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How to set Windows Task Scheduler

How to run task scheduler even if the user is not logged on?

How to set task scheduler via command line?

Example below are two methods on how to set Task Scheduler.

1.How to use the Graphical User Interface or the GUI on how to set task scheduler even if the user is not logged on.

2. How to use command line and use "Schtasks" command to set a task schedule.

In Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7, to run task scheduler type “Task” on the search text box and on the search result click on “Task Scheduler”.

In Windows 2012 or Windows 8, press the windows start key and type “Task” the Task scheduler will appear on the upper left of the search result.

On Windows 2012 or Windows 8 once you are on the start page, when a key is press on the keyboard it will automatically search for any programs that match the keys that has been typed.

To set a Task Scheduler on Windows 2008 even if the user is not logged on, please follow instruction and screen shot below.

Screen shot below should be the same setting with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 2012.

1. Click on “Task Scheduler”.

2.  Click on “Create Task”.
     And the “Create Task window will appear”.

3.  Under “Create Task” window select the option “Run whether user is logged on or not”.
     To run the task when the user is not logged on, need to choose the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM.

4. Click the button “Change User or Group”.

5. On “Select User or Group” window, type system and click on the button “Check Names”.
    If there are multiple names found it will be displayed but select the name “SYSTEM” and click “OK” button.

6. After clicking “OK” it will go back to the “Create Task” window.
    Under the security options frame, the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM user account is displayed and that will  be the account used by the task scheduler to run the program.

7. Next click on the “Trigger” tab to set a new schedule. And set how many times you want the task to run.
    Select the desired options whether to run it One Time, Daily, Weekly or Monthly and click on “OK” button.

8. After the scheduling has been set click on the “Actions” tab, to set the batch file script or any program that will be set on the Task Scheduler.

Under the Action tab, click on “New”, click on “Browse” button to and find the script or program to be used. Click on the “ok” button once the program or the script has been selected.

9. The task scheduler settings should be okay and ready to run. Exit the task scheduler, and after the first schedule settings of the task; review the Task scheduler logs to verify whether it works as expected.

The steps above can also be done using command line.

Command line below will create a Task Scheduler called “Monthly Task” and call a batch file script Monthly_app.bat on C script directory and run the task monthly on 17th day.

schtasks /create /tn "Monthly Task" /tr c:\script\Monthly_app.bat /sc monthly /d 17 /ru System

Notice that the above command line did not specified a time, if you run the above command line at 5:50pm that will be the time that is reflected on the Task Scheduler settings.

To set a specified time, need to include a parameter to set the time for the task.

schtasks /create /tn "Monthly Task" /tr c:\script\Monthly_app.bat /sc monthly /d 17 /ST 21:00  /ru System

Need to add /ST plus the time for the script to be executed.

The script above will run every 9PM on the 17th day of every month. The task will  run whether the user is logged on or not.

Above command should be executed on an elevated command prompt, if schtasks is not executed on an elevated command prompt, it will just be set as  “Run only when user is logged on".

Cheers! Hope it helps!!!


  1. Thanks to the writer of this article. I appreciate your effort in making this informational blogs. I know it's not easy to do this but you have done a really great job. Congrats. I'm pretty sure your readers enjoying it a lots.



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