
- Under the Background apps permissions section, click the 'Let this app run in background' drop-down and choose 'Always'.
By changing these settings, Windows prioritizes performance over energy efficiency when background apps are running. It puts the CPU into its high-performance mode to improve performance.
In addition to changing system settings, you can also use third-party software to maintain your PC's underclocking and undervolting to effectively prevent CPU throttling.
Underclock Your PC to Prevent Throttling
Underclocking the CPU can prevent CPU throttling. By underclocking the CPU, you are basically reducing its maximum clock speed, which will prevent it from reaching the point where it needs to throttle.
There are a number of different underclocking tools available online, but some of the most popular include Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU), AMD Ryzen Master, and ThrottleStop. Select a tool that is compatible with your CPU and operating system.
While underclocking can effectively prevent CPU throttling and reduce heat, it comes with a trade-off, it will also result in a decrease in overall system performance.
Disabling CPU throttling can provide a slight performance boost, but it can also lead to increased heat generation and power consumption. Therefore, it is generally recommended to only disable CPU throttling if you are running resource-intensive apps that require maximum CPU performance. When you do, closely keep an eye on your system's temperature and stability to make sure it operates within safe limits.