How to use Windows 10 Task Scheduler to automate tasks?

By Eunice Samson | February 4, 2019 |

greater than 6 minutes

Microsoft continues to develop ways to make computing tasks more convenient and easier for users. These days, there are simple steps you can follow to learn how to automate tasks in Windows 10. With the help of Task Scheduler, you will be able to run commands, start applications, and execute scripts at a pre-selected day and time. Moreover, you can choose specific events that will trigger the tasks. Basically, Task Scheduler will keep tabs of the events on your computer, executing certain actions whenever the specified condition is met.

If you want to learn how to configure Task Scheduler, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we are going to teach you how to create a basic task and an advanced task with the help of this tool. Moreover, we will share how to run, edit, and delete a task.

How to Create a Basic Task Using Task Scheduler

To create a basic task on Windows 10, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to your taskbar, then click the Search icon.
  2. Type “Task Scheduler” (no quotes), then click the top result to open the tool.
  3. Go to the left-pane menu, then select Task Scheduler Library.
  4. Now, you need to go to the right-pane menu or the Actions options. Click New Folder.
  5. Input a name for the folder you are about to create. For instance, you can type “PersonalTasks” (no quotes). Doing this step will allow you to separate your personal tasks from system and app tasks.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Go back to the left-pane menu, then expand the contents of Task Scheduler Library.
  8. Select PersonalTasks (or the new folder you created).
  9. Now, go to the right-pane menu, then click Create Basic Task.
  10. Input a short text inside the Name field, describing the nature of the task – for instance, Notepad Launcher. You can even create a longer description for the task in the Name field.
  11. Click the Next button.
  12. Select a trigger for the task. Keep in mind that Task Scheduler lets you choose from various triggers, including the following:
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • One time
  • When the computer starts
  • When I log on
  • When a specific event is logged
  1. Click Next.
  2. On the next page, indicate when you want the task to run. Click the calendar list beside the Start option to select the day. If you chose ‘Daily’ as the trigger option, you can also opt for the task to recur for every specified number of days. Do not forget to select the time on which the task will start. Click the ‘Synchronize across time zones’ option if you travel through different time zones often.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Once you get to the Action page, choose the ‘Start a program’ option to execute a script, launch an app, or run a command. You have the option to select ‘Display a message’ or ‘Send an e-mail’. However, do note that these are deprecated features. Since Microsoft is no longer maintaining them, they may or may not work. Here are the details:
  • Send an e-mail – This option will trigger your system to send an e-mail with a customized message on a chosen schedule. However, it will only work if you specify an e-mail server.
  • Display a message – When you choose this option, you will see a text message on your screen by the time the task starts on a schedule.
  1. Specify the path for the application in the ‘Program/script’ field. If you are not aware of the app’s path, you can select Browse to locate it.
  2. Optional: If you want to run the task with special instructions, you can type the conditions in the ‘Add arguments’ field. You can leave the ‘Start in’ field empty, but you can specify the folder in which the program will start in this field.
  3. Click the Finish button.

Completing the steps allows you to sake the task, letting it run on a schedule automatically.

Steps on Creating an Advanced Task Using Task Scheduler

  1. Click the Search icon on your taskbar, then type “Task Scheduler” (no quotes).
  2. Press Enter on your keyboard to launch the tool.
  3. Once Task Scheduler is up, go to the Actions menu at the left pane.
  4. Select the New Folder option.
  5. Type a name for the folder. You are free to choose whatever you like, as long as you can distinguish it from the system and app tasks.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Now, go to the left pane, then expand the contents of the Task Scheduler Library branch.
  8. Choose the folder you just created.
  9. Go back to the right pane, then select the Create Task option.
  10. Input a short descriptive name in the ‘Name’ field.
  11. Optional: You can type a longer description of the task in the Description field.
  12. You can select which administrator account can run the task in the Security options.

Note: The default user will suffice if you are using an Administrator account. However, you can select the ‘Run whether user is logged on or not’ option to keep the command window from appearing when the task runs automatically. Keep in mind that the Hidden option may not work.

Optional: If you need elevated privileges to run the task, select the ‘Run with highest privileges’ option.

  1. You should leave the ‘Configure for’ settings unless you need to use a different compatibility option.
  2. Go to the Triggers tab, then click New.
  3. Click the ‘Begin the task’ drop-down menu to select one of the following triggers:
  • On a schedule
  • At log on
  • At startup
  • On idle
  • On an event
  • At task creation/modification
  • On connection to user section
  • On disconnection to user section
  • On workstation lock
  • On workstation unlock
  1. You can opt to have the task run once, daily, weekly, or monthly. Once you’ve selected the task frequency, click the Start settings to choose when it should run. Do not forget to select the time.
  2. Optional: Under the ‘Advanced settings’ section, you can choose other additional options, including delaying, repeating, or stopping the task. You can also choose conditions that will trigger these extra options.
  3. Click OK to proceed.
  4. Click Action, then select the ‘Start a program’ option. As we’ve mentioned, you can also choose the ‘Send an e-mail’ or ‘Display a message’ options. However, there is no guarantee that they will work because Microsoft has ceased developing updates for them.
  5. Now, go to the Settings section and specify the application’s path in the Program/script field. You can also click the Browse button if you do not know the path of the application.
  6. Optional: You can specify the conditions by which the task will run in the ‘Add arguments’ field. You can leave the ‘Start in’ field empty.
  7. Click OK to proceed.
  8. Go to the Conditions tab.
  9. Optional: In the Conditions tab, you can select other conditions that will work with the triggers. The available options allow you to configure the Power settings according to your requirements.
  10. Once you are done, click OK.
  11. Click the Settings tab.
  12. Optional: In the Settings tab, you can choose additional conditions that will affect how the task will run. In most cases, you need to select the following options:
  • Run the task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed.
  • If the task fails, restart every…
  1. Click OK.

Once you’ve completed the steps, use your account credentials to authenticate the actions. You can expect the task to run automatically on your selected schedule or event trigger.

How to Run, Edit, and Delete Tasks on Task Scheduler

At this point, you already know how to schedule tasks on Windows 10. Now, we will show you how to run, edit, and delete tasks via Task Scheduler. Here are the instructions:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+R.
  2. Once the Run dialog box is up, type “tascksched.msc” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Go to the left-pane menu, then expand the contents of the Task Scheduler Library branch.
  4. Select the folder that contains your tasks.
  5. Running a task on demand: Select the folder, then go to the right pane and choose Run.
  6. Editing a task: Select the task folder, then go to the right pane and choose Properties. You will see a new window where you can edit the options and conditions for the task.
  7. Deleting a task: Select the folder, then click Delete on the right pane.

It is worth noting that Task Scheduler is also available in older versions of the Windows operating system. So, you can use the instructions we provided for Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and even older versions of the OS.

If you notice that some tasks or applications are running automatically without your intervention, check if they have been configured on Task Scheduler. If not, then it is possible that malware has found its way into your computer, affecting the behavior of the programs and services.

In this case, you will need a powerful security tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware. This software program will check your system memory for malicious programs that could be running in the background. Aside from that, it will check the safety of programs that are configured to start automatically in Task Scheduler. It will also analyze suspicious entries in the registry. The best part is, it will catch items that your main antivirus may miss. So, you can have the peace of mind you need with the knowledge that you have reinforced security in your computer.

Do you know any tips and tricks for using Task Scheduler?

Share them in the comments section below!

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