Schedule and manage tasks on Windows 10 in no time


If you regularly want to perform the same tasks on your PC, you can of course include that in your agenda and then start that task yourself each time. But why make it difficult when it is also easy? It can be fully automatic, Windows has a handy Task Scheduler that can take care of all kinds of odd jobs.

Tip 01: Handyman service

When Windows starts, all kinds of processes, programs and services are started in the background. The Windows Task Manager gives you an overview of this: press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. View the tabs Processes, Boot up and Services to see what is already running or starting just after starting up.

In addition, there are many tasks that are automatically performed by Windows or by all kinds of applications, but that do not remain active in the background. This happens very often when the system is started up or when a user is logged in, but it can also happen periodically or under certain conditions. It involves a wide range of odd jobs, such as performing updates, defragmenting or optimizing a disk, backing up, and so on. Some programs use their own scheduler for this, but in most cases they make grateful use of the Task Scheduler provided by Windows.

Task manager

Tip 01 The Task Manager: here you see what is running and starting, you do not manage the scheduled tasks.

Tip 02: Interface

You start the Task Scheduler by pressing the Windows key, typing in some initial letters (such as task) and the app Task scheduler to select. Or you press Windows key + R and you enter taskschd.msc from. The window that appears now has three parts. On the left are the “libraries” in a tree structure. These libraries are folders that can each contain one or more scheduled tasks. If you select such a (sub) folder, an overview of the corresponding tasks will appear in the middle panel. The right-hand panel contains an overview of the actions that you can perform within this Task Scheduler. Logically you will also find here the options with which you can plan a new task yourself.

To avoid that your own tasks end up somewhere in a random library folder, we recommend creating your own folder first. Right-click in the left panel Task Scheduler library, choose New map and enter a name (we choose Tips & Tricks). The folder appears at the bottom of the list. When you start adding your own task, first select this folder.

Task scheduler

Tip 02 It is best to create a new folder for adding your own tasks.

Most planned tasks consist of one or more actions and triggers

Tip 03: Properties

Before we start working on our own tasks, it is good to check out which tasks are currently available. You will find that most tasks are in the folder Microsoft especially in the sub-folders of the Windows folder.

If you want more details about a certain task, then double-click that task in the middle panel. It is divided into a number of tabs. Two tabs require your special attention: Triggers and Actions. Actions are the actions performed by such a task, and usually it is the execution of a program or command with any parameters. The tab Triggers records when the action is performed, for example when the computer is started or when a user is logged on. On the tab Conditions you can set secondary criteria for whether or not to perform a task, such as Only start the task if the computer is running on AC power.

Task Properties

Tip 03 A scheduled task usually consists of one or more actions and triggers.


If you want a complete overview of all planned tasks in one go, you can use the tool TaskSchedulerView (available for Windows 32 and 64 bit). Scroll down on that page for the Dutch translation (Dutch): you place the extracted file in the folder of TaskSchedulerView.

Then right-click on the tool and choose Run as administrator. You now get a nice task overview. That can be pretty impressive, by the way: there were nearly 250 on our test device. To quickly filter Microsoft’s own tasks, open the menu Options and place a checkmark Hide tasks in Microsoft folders (about 30 tasks remained on our PC).

Task scheduler view

Our test device contains about 30 scheduled tasks that are not from Microsoft.

You walk through the steps to set the basic task with a wizard

Tip 04: Basic task trigger

Time now to get started and plan your own task. In the Actionspanel two options are available for a new task: Create basic task and Create task. The difference is that with the first option you walk through the steps with a wizard, so that you are not confronted with all kinds of extras that you may not need. We start carefully and therefore opt for Create basic task – incidentally, you can always add extras afterwards from the properties window of such a “basic task” (see tip 3).

Suppose you want your computer to shut down automatically at a specific time, such as late in the evening. First of all you ensure a clear Name for your task and possibly one Description. Once you get up Next one you put the Trigger stuck. Choose this in this case Daily (it can also be done weekly, if you sign up or if something specific happens, see also tip 7). Confirm with Next one and enter the desired time. The option Perform every: 1 day (s) leaves you alone. Press again Next one.

Basic Task Trigger Wizard

Tip 04 With a basic task, a friendly wizard guides you through the necessary steps.

Tip 05: Basic task action

Now you have to define the correct action. In Windows 10 that is limited to Start a program. After all, the other two options (Send an e-mail message and View a message) are no longer functional. Confirm again with Next one.

Windows already has a command on board for our promotion. click on Leaves and navigate to the folder C: Windows System32, where you shutdown.exe select and with To open confirms. Its a shame, but there is nothing to do about it: shutdown does not work without the necessary parameters. That is why you have to fill it in yourself at Add parameters (optional). You get a nice overview of the available parameters when you go to the command prompt and there shutdown but we can help you with this:

-s -t 60 -c “The PC will shut down in one minute. So save all your data asap!”

These parameters can be unraveled as follows:

-s: complete closure, and therefore not -h (snooze), –hybrid, (log out) or -r (Restarting).

– t 60: run in 60 seconds.

-c “…”: Display the text between the quotation marks as a message.

Press Next one and on Complete, the task is added to your selected folder. By the way, you can immediately test it in the Actionspanel up To carry out to click.

Basic task

Tip 05 With some programs or commands, it is necessary to search for the optimum parameters.

Tip 06: Optimization

As mentioned, you can still edit an existing task by double clicking on it. Do that once again for the task we have just completed. On the tab General, at the part Security options, is the option by default Only run if user is logged in active. But you may also want to have the PC shut down when the login window is visible. Then choose the option in this window Run regardless of whether user is logged in or not. You can also see here which user account the task is performed with. Normally that is the account with which you were logged in when creating the task.

However, it can happen that due to an annoying bug when closing the properties window, the error message “An error has occurred for task x […]”Appears. In that case, press the button Modify and tap Enter the names of the objects enter the (desired) username and confirm with OK. Now appears in principle , what should be enough to stop seeing the error message. You can also enter the account here SYSTEM Selecting. This automatically has more permissions and in principle also has access to all files, which can be useful when planning backups, for example.

It is also possible to define multiple triggers and / or actions within the same task. On the tabs Triggers and Actions press the button for this New, to then fill in the options at your own discretion.

Shut down the PC

Tip 06 You can also specify another user account from which to perform the task.

Tip 07: Advanced task

Now it’s time for a more complex operation: we want to have a task performed, such as a backup or synchronization task, as soon as our PC or laptop connects to a certain (wireless) network.

Click in it Actionspanel already on Create task, so that an “empty” property window appears. First make a name and description again and choose a suitable account (possibly SYSTEM: see tip 6). On the tab Actions select via the button New the intended backup command or program with any parameters – which of course they are depends on the tool that you use for your backups.

Now to the most difficult part: the trigger. To do this, open the tab Triggers and click New. In the drop-down menu at Start this task select you At an event. After all, our task may only be performed once the computer connects to a specific network.

In this window you should now only select the desired event (source and ID) in the log. For our trigger these are normally respectively: Microsoft-Windows-NetworkProfile / Operational, NetworkProfile (Source) and 10000 (Event ID). After your confirmation with OK open the tab Conditions and choose from Start only if the following network connection is available, switch off the correct network. A pity but unfortunately: for unclear reasons, this method no longer works in Windows 10 and we must look for an alternative. See the following tip.

Create task

Tip 07 Define an event yourself based on a log entry.

Tip 08: Trigger script

We therefore adjust our strategy for the intended trigger. Select again At an event, but select this time Adjusted and click New event filter. A new dialog box appears, where you see the tab XML opens. Place a checkmark at Search manually, confirm with Yes and enter the following script exactly:


<Query Id=”0″ Path=”System”>

<Select Path=”Microsoft-Windows-NetworkProfile/Operational”>

*[System[(EventID=10000)]] and *[EventData[(Data[@Name=”Name”]=”mijn_ssid”)]]




Of course you replace in this script my_ssid by the correct network name. You can find out by hovering the mouse pointer over the network icon in the Windows taskbar. After entering your script, confirm with OK (2x) and you can close the properties window.

Feel free to test your task, for example by briefly disconnecting your network connection (with a wired connection you can simply remove the network connector from your PC).

New trigger

Tip 08 Because the function does not work as it should, you must add this xml script.

Tip 09: Alternative

You notice it: with the Windows task scheduler, quite advanced tasks are possible, but things quickly become complex. If it becomes a bit too difficult, then it’s a handy alternative Z-Cron, which is free for personal use. In a nutshell you get started with it as follows.

Extract the downloaded zip file, install the tool and launch it. To schedule a new task, press the button Task. Here you will find the usual ingredients with slightly different names, such as Label, Description, Program and Parameter. What is ideal about Z-Cron is that a list with approximately one hundred predefined tasks appears with one click Tools, including CopyDir, LockMyPc, Mail, Message, MP3-Play and SendLogFile.

Where in Windows 10 it is no longer possible to have an e-mail sent to a specific event, this can still be done here Mail. Logically, you first have to record the settings of the mail server, you do that from the section Program, on the tab E-mail.

On the tab Planner you determine the exact times at which a task must be performed. Compared to the Windows Task Scheduler, the number of trigger types here is a lot more limited.

Handy to know: if you want Z-Cron to work even if no one is registered with Windows, open the section Program, go to the tab Start, place a checkmark Z-Cron as an NT service and confirm with Save.

Z cron

Tip 09 Z-Cron has an impressive number of predefined tasks.

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