aNewDomain.net—The Windows 8 Task Scheduler creates and manages tasks that run on your computer at any given time. Like a true work horse, it automates as many tasks as you like and, simply put, makes your computing life much easier.
To use the Task Scheduler, search for “Task Scheduler” in the Apps area.
Image credits: Sandy Berger for aNewDomain.net
Tasks are stored in the Task Scheduler Library on the left side of the Task Scheduler screen. After you create a task, you can go back to edit and delete tasks. This screen also gives you a view of the active tasks where you can check the status of all tasks.
To create a new task, choose Create a Basic New Task. If you want to schedule tasks for another computer on the network, you would choose Connect to Another Computer first. But most of us will be simply creating a task for our own computer.
Once that screen appears give your task a name and description. Then choose the Next button several times to fill in the triggers you want to precipitate the actions, as well as the actions you want taken. Once complete, click on the Finish button.
In the triggers area you can schedule when you want the task to start. Choices include calendar events like daily, weekly intervals. Once you pick a calendar event, you can also control the start date and time as well as reoccurrence options. There are also options like “When the computer starts”, “When I log in”, and so on.
The actions area lets you choose to start a program, send an email, or display a message.
For more advanced options like multiple actions or triggers, choose “Create Task” instead of “Create Basic Task”. This will give you optional tools such as the ability to add an expiration date and time. It will also give you the ability to insert your own script into the action area and to set conditions like wake up the computer to run the task and/or run only when on AC power. The advanced trigger options are shown in the image below. There are more options for actions and conditions so you can fine tune your tasks to your liking.
The many options the task scheduler offers makes it extremely useful. For instance, if you would like to run a virus scan at a certain time every day or every week, you can schedule it so you don’t have to perform that task yourself. If you use a financial program on a certain day each month, you can have the Task Scheduler open that program on that day to make sure you don’t forget. If you use a specific program on a regular basis, you can have the Task Scheduler open it for you at a convenient time.
The Task Scheduler is a little-used, but valuable tool for all Windows 8 users. Now that I’ve scheduled my tasks I’m sitting back and enjoying the peace of mind and knowledge that Task Scheduler is taking care of business.
Based in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Sandy Berger is a veteran tech journalist and senior editor at aNewDomain.net covering tech tips and tricks, apps, gadgets, and consumer electronics. Email her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @sandyberger, +SandyBerger on Google+, and www.facebook.com/sandyberger on Facebook.