Allocate more system resources to Excel

Posted on 2007-10-04
Last Modified: 2013-12-10
Hello  Experts,

Is there a way ( Windows XP SP2  , MS Office 2003 )  to allocate more system resources - CPU time and/ or Memory  to certain applications - in my case - MS Excel ?

I would like to set aside , let's say,  50 % of CPU and Memory to Excel and the rest to go to the other programs and processes.

Thank you for your input.
Question by:RICuser
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Depending on your needs, you could just increase the priority of the Excel process in Task Manager.
    LVL 81

    Accepted Solution

    You are asking to do something that is virtually impossible to do. Changing the priority using the Task Manager is a one time deal - you would have to do that each time you launched Excel - and the results are very unpredictable given there are 100 other processes running at the same time.

    In general, most background processes are very well behaved and only take CPU cycles when they need them. Occasionally you will notice the system grind to a halt as these processes wait for some remote resource such as a network drive or website. Occasionally applications will go into a "save everything in site" mode and will hog the CPU for a few seconds. Windows can also decide to increase the virtual memory footprint which means slow going for a few minutes at best.

    If you avoid running multiple applications when using Excel you will be doing about all you can do. If your workbooks are slow all the time then consider upgrading your memory and/or your CPU. If your box is more than five years old then you can significantly improve performance by just purchasing a new box. If less than five years old consider wiping the boot drive and reinstalling Windows - Windows installations degrade over time (I rebuild my boxes about once a year). Keep mounted network drives to a minimum. Run a disk defragmenting utility (I use Executive Software's Diskeeper). Check for bad things periodically - they can really suck the life out of your box.

    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    You can start excel with the START command (or put it in a batch file)
    eg c:\program files\Microsoft office\office11\excel.exe /Abovenormal

    This will allow you to specify the processor priority without having to restor to the task manager each time  eg
    /HIGH Start application in the HIGH priority
    /REALTIME Start application in the REALTIME priority
    /ABOVENORMAL Start application in the ABOVENORMAL priority
    /BELOWNORMAL Start application in the BELOWNORMAL priority

    see for other options

    Warning: chnaging the priority of programs can casue issues with others programs.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    I messed up the example:

    start "c:\program files\Microsoft office\office11\excel.exe" /Abovenormal

    see the link for more examples

    Author Comment

    Basically KrisKaBob ' s and KCTS 's solutions do the same trick , KCTS's saves more time and mouse clicks .
    zorvek proposes more general approach and this solution will contribute to the overall health and speed of the system as a whole.

    Thanks for your input.

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