Windows 10 Task Scheduler fears and concerns

Tom Knowlton
Tom Knowlton used Ask the Experts™
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How can you know for sure that a scheduled task is legitimate?

If I delete all the tasks I find - will it cause windows to crash?

How are programs able to create scheduled tasks without my knowledge?  Is that normal?

Can you set a security flag that requires human approval before a scheduled task is created?

I found a script to delete all scheduled tasks via the command line, but it leaves the folders behind.  Is there a way to go through and delete all empty task schedule folders?

Thank you!

Tom
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Windows, Vendors (Lenovo) and like things create a lot of scheduled tasks. None have ever caused issues for me or my clients. These are normal.

So look on to tasks you have created and make sure you have scanned for malware regularly.
Shaun VermaakTechnical Specialist
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
How can you know for sure that a scheduled task is legitimate?
Check the program binary that it executes, is it a known application that you installed, is it signed with a certificate. Does the task have a proper name (at1 at2 at3 is suspicious)

If I delete all the tasks I find - will it cause windows to crash?
Windows has some scheduled tasks for optimizations etc. so I wouldn't delete without checking.

How are programs able to create scheduled tasks without my knowledge?  Is that normal?
When you install applications.

Can you set a security flag that requires human approval before a scheduled task is created?
You can fiddle with the tasks folder permission but I wouldn't.

I found a script to delete all scheduled tasks via the command line, but it leaves the folders behind.  Is there a way to go through and delete all empty task schedule folders?
Do not delete the folder. I would not use such a script though
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Download autoruns (Microsoft), execute it as admin. All that you see is started automatically - a whole bunch of things you have never heard of. Now would you worry, just because you never heard of those?
Or download and run procmon (again Microsoft) - each millisecond, dozens of actions happen on your pc and you don't know what is being done nor for what reason. That's computing. You have to live with it.

As for the reasons why tasks can get installed: as Shaun wrote: each installation can possibly add tasks, because installations request administrative privileges and when the setup has been granted those, it can do anything.
So if you are really worried, you would have to monitor and Analyse any change that a setup does. That is a full time job.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
So long as good vendors create the tasks we have zero issues. No time for monitor user task so we say no to that.
Tom KnowltonWeb developer

Author

Commented:
For a while, my computer was locking-up (could not move mouse pointer) and then rebooting on its own ... every 27 minutes.  This is what made me think maybe a scheduled task (legitimate or otherwise) was running and causing this to happen.

Thanks for the replies.  I'll be back to assign points here in a minute.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Before you declare this "solved" - could we help you with something?
You can list task history for example to see what task ran when. schtasks.exe can query that.
Tom KnowltonWeb developer

Author

Commented:
Thank you.

It's still doing it, but I am not positive this kind of thing can be solved except through long trial and error.  But at least now I have some paths to go down.

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