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How to use the Windows Task Scheduler - An Introduction

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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
50+ years in computer industry. Everything from development to sales. CIO. Document imaging. EE MVE 2015, EE MVE 2016, EE FELLOW 2017.
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief introduction to the Task Scheduler. It was inspired by a recent question here at Experts Exchange from a member who wants to play a different song at four different times during the day (every day). The video uses that as the example, but the intention of the video is to explain the general creation of periodic tasks that can cover a broad range of user requirements. The video was produced in Windows 10, but the Task Scheduler user interface is nearly the same in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (the Task Scheduler exists in Windows XP with similar functionality, but the user interface is different).

Video Steps

1. Run the Task Scheduler


In Windows 10, click the Start button and start typing task scheduler. By the time you get to the letter "k", you should see the Task Scheduler choice — click it.

There are different ways to run the Task Scheduler. For example, in Windows 7:
Start
All Programs
Accessories
System Tools
Task Scheduler


Step1

2. Create a new folder for your own tasks


Make sure Task Scheduler Library is selected/highlighted in the left pane (it should already be).

Click New Folder... in the Actions pane on the right, then give the new folder a name.

Step2

3. Create a new task in your new folder


Expand the Task Scheduler Library and select/highlight your new folder.

Click Create Task... in the Actions pane on the right.

Step3

4. Give the new task a name


The General tab will be selected. Enter a name for the new task in the Name field.

Step4

5. Enter a new trigger for your new task


Click the Triggers tab.

Click the New... button.

Step5a
Set whenever you want to run the task, then click OK. The video does it "On a schedule" that runs "Daily" at "6:00:00 AM".

Step5b

6. Enter a new action for your new task


Click the Actions tab.

Click the New... button.

Enter in the Program/script field the program to run (the video enters c:\music\song1.mp3, taking advantage of Windows launching the appropriate program for MP3 files). You may click the Browse... button to navigate to the program, add optional arguments, and/or specify what folder to start in. Click OK when done.

Step6

7. Repeat steps 3-6 to create additional tasks


You now have a new task in your own folder in Task Scheduler. You may repeat Steps 3-6 to create as many tasks as you want. For example, the EE member mentioned above would create a daily task for 12:01 PM to play song2.mp3; another daily task for 6:00 PM to play song3.mp3; and a fourth daily task for 10:00 PM to play song4.mp3.

That's it! Enjoy using the Windows Task Scheduler. If you find this video to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. Thank you for watching!
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Expert Comment

by:Yashwant Vishwakarma
Very Informative article .
Voted Yes as Good Video Tutorial :)
0
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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Hi Yashwant,
Thanks for the compliment and the upvote — both appreciated! Regards, Joe
0
LVL 60

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Hi nobus,

Thanks very much for letting me know. I was unaware that a question had been asked. I just submitted a bug report about this to the New Launch project:
Authors of articles are not notified when a question is asked

And the same problem exists with videos, which I had already reported more than eight months ago:
Authors of video Micro Tutorials are not notified when a question is asked

Thanks again for letting me know about the question — much appreciated! Cheers, Joe
1
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:nobus
no problemo - i know you for a long time now here
0

Expert Comment

by:Michael Okopedeghe
Thanks very Helpful and easy to follow.
Mike
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LVL 60

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
You're welcome, Mike. And thanks to you for joining EE today, watching my video, and endorsing it — much appreciated! Regards, Joe
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