The Windows Learning Center

How to Use Task Scheduler with Advanced Settings


Learn how to use additional features of Windows 7 Task Scheduler for better versatility in running programs and scripts automatically.

Creating a task

Open Task Scheduler as described on a separate page, How to Use Task Scheduler. In the Task Scheduler interface, click "Create Task..." in the right pane. The dialog box shown in Figure 1 below will open.

Figure 1. Dialog for "Create task"

Enter a name and a description for the task. If the task is going to be run on your local computer, do not change the line labeled "Location". Also note the "Security options" section. You can choose to run only when a particular user is logged on. You can also set a task to run with highest privileges to avoid UAC challenges.

When you have finished configuring, click the tab "Triggers" to add the event or time period that will determine when the task will run. The dialog shown in Figure 2 will open.

Figure 2. Triggers for Task Scheduler

The box will list all existing triggers. To add a new trigger, click "New" and the dialog shown in Figure 3 will appear.

Figure 3. Choosing a new trigger for a task

As Figure 3 shows, there are a number of ways to configure a trigger. Various time periods are available and this is the most common type of trigger. Other events can serve as a trigger as well and some are shown in the drop-down menu labeled "Begin the task" that is displayed in Figure 3.

When the trigger has been configured as desired, the next step is to choose the action that will constitute the task. This is generally a program or script to be run. Click "OK" and a dialog similar to that shown in Figure 4 will open.

Figure 4. Trigger for task displayed

Select the tab "Actions" in Figure 4 above and the dialog for entering the action that you wish the task to carry out will open. An example is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Selecting the action for the task

Click the "New" button to open the dialog shown in Figure 6. Generally, "Start a program" is the desired action. However, two other options are available - "Send an email" or "Display a message". I will illustrate the most common choice of starting a program.

Figure 6. Entering the program file or script for the task

Enter the full path and name or browse to the executable file that you wish to run. Enter any arguments that might be required. Click "OK" when you are finished. A window displaying the task you have just created will open as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Listing of task just created

If you wish to add some additional conditions, click the tab "Conditions". The dialog shown in Figure 8 will open. Click "OK" when you have added any conditions.

Figure 8. Additional conditions

Even more configuration is possible. There is also a "Settings" tab as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9. Settings

Once all conditions and setting are correct, click "OK".

You now have a new task set up and ready to go.