How to schedule a server process

This article describes how to schedule a server process in Windows Server 2003.

Applies to:   Windows Server 2003
Original KB number:   324283


This step-by-step article describes how to schedule a program to start automatically after a pre-determined interval.

Schedule the Task

  1. Click Start, point to Control Panel, then point to Scheduled Tasks, and then click Add Scheduled Task.
    The Scheduled Task Wizard appears. Click Next.
  2. A list of programs that are available on your computer is displayed. If the program that you want to schedule is in this list, click it, and then click Next. If the program you want to run is not in this list, click Browse to locate the program, click the program, and then click Open.
  3. Type a name for the task, and then click the interval that you want to use for this task (for example, daily, weekly, monthly, or one time only). Click Next.
  4. If you choose to schedule the task daily, weekly, monthly, or one time only, you receive a time or date option. Select the date (or dates) and the time (or times) that you want to schedule the task for, and then click Next.
  5. Type the user name and password that will be used to run this program. Make sure that the user name is in the domain \ user format where domain is your NetBIOS domain name and user is the user account that you want to schedule the task under. Click Next.
  6. Click Finish to schedule the task.


  • By default, Task Scheduler logs on as the Local System account. In some cases, this account may not have the appropriate permissions to perform the scheduled task. Because of this reason, you must specify an account in the Scheduled Task Wizard. Verify that the account that you specify in the wizard has the appropriate permissions to perform the task that you are scheduling. To do it, log on as that user, and then run the task manually.
  • You can also schedule tasks by using the AT command. Both methods can be used to automatically schedule tasks. However, neither program is aware of the list of the other's list of scheduled programs. For example, if you schedule a batch file to run every day at midnight in the Scheduled Task Wizard and also with the AT command, the command is executed two times.
  • If you chose to schedule the task for any interval other than "one time only", the task continues to run indefinitely. Manually delete the task to prevent it from running again.
  • The Schedule Task Wizard does not verify the password that you type for the user account that the process will run under. Make sure that you type the correct password.