ThreadPriority Enumeration

Specifies the scheduling priority of a Thread.

Namespace:  System.Threading
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[SerializableAttribute]
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public enum ThreadPriority

Member nameDescription
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkSupported by the XNA FrameworkLowestThe Thread can be scheduled after threads with any other priority.
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkSupported by the XNA FrameworkBelowNormalThe Thread can be scheduled after threads with Normal priority and before those with Lowest priority.
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkSupported by the XNA FrameworkNormalThe Thread can be scheduled after threads with AboveNormal priority and before those with BelowNormal priority. Threads have Normal priority by default.
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkSupported by the XNA FrameworkAboveNormalThe Thread can be scheduled after threads with Highest priority and before those with Normal priority.
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkSupported by the XNA FrameworkHighestThe Thread can be scheduled before threads with any other priority.

ThreadPriority defines the set of all possible values for a thread priority. Thread priorities specify the relative priority of one thread versus another.

Every thread has an assigned priority. Threads created within the runtime are initially assigned the Normal priority, while threads created outside the runtime retain their previous priority when they enter the runtime. You can get and set the priority of a thread by accessing its Priority property.

Threads are scheduled for execution based on their priority. The scheduling algorithm used to determine the order of thread execution varies with each operating system. The operating system can also adjust the thread priority dynamically as the user interface's focus is moved between the foreground and the background.

The priority of a thread does not affect the thread's state; the state of the thread must be Running before the operating system can schedule it.

The following code example shows the result of changing the priority of a thread. Two threads are created and the priority of one thread is set to BelowNormal. Both threads increment a variable in a while loop and run for a set time.

using System;
using System.Threading;

class Test
{
    static void Main()
    {
        PriorityTest priorityTest = new PriorityTest();
        ThreadStart startDelegate = 
            new ThreadStart(priorityTest.ThreadMethod);

        Thread threadOne = new Thread(startDelegate);
        threadOne.Name = "ThreadOne";
        Thread threadTwo = new Thread(startDelegate);
        threadTwo.Name = "ThreadTwo";

        threadTwo.Priority = ThreadPriority.BelowNormal;
        threadOne.Start();
        threadTwo.Start();

        // Allow counting for 10 seconds.
        Thread.Sleep(10000);
        priorityTest.LoopSwitch = false;
    }
}

class PriorityTest
{
    bool loopSwitch;

    public PriorityTest()
    {
        loopSwitch = true;
    }

    public bool LoopSwitch
    {
        set{ loopSwitch = value; }
    }

    public void ThreadMethod()
    {
        long threadCount = 0;

        while(loopSwitch)
        {
            threadCount++;
        }
        Console.WriteLine("{0} with {1,11} priority " +
            "has a count = {2,13}", Thread.CurrentThread.Name, 
            Thread.CurrentThread.Priority.ToString(), 
            threadCount.ToString("N0")); 
    }
}

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0
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