Can I somehow modify htop's default view to display processes sorted by CPU usage? I want htop to "remember" my view/sort method.

If it's relevant, I'm currently on Xubuntu 13.10.

3 Answers 3


Run htop, press F6, select CPU%.

Quit by using F10

If it doesn't remember your settings check your ~/.config/htop/htoprc file if it is writable by your user. You might make it writable like this:

chown $USER ~/.config/htop/htoprc

Or you can try removing it and let htop generate a new one, maybe the old one is corrupted somehow.

rm ~/.config/htop/htoprc
  • Thank you. Well the thing is, the next time I run htop, it doesn't remember my selection.
    – henry
    Jan 5, 2014 at 21:41
  • @henry I updated my answer. Still doesn't help?
    – falconer
    Jan 5, 2014 at 21:47
  • Deleted the file, it's now sorted by CPU by default. Again, that is, don't know why it wouldn't switch back. Thank you.
    – henry
    Jan 5, 2014 at 21:53
  • 2
    Also, to save your settings when you quit, use F10 to quit instead of pressing q. Jun 17, 2017 at 2:51

I noticed I had to actually quit properly using F10 and not Ctrl + C for htop to save the sort by column.

  • Please make sure to write a complete answer instead of a partial one. Even though others may have provided the information doesn't mean it should be left out of your answer. You could also leave a comment in case you just wanted to let the poster know.
    – Xweque
    Feb 22, 2015 at 20:05
  • 2
    Whats wrong with my answer?? Feb 23, 2015 at 20:54
  • It's probably best to mention how to change the sort order in the first place.
    – LovesTha
    May 2, 2017 at 3:06

Other solutions are better, but if all else fails, you can make an alias for htop -s PERCENT_CPU.

  • This is useful when its not possible to transmit the F6 keypress - such as when connecting via Putty (Windows)
    – svandragt
    Jun 30, 2016 at 9:30
  • @svandragt Maybe I have a newer version of putty, but the F6 key is working on windows 7 with putty. Nov 4, 2016 at 14:51

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