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Windows 7 - How to Schedule a Task with Task Scheduler

The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool included with Windows 7 which enables you to schedule programs and tasks to run automatically at specified intervals. It's a complex tool with many advanced features and, because of this, it can seem rather complicated to novice users. The Task Scheduler has many useful purposes, however, such as automating important maintenance tasks which should be run frequently on your computer in order to optimize performance and keep your machine running securely and reliably. You can find the Task Scheduler utility by opening the start menu, going to "All Programs" followed by "System Tools" and clinging on "Task Scheduler." Alternatively, you can simply type "task" into the start menu search box and select the first result which appears.

Creating a simple task using this utility is not overly complicated once you know the basic rules. In this example, we'll create a task which automatically runs the Disk Cleanup utility once every week. Disk Cleanup is a useful tool for getting rid of unused files and reclaiming space on your computer. Since you might forget to run it as regularly as you should do, having a scheduled task take care of it automatically for you is a great idea.

First, click the "Action" menu and click "Create Basic Task." The four-step task creation wizard will appear. Enter a name and description for your task so that you can easily identify it in the future. Click the "Next" button to continue. You will now be able to choose when you want to task to commence or the "trigger" which triggers the action (i.e.: Disk Cleanup). For the purpose of this tutorial choose "Weekly," since it's ideal for running the Disk Cleanup program. It's also possible to have the task run when a specific action takes place on the computer. In the additional boxes which appear, choose the start date, time and day of the week when you want Disk Cleanup to run. Leave the task to recur every week. Click "Next" to continue.

Choose "Start a program" in the next step. This is the action that you want the Task Scheduler to take at the intervals specified previously. Beside the "Browse" button, enter "C:\Windows\System32\cleanmgr.exe." This is the location of Disk Cleanup. Click "Next" again, review your settings and click "Finish" to create the task.


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