There are some evaluations which are automatically parallelized or multithread if there are cores available.( for example, Eigenvalues)

But I don't want the evaluation to be automatically multithreaded, I want it to use only one core. How can I do it?

  • $\begingroup$ Notice that you can run 2 threads on one core too, only if you have multithreaded processor. But it is not the same thing as parallel computing. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba Yeah! I always noticed this. Sometimes, my parallel evaluations automatically became several 50% cpu running, If there are other people running their calculation on the same remote computer $\endgroup$
    – matheorem
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a list of which functions automatically multithread? $\endgroup$
    – SPPearce
    Mar 3, 2017 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


For Eigenvalues this will work:

SetSystemOptions["ParallelOptions" -> "ParallelThreadNumber" -> 1]

For functions which are using MKL libraries you can also use:

SetSystemOptions["MKLThreads" -> 1]


It is wrriten there that you can reset it to the defaults by "ParallelThreadNumber" -> $ProcessorCount. But if you have cores that can be multithreaded then this number can be greater than $ProcessorCount.

  • Somewhere in documentation center is example with "MKLThreads" (I know it from there) but I can't find it :) I appreciate link if someone knows it :).
  • $\begingroup$ MKL libraries? I don't have an idea about "MKL libraries". What is this? $\endgroup$
    – matheorem
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ Math kernel library is used by for example Solve. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ Its kind of an all in one math antibiotic for your Intel processor kernel ;) $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2013 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba It seems that it is undocumented? If I set it to one, After I restart the mathematica, can the value be back to one? $\endgroup$
    – matheorem
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Kuba Oh, SetSystemOptions["MKLThreads" -> 1] actually works for the NIntegrate. My fault. Thank you for your help! But I still wish you could look at the post I mentioned, there are peculiarities which I can't understand. $\endgroup$
    – matheorem
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:57

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