Scheduling a task in Windows is a good way to carry out repetitive actions while reducing manual inputs. This tutorial covers how to automate and schedule tasks in Windows. We will explain the steps using native apps, such as Task Scheduler and a third-party software Shutter.
Also read: How to Set Up Reminders in Windows
Using Task Scheduler in Windows
For scheduling tasks automatically, Windows has a built-in app called Task Scheduler. It is one of Windows's essential administrative tools along with Computer Management, Performance Monitor, Registry Editor, Internet Information System (IIS) Manager, and Services.
When you launch the program, a simple interface greets you. There are three vertical panes for navigation ease. To perform any task scheduling, you should select “Task Scheduler library” first.
While you can easily create the task scheduler in the main folder, “Task Scheduler library,” it's recommended to create a new subfolder to separate your scheduled tasks from system activities. Select an the “New Folder” option visible in the rightmost pane and give the folder a desired name.
Once done, click on the Task Scheduler library arrow to select the newly created folder. In the below screen, this folder already has a created task based on the Command Prompt, which is shown selected as the default option. To create a new custom task, go to the rightmost pane and select “Create Basic Task.”
Once the "Create Basic Task Wizard" is open, give a name and simple description to what you want to achieve. In the following task, the aim is to launch the Microsoft Edge browser automatically upon logging on to Windows, so we will create a task scheduler for it.
In the next stage, you need to decide the frequency with which you want this task to be performed automatically. This can be decided on a one-time basis, daily, weekly, monthly, as soon as the computer starts (that will burden the Startup menu), or when the user logs in, which has been chosen in this case.
Which action do you want the task to perform? Chosen in this example is “Start a program.” You can also send an email or display a message.
In the next stage, you need the exact program location which will be triggered when the scheduled time comes. This can be gathered from the File Explorer of your Windows device. But there's an easier way to locate the precise program.
Go to the Windows search box and look at the desired program to be launched from Task Scheduler. Click “Open file location” to trace the complete original path of the program.
As shown here, the program launch menu path is visible in a new screen. We only need to retrace this path and open it from the “Create Basic Task Wizard” menu.
The desired program - Microsoft Edge - is visible in the Task Wizard “Start a program” menu. Click “Next” to proceed.
Before applying changes, you will get a summary of the scheduled task. Click “finish” to finalize the setting.
Make sure you choose the right operating system for the created task in Task Scheduler. If you want to run the program as an Admin user, you should select “run with highest privileges,” which will lead to a confirmation on your System logon screen. Our created scheduled task is now ready and will be launched on a successive logon attempt.
Edit a Task in Task Scheduler
Editing a task in Task Scheduler is very easy. Navigate to the exact folder and desired task, right-click and review all the available options.
To edit the task, right-click the selected task and go to “Properties.” Once you do it, all the triggers and actions which you previously designed can be recreated.
To delete a task or folder in Task Scheduler, select the desired task or folder and click the “Delete” option.
Using Shutter to Schedule Task in Windows
If you don't want to use Windows Task Scheduler, you can also use Shutter to achieve the same results. Run the installer from the download link, and the installation takes just a few seconds.
Shutter requires you to select a consent button which states this software will only be used for non-commercial purposes. To create a new event, select the “Add” option.
A new dialog box will open from which you can choose different kinds of events. Shutter allows the following events: Countdown, on time, weekly, Winamp stops, CPU usage, network usage, hard disk usage, battery, window, process, ping stops, file size, and Lid. In the following menu, we have chosen “user inactive” after 45 minutes of inactivity.
Once you manually start the event, you will find an alert on the system tray. You can stop the event at any time.
From “Options,” you get to choose what the event is expected to do. You can autorun it during Windows logon for all users or only one user and minimize the system tray.
Here we have learned how to use Task Scheduler and other Windows apps to schedule and automate a task in Windows. You may also want to know how to solve various Windows 10 errors such as with the TaskSchedulerHelper.dll file.
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox