How to limit CPU frequency in Windows 11 and Windows 10 power settings

How to limit CPU frequency in Windows 11 and Windows 10 power settings

High CPU frequency, Turbo Boost, gigahertz and so on are great, but not in all cases. For example, if you use your laptop mostly on battery power and with low-resource-intensive applications, turning off frequency boosting and limiting the maximum CPU frequency will give you a quieter cooling system and longer battery life without lose a lot of performance.

This tutorial details ways to limit the maximum CPU frequency in Windows 11 and Windows 10 using the built-in power scheme controls, without resorting to third-party utilities.

Set the "Maximum CPU State" option in the Advanced Power Scheme settings

The first way is to adjust the power circuitry used when running on battery by setting the maximum CPU state below 100% – this will disable Turbo Boost acceleration (where the frequency can increase above the nominal frequency of the CPU) and even if we set it to 99% it will greatly affect load and heat consumption. The steps would be the following:

  1. Open Control Panel, to do this in Windows 11/10 you can use taskbar search. Put “View” in “Icons” and open “Energy”.
  2. Click "Power Scheme Settings" on the scheme you're using when running on battery (assuming it's a laptop and you're switching power schemes).
  3. In the next window, click on "Change advanced power settings".
  4. In the advanced options, expand the “Processor Power Management” section and set your own value to “Processor Max State”. It can be set separately for battery and mains.
  5. Apply the settings made.

This completes the process – the changes should take effect immediately.

It can be useful to set up two or more power schemes: one economical with frequency limiting and one for when high performance is needed. You can also switch between available power schemes more quickly: Programs to conveniently switch power schemes on your laptop or PC.

For example, on my main laptop with a hot Core i7-10870H I write articles in silent mode with limited frequency, and the CPU temperature stays within 35-40 degrees, without any issues. And when I need to edit video, I turn on the high performance power scheme.

Add “Maximum CPU Frequency” option to advanced power options

"CPU Max State" throttling may not work. In this case, it is possible to set the maximum CPU frequency. By default, this option is not available in the advanced power options.

To add the option to set the maximum CPU frequency, use one of the following methods:

In the Windows Terminal or in PowerShell

  1. Run Windows PowerShell or Windows Terminal as an administrator by right-clicking the Start button and selecting the appropriate menu item.
  2. Enter the command
    powercfg -attributes SUB_PROCESSOR 75b0ae3f-bce0-45a7-8c89-c9611c25e100 -ATTRIB_HIDE

    and press Enter.

In the registry editor

  1. Press the keys Win + R on the keyboard, enter regedit and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the registration section
  3. Double click on the parameter with the name Attributes in the right pane and set the value to 1 for him. Apply the settings made.

As a result, a new item “CPU Maximum Frequency” will appear under “CPU Power Management” in the Power Circuit Additional Settings.

The default setting is "0 MHz", with this selection the frequency is not limited. You can manually specify any frequency within the nominal frequency of your processor.

I hope that some of the readers will find the information presented useful. If there are any questions, ask them in the comments, I will try to answer them.

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