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Many of the things I do on the computer need repetition. For example, I need to run my clean-up batch file every week, and I have a small application that pops up and tells me to get off the computer and go to bed. Other tasks can be programs that need to be run (anti-spyware, updates) or things you want to have happen when you’re not at the computer.
What Is Scheduler?
Windows has a built-in scheduler that allows you to set up such tasks. In XP, it is accessed through Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Scheduled Tasks.
You can schedule any application that can be run via command line or by clicking an icon, using multiple scheduling options.
How To Use Scheduler
I thought the best way to do this was to demonstrate. I am going to assume that I want to run Freecell on the first and third Mondays of the month at 9 a.m.
- Start up scheduler. Choose Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Scheduled Tasks. The scheduled task window will open.
- Double-click Add Scheduled Task. The wizard will start. Click Next.
- Choose the application. Or click Browse to select one not in the list. Click Next.
- Choose when to run it. I have selected Monthly. Click Next.
- Choose the time, day and when. I have chosen 9 a.m., on the first Monday of every month. Click next.
- Add logon information. This allows the computer to run it, regardless of who is logged on. Click next.
- Edit the job. Check the Open Advanced Properties. This will give access to the “guts” of the job. Click Finish.
- Click on the Schedule Tab. Then click on Multiple Schedules. This will allow us to set up the third Monday.
- Click New to set up the new schedule time. The drop down list shows all schedules for this job.
- Fill in the information. Add 9 a.m. for the third Monday.
It is very easy to automate your computer using Scheduler. Everything from simple jobs to complex maintenance can be run through this utility.