There are multiple ways to open Windows Task Scheduler, the handy utility that allows you to schedule tasks and automate processes in Windows. If you use this tool often, it’s important to learn how to open it quickly. While some of the methods to launch Task Scheduler are simple, others are a little more complex. Which one you use depends on how you prefer to access the utility.
1. Windows Search
The default method to open Windows Task Scheduler is a simple Windows search. It’s become the quickest option to open any app, tool, or setting if you don’t know where it is.
To open Task Scheduler:
- Open the Start menu.
- Type “task scheduler.”
- Select “Task Scheduler,” the top search result. If you need admin privileges, be sure to select “Run as administrator” under Task Scheduler in the pane on the right.
2. Pin for Easy Access
If you use Task Scheduler often, one of the easiest ways to open the utility is to pin a shortcut to the Start menu or taskbar. Then all you have to do is click the icon, and the tool is ready to use. While there are multiple ways to do this, I’m taking the more straightforward approach.
- Open Start and search for “task scheduler.”
- When the result appears, select either “Pin to Start” to pin a shortcut to the Start menu or “Pin to taskbar” to pin a shortcut to the taskbar.
For my example, I’m pinning the shortcut to the Start menu, so it should look similar to this when you open your Start menu.
Once your icon is added, drag it to place it exactly where you want it to appear in the app grid.
If you don’t have the above options in Windows 10, navigate to Task Scheduler’s file path instead. For a standard user, the path should be: “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools.”
However, your drive letter may be different if Windows is installed on a drive other than C: drive. Once you’ve found the correct path, right-click the icon and select “Pin to Start” or “Pin to Taskbar.”
3. Add Task Scheduler to the Desktop
If you’d rather have a desktop shortcut instead, it’s no problem. You can add Task Scheduler to your desktop and double-click the icon whenever you want to open the tool.
- Right-click any empty area of your desktop.
- Select “New -> Shortcut.”
- Type “taskschd.msc” in the item location box and press “Next.”
- Enter a name for the shortcut – you can stay with the default if you want – and click “Finish.”
You should now have a Task Scheduler shortcut on your desktop. If you want to rename it at any time, right-click the shortcut, select “Show More Options” (in Windows 11), and choose “Rename.”
A handy trick, though, is to use the desktop icon to create Start menu and taskbar shortcuts, too. If you create a desktop shortcut first and want to create the other shortcuts, follow these steps:
- Right-click the Task Scheduler desktop shortcut.
- Select “Pin to Start.” If you’re using Windows 11, select “Show more options” to see the “Pin to taskbar” option.
You’re free to delete the desktop icon after creating the other shortcuts.
4. Open From the Run Dialog
Using the Run utility is a great shortcut to open most anything on Windows if you just know the name and/or path. So naturally, it’s a great way to open Windows Task Scheduler.
- Press Win + R to open the Run dialog. Alternately, you can right-click “Start” and select “Run” or press Win + X + R.
- Type “taskschd.msc” and click “OK” to open Task Scheduler.
5. Create a Hotkey
Nothing could be easier than opening Task Scheduler with a simple key combination. You don’t need any third-party tools to do this. All you need is a desktop shortcut. If you don’t have one already, go back to section #3, create the shortcut, then jump back here.
- Right-click the desktop icon.
- Select “Properties.”
- Open the “Shortcut” tab.
- Type your desired letter for a Ctrl + Alt + letter hotkey. You can’t use letters that are already assigned to other functions/apps. In this case, “T” works well for Task Scheduler.
- Click “Apply” to create the hotkey.
If you want to create advanced hotkeys for other functions, check out these great AutoHotKey scripts.
6. Start Menu
While many users just use the search function, you can still open apps using the list of apps in the Start menu, and of course, Task Scheduler is one of the apps you can open.
- Select “All apps” at the top right of the Start menu to view apps in Windows 11.
- Scroll down the list and click “Windows Tools.”
- Select “Task Scheduler” from the folder that appears.
Try these handy Start menu customization tips if you’d like to tweak your Start menu to be more useful.
7. Add to Desktop Menu
The desktop context menu doesn’t include Task Scheduler by default. However, with some registry edits, Task Scheduler can be a right-click away at any time. If you’re not comfortable editing the registry, there are plenty of other ways to open Windows Task Scheduler. It’s not a complex edit, so if you’d like to try it, use these steps:
- Press Win + R and type “regedit.exe.” Press “OK” to open the Registry Editor. You can also search for “registry editor” from the Start menu and launch it from there.
- Navigate to the following registry key:
- Right-click “shell” and select “New -> Key.”
- Enter a name for the new key. Since it’s for Task Scheduler, I’m naming it “Task Scheduler.”
- Right-click the newly created key and select “New -> Key.”
- Name your new key “command.”
- Select “command.” In the right pane, double-click “(Default).”
- Type “Control schedtasks” in the “Value data” box. Press “OK” to save the changes.
- Exit the Registry Editor.
- Right-click any empty area of your desktop to try your new shortcut. Windows 11 users must select “Show more options” in the context menu first.
8. Use Command Prompt or PowerShell
You can open most anything on your PC using either Command Prompt or PowerShell. You just have to know the right command to use. No matter which one you choose to use, the command is the same.
- Open PowerShell or Command Prompt. You can search for it via the Start menu or by pressing Win + X, selecting “Windows Terminal,” and choosing PowerShell or Command Prompt.
taskschdat the prompt and press Enter. Task Scheduler is now ready to use.
9. Open via Computer Management
Computer Management is the aptly named location for accessing many useful Windows tools to manage your PC better. What you might not realize is that Task Scheduler is one of those tools.
- Press Win + X to open the Power Users menu or the “secret” Start menu.
- Select “Computer Management.”
- Select “Task Scheduler” in the sidebar.
10. Use Control Panel
The Control Panel method isn’t the quickest or easiest option for most users but is a valid way to access Task Scheduler.
- Open Start, type “control panel,” and select the result.
- Open “Windows Tools.”
- Open “Task Scheduler” from the list of settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I add Task Scheduler to the Power Users menu?
No. While the Power Users menu is incredibly useful, it would be even better if you could customize it. However, Microsoft has not added this option despite many requests for it.
Is any one method better than another?
No. As long as it’s a method that works well for you, that’s all that matters. All of them work equally well. Creating a hotkey or shortcut (desktop, taskbar, Start menu) is probably the fastest solution for those who use Task Scheduler often. Using the desktop menu option is also a speedy method.
Can I add other frequently used tools to the desktop context menu besides Task Scheduler?
Yes. You just need to edit the registry to add in the correct command. For applications, create the key using the same steps you used for Task Scheduler. However, enter the full path of the application in the “Value” box. If you ever want to remove a created item from the context menu, delete the keys you created.
You may also want to read a few tips to customize context menus further.
Image credit: Max DeRoin via Pexels
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