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Task Scheduler Overview

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

The Task Scheduler MMC snap-in helps you schedule automated tasks that perform actions at a specific time or when a certain event occurs. It maintains a library of all scheduled tasks, providing an organized view of the tasks and a convenient point of access for managing them. From within the library, you can run, disable, modify, and delete tasks. The Task Scheduler user interface (UI) is an MMC snap-in that replaces the Scheduled Tasks Explorer extension in Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000. For more information about starting or accessing the Task Scheduler UI, see Start Task Scheduler.

Triggers and Actions

The two key concepts involved in scheduling a task are triggers and actions. A trigger causes a task to run and an action is the work that is performed when the task is run. The actions a task can perform include running a program, sending an e-mail message, and showing a message box. For example, you can send an e-mail when a certain event entry is logged in the event log or run a maintenance script when a user logs on to a computer. Occurrences that can trigger a task to run include: a computer starting up, a computer entering an idle state, or a user unlocking a workstation. In addition, you can schedule a task to run at a specified time.

For more information about Triggers and Actions see:

Additional references

Task Scheduler How To...

Troubleshooting Task Scheduler

General Task Properties