How to start and create basic tasks with Task Scheduler - Page 2

How to choose when your task is executed

You have plenty of options for setting when the task will run: every day, week, month, only one time, when the computer starts, when you log on or when a specific event occurs. This is called the task's trigger or what needs to happen in order for the task to run.

Pick the option you want and press Next.

Then, you are asked to be more specific about when the task will run, depending on the option you have chosen previously.

For example, if you want your task to occur every Wednesday at 1:27 AM, you will choose Weekly and make the following configuration:

  • Set the starting date and time next Wednesday at 1:27 AM;
  • In the Recur every box put 1;
  • Choose the day of the week as Wednesday.

If you choose your task to be executed Monthly , apart from the starting date and time, you have to choose the month when the task is executed. You can select several specific months, all the months in a year or just one month, by clicking or tapping on the Months drop-down menu.

Then, you have to pick the day(s) of the month by selecting Days and clicking its drop-down list.

Or, you can go for a specific day of a certain week. For that, click or tap the On option and, from the first drop-down list, choose the number of the week and, from the second drop-down list, pick the day of the week.

Here you can go wild with your definitions and, for example, you can have a task run on the first and last Monday of March.

After you have set when exactly the task will occur, click or tap Next.

How to set what action to execute

The next step is to indicate the action to take: Start a program , Send an e-mail or Display a message. Here you will find an important difference between Windows 7, on one hand, and Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10, on the other hand. There are three options available in all versions ( Start a program, Send an e-mail, Display a message ) but the last two are highlighted as deprecated in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, which means that they won ' t work.

Even if you can follow the wizard and create a task that sends an e-mail or displays a message, just before the task is saved, an error message is displayed, stating that "The task definition uses a deprecated feature".

I n Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 you cannot create tasks that send an e-mail or display a message even though the wizard displays these options. Such tasks can be created only in Windows 7.

But, let's continue the tutorial and show you how to set the action that will be executed by your tasks:

If you want to run a program like Disk Cleanup, select " Start a program" and click or tap Next.

Click or tap Browse , select the program or the script you want to run and the press Open.

You can add arguments and set the folder where the program/script starts. When done, press Next.

T hen, you are shown a summary of the task and the settings you have made. Click or tap the Back button if you want to change anything or the Finish button if you want to save the task and have it run.

In case you're using Windows 7, let's also see how to set a " Send an e-mail" action:

After selecting this action and pressing Next , you are asked to enter the complete details of your message: the sender, the receiver, the subject of the email and the text. You can also attach a file. The last and most important step is providing the address of the SMTP server that will send the message. You should use the SMTP server of the email address you specified in the From field. However, the trouble is that most SMTP servers require authentication before sending anything, to prevent all kinds of abuses and problems. The " Create Basic Task" wizard has no fields for providing the necessary authentication details. Therefore, the sending of the email is very likely to fail. It will work only if the SMTP server doesn't require authentication in order to send an e-mail message.

Also, even if it only works in Windows 7, let's see what happens if you want to "Display a message" :

If you choose this task action, you are asked to write the title of the message and the text that you want to be shown.

When done, click or tap Next and then Finish.

Conclusion

As you can see, creating a basic task using the Task Scheduler wizard is not very complicated. The wizard allows you to choose a wide range of settings about the task's triggers and actions. For more articles on Task Scheduler , check out some of our related guides and if you have any suggestions, questions or problems, do not hesitate to use the comments form below.