Windows 7 / Getting Started

Using Task Scheduler

Task Scheduler is an MMC snap-in that lets you schedule automated tasks that perform actions according to scheduled times or when specific events occur. Task Scheduler maintains a library of all scheduled tasks and provides an organized view of these tasks and an interface for managing them. The Windows 7 version of Task Scheduler is essentially the same as that found in Windows Vista, which improved upon earlier versions of Windows by providing a better user interface, more flexible scheduling, enhanced security, and improved manageability. Specifically, the following enhancements to Task Scheduler were introduced in Windows Vista:

  • User interface improvements The Windows Vista version of Task Scheduler introduced a completely new user interface based on the MMC. This interface includes a number of new conditions and filters to assist administrators in defining and managing scheduled tasks.
  • Scheduling improvements Time-based task launch is improved, with more detailed control and enhanced scheduling options. One key improvement allows you to chain a series of actions together instead of having to create multiple scheduled tasks. You can schedule tasks on demand for execution when a specified event is logged to an event log. You can configure scheduled tasks to wake a computer from sleep or hibernation or to run only when the computer is idle. You can also run previously scheduled tasks when a powered-down computer is turned back on. Scalability has also been improved by removing limitations on the number of registered tasks and allowing multiple instances of a task to run in parallel or in sequence.
  • Security improvements New security features include use of Credentials Manager (CredMan) to securely store passwords needed for running tasks, and also supporting Service for User (S4U) for many scenarios such that passwords do not need to be stored at all. Improved credentials management provided by S4U and Credentials Manager also increases reliability and reduces maintenance overhead. To further increase security, scheduled tasks are executed in their own session instead of the same session as system services or the current user:
    • Separate per-user credentials are required.
    • System tasks run in the system session (session 0), while user tasks run in the user's session.
  • Administrative improvements The version of Task Scheduler in Windows Vista introduces features that enhance the administration experience for scheduled tasks. Scheduled tasks may be activated by Event Log events and may be synchronized using operational events fired by the service, which can be found under Applications And Services Logs/Microsoft/Windows/Task Scheduler/Operational log. Tasks may be configured to retry on failure and activated when resources become available, as in the case of mobile devices that may miss run times of scheduled tasks. Control and task status monitoring has been improved and now provides detailed failure reporting and task history. Status feedback has been significantly improved. For example, using the detailed events logged by the Task Scheduler about task operation, an administrator can set up an e-mail to be sent to her when a failure occurs, including a complete runtime history of the event. In addition, the complete history of executed scheduled tasks can be easily reviewed, and at any time the administrator can view the list of currently running tasks and run or stop tasks on demand. To assist administrators in scripting complex tasks, the Task Scheduler API is also fully available to scripting languages.
  • Platform and manageability improvements The version of Task Scheduler in Windows Vista enables several new features that improve platform operations and manageability. Infrastructure features for application monitoring now allow hosting and activation of troubleshooters and other corrective actions. Periodic data collection has been implemented to improve event detection. Task process prioritization has been improved and quotas may be assigned. Computer resources are used more efficiently by activating tasks based on a true idle state, defined by a combination of the following criteria:
    • CPU, memory, and I/O usage
    • User presence
    • Nonpresentation mode
[Previous] [Contents] [Next]

In this tutorial:

  1. Windows 7 Desktop Maintenance
  2. Performance Monitoring
  3. Improvements to Performance Monitoring in Windows 7
  4. Using Performance Monitor
  5. Real-Time Performance Monitoring
  6. Performance Monitor Logging
  7. Creating a Data Collector Set
  8. Configuring a Data Collector Set
  9. Using Data Manager to View Performance Data
  10. Starting and Stopping Data Logging
  11. Viewing Performance Data
  12. Comparing Performance Monitor Logs
  13. Performance Monitor User Rights
  14. Remote Data Collection
  15. Using Windows PowerShell for Performance Monitoring
  16. Resource Monitor
  17. Overview Tab
  18. CPU Tab
  19. Memory Tab
  20. Disk Tab
  21. Network Tab
  22. Reliability Monitor
  23. How Reliability Monitor Works
  24. Windows Performance Tools Kit
  25. Event Monitoring
  26. Understanding the Windows Event Architecture
  27. Channels
  28. Improvements to Event Monitoring in Windows 7
  29. Using Event Viewer
  30. Understanding Views
  31. Viewing Event Logs
  32. Saving Event Logs
  33. Configuring Event Subscriptions
  34. Considerations for Workgroup Environments
  35. Creating a New Subscription
  36. Using the Windows Events Command-Line Utility for Event Monitoring
  37. Using Windows PowerShell for Event Monitoring
  38. Using Task Scheduler
  39. Improvements to Task Scheduler in Windows 7
  40. Understanding Tasks
  41. Understanding the Task Scheduler Architecture
  42. Understanding Task Scheduler Security
  43. Credentials Management
  44. Securing Running Tasks
  45. Understanding AT and Task Scheduler v1.0 Compatibility Modes
  46. Understanding the Task Scheduler Snap-in
  47. Understanding Default Tasks
  48. Creating Tasks
  49. Defining Triggers
  50. At Startup Trigger
  51. On Connection To AND Disconnect From User Session Triggers
  52. On Workstation Lock AND Unlock Triggers
  53. Defining Actions
  54. Defining Conditions
  55. Defining Settings
  56. Managing Tasks
  57. Viewing History
  58. Using SchTasks.exe for Creating and Managing Tasks
  59. Task Scheduler Events
  60. Troubleshooting Task Scheduler
  61. Tasks Won't Run If the Service Is Not Started
  62. The Task Will Run Only When a Certain User Is Logged On
  63. The Task Action Failed to Execute
  64. Interpreting Result and Return Codes
  65. Understanding the Windows System Assessment Tool
  66. Understanding WinSAT Assessment Tests
  67. Examining the WinSAT Features Assessment
  68. Running WinSAT from the Command Line
  69. Understanding WinSAT Command Exit Values
  70. Running WinSAT Using Performance Information and Tools
  71. System Capabilities Section
  72. OEM Upsell And Help Section
  73. Understanding Windows Error Reporting
  74. Overview of Windows Error Reporting
  75. How WER Works
  76. Store Management System
  77. ReportArchive Folder
  78. WER Service
  79. Understanding the Error Reporting Cycle
  80. Understanding WER Data
  81. Configuring WER Using Group Policy
  82. Configuring WER Using the Action Center