How To Automate and Schedule Tasks In Windows

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schedule tasks teaserScheduling a job in Windows is very easy. Microsoft has included a really handy tool in Windows, referred to as Task Scheduler, that allows you to add and automate tasks. If that is to not your liking, it's also possible to use a 3rd party software, like Shutter, to find the job done. In this article, we'll show you tips on how to schedule and automate tasks with the two inbuilt task scheduler and Shutter.


Using Task Scheduler in Windows


To quickly open task scheduler in Windows, check out “Run -> taskschd.msc”. Windows 8 organizes scheduled tasks inside a folder tree. You can click each folder to show the scheduled tasks.

Task Scheduler interface is divided into three panes. The leftmost pane is the folder tree of scheduled tasks. The middle pane opens the tasks selected within the folder tree. The rightmost pane is the actions pane from which we can create new scheduled tasks.

schedule tasks in windows with task scheduler

To build a new task, you just need to click the “Create basic task” button. This will launch a wizard which walks you through the command building process.

1. Fill inside the name and description fields within the task wizard

create basic task with task scheduler

2. Select a trigger to activate the task. This can be a specific event or possibly a recursive timed event.

select the trigger to activate task in task scheduler

3. In the next screen, you may be asked to specify the task to perform once the trigger is activated. You can either start a program, send a message or display a message

select the action to execute when the trigger is activated in Task Scheduler

4. If you select “Start a program”, you will be prompted to choose the application and add any argument, if required.

select this system to start in Task Scheduler

For higher options, click on the checkbox “Open the properties dialog just for this task when I click Finish”, and click “Finish”.

Open Properties dialog in Task Scheduler

Here you will be able to include more triggers and actions and higher settings.

Advanced settings in Task Scheduler


Using Shutter to schedule tasks in Windows


For more reasons, Microsoft didn’t increase the risk for Task Scheduler a less arduous app to utilize. If you are looking for any simpler application with more configuration options, you can use Shutter, that is a free and portable Windows app for creating scheduled tasks.

Shutter includes a simple user interface. It has just one main screen. All configurations are made on the main screen. There are two fields, one for adding events and one for adding actions. You can select whether all events need to be fulfilled or any one of them will trigger what. The conditions include ALL, AND, OR and 1 BY 1.

schedule tasks in Windows with shutter

To add a conference, visit “Click here to include event”. This will open a new dialog where one can select from different events.

select CPU usage as Events in Shutter

Each event possesses his own options which will be displayed in the event the event is selected.

Add event in Shutter

While Windows task scheduler supports only three event types, Shutter has a lot of supported event types:


  • Countdown

  • On time

  • Winamp Stops

  • CPU Usage

  • Network Usage

  • User Inactive

  • Battery Low

  • Window

  • Process

  • Ping Stops

  • File Size Limit

  • Lid


You may add multiple events for triggering single or multiple tasks.

To add an action visit “Click here to include action”. The following actions are backed up by Shutter:


  • Shutdown

  • Reboot

  • Logoff

  • Lock Workstation

  • Sleep

  • Hibernate

  • Turn Off Monitor

  • Screen Saver

  • Volume

  • Hang Up

  • Alarm

  • Message

  • Play Sound

  • Run Program

  • Open File

  • Close Window

  • Kill Process

  • Utilities


Each action features its own options.

Add tasks options in Shutter

The “Start” button will become the scheduled task and also the “Now” button will show you the current situation of the duty.

Shutter Nnow

The good thing about Shutter is that you may save and import scheduled tasks for running them across multiple computers.


Conclusion


Windows Task Scheduler can be useful for basic tasks, but somehow, Microsoft didn’t ensure it is particularly easy to utilize. Shutter is a fantastic program which comes with plenty scheduling options for the user. If you prefer a simple and easy portable software, Shutter may be the one for you.

Do you schedule tasks in Windows? Will you prefer Shutter on the inbuilt task scheduler app?

Title Post: How To Automate and Schedule Tasks In Windows
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