Windows Task Scheduler

Microsoft Windows includes a Task Scheduler utility that allows you to run programs automatically at a specific time and at a set interval.  This is useful for scheduling important administration tasks such as Windows Backup.

Use the buttons below to navigate through the lesson

To create a new scheduled task, click on Start.

Select Control Panel.

Select Switch to Classic View.

Double-click the Scheduled Tasks Folder.

Select the Add Scheduled Task Icon.

The Scheduled Task Wizard will appear. Click on Next to continue.

Select the Application from the list, if the application is not on the list then click on Browse.

For the sake of illustration the Windows calculator has been selected. Click on One time only to specify that this task should run once only.

Click on Next to continue.

Select a start date and time and click Next.

When the task starts it will run as if it was started by the displayed user. This can be changed here if needed, e.g. An administrative task may need to use the Administrator Account. Click on Next to continue.

Click on Finish to create the new task.

Right-click on the new task to view its advanced properties.

Select Properties.

The information and user you specified about the Task is displayed in the Task tab.

The Schedule tab can be used to change or fine-tune the time that you specified previously.

The options in the Scheduled Task Completed section allows you to delete the task if it will not be run again and specify how long the task should be allowed to run before it is stopped.

The options in the Idle Time section are a way to make use of otherwise non-productive PC time. You can specify how long the computer must be idle before the task begins, and whether to stop the task if the computer ceases to be idle.

Windows also provides a command line utility called AT for scheduling tasks. For more information on the AT utility type “AT” with the “/?” switch from the command prompt.  You can also schedule tasks over the network on remote machines as long as you have permission to do so on that machine. To open the schedule tasks folder on a remote machine type in its UNC path \\computername and open the scheduled tasks folder.