Development: How to Schedule a Task

Overview

In this development video, we demonstrate how to set a task to run an application at a specific time each day. Tasks can be used to do things that should be done at regular time intervals, like checking for software updates. For simplicity, we use the command prompt application, cmd.exe, as an example program to run each day in our task. We also show how to run the task immediately to verify that it works. Opening the command prompt is not a useful thing to do every day. So, we conclude by showing how to delete the task.

How to Schedule a Task

This video tutorial demonstrates how to schedule a task to run every day.

  1. Open the Task Scheduler. There are two ways to do this:
    1. Click the Start button
      • Click Windows Administrative Tools in the Start menu to open its submenu
      • Right-click Task Scheduler open the context menu and click Run as administrator
    2. Enter Task Scheduler into the search box next to the start button
      • Click Run as administrator in the pop up dialog
    With either method, you should now have the Task Scheduler open and looking like:
    Task Scheduler
  2. To begin we need to open the Create Basic Task Wizard. To do this, click Action in the menubar and Create Basic Task... in the submenu.
  3. Now the Create Basic Task Wizard is open as shown below. Since we are going to create a task to open the command prompt, we entered Command Prompt in the Name: box and Open a command prompt in the Description: box.
    Create Basic Task Wizard
  4. Since we want to create a task to run a program every day, just click the Next button four times until we get to the Start a Program screen.
  5. Now, the Start a Program dialog is open. We can enter the program file and path in the Program/script: box or use the Browse... button to select the program to be run. In this example, we selected cmd.exe in the System32 folder.
    Select the Program
  6. To finish creating the task, click the Next button and then click the Finish button on the next screen.
  7. The task is now scheduled. Left-click the Task Scheduler Library to see the list of tasks with the new task in it.
    Newly Scheduled Task
  8. The task is call Command Prompt and it is selected and shown in blue. It will run once a day as it is, but we can test it immediately by right-clicking the task to bring up the context menu and clicking Run. This will bring up the command prompt.
    Run the Task
  9. This probably not a task that we want to run every day because it is useless. We can delete the task by right-clicking the task and and clicking Delete instead of Run.