Task Scheduler is a stock app that has been a part of Windows for years. It is a powerful tool that can be used to automate all sorts of tasks. It can be used to run other apps and execute scripts in response to one of more triggers. It is also responsible for running system tasks that are set up by default making it integral to the OS’ stability.
Windows Task Scheduler Not Running?
If the Task Scheduler isn’t working, and the scheduled tasks won’t run, your system will quickly run into problems. You can manually run tasks but a system has too many of them to be run manually each time.
Scheduled tasks need a few basic things to be set up in order for it to run. Make sure the task that isn’t running as the following;
- A time/schedule set up for it to run.
- At least one trigger has been added.
- At least one Action item has been added.
- The Action item must be executable e.g., if it’s a script, the path to it must be correct.
- The task has been enabled.
- The task’s schedule/parameters have been met i.e., the triggers have been run.
- If you’ve imported a task, try creating it manually instead and check if it runs.
If the above all check out, and the task still isn’t running, try the fixes below.
1. Check conditions for task
The conditions set for the scheduled task may be preventing it from running e.g., if the task is set to run only when your laptop is connected to a power source, the setting will take precedence over all schedules and triggers.
- Open Task Scheduler.
- Double-click the task that will not run.
- Go to the Conditions tab.
- Uncheck the ‘Start the task only if the computer is on AC power’ option.
- Enable the ‘Wake the computer to run this task’ option.
- Click Ok and check if it runs.
2. Give task admin access
Some tasks, while set up correctly, need admin access to run. The admin access only has to be granted once and without it, the task won’t run.
- Open Task Scheduler.
- Double-click the task that won’t run.
- Go to the General tab.
- At the bottom, enable the ‘Run with highest privileges’ option and grant it admin access.
- Click OK and the task will run.
3. Manually verify action and triggers
It is possible that the actions and triggers you’ve set up are not working. Try to run them all manually e.g., if a task is triggered when you open Chrome, open the browser. If the browser doesn’t open, it means the trigger for the task isn’t working.
Likewise, manually run the action for a task. For example, if you have a task set up where when Chrome is opened, a script runs to clear the browser’s history on start, run the script manually. If the script isn’t working, the problem isn’t with the task but with the action that has been set up.
Task scheduler doesn’t verify if a trigger or action is correct. It accepts whatever the user sets up. The only exception is if a user enters an invalid path or an invalid argument.
4. Run Task Scheduler service
Task Scheduler is able to run tasks without the app itself opening because it runs a background service that handles the tasks. If this service isn’t running, scheduled tasks will not run either.
- Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
- In the run box, enter
services.mscand tap Enter.
- Look for Task Scheduler and double-click it.
- Check the status of the service. If it isn’t running, enable/run it.
5. Update Windows 10
Windows 10 updates can often act as a blanket solution when something breaks on the OS. If you have pending Windows 10 updates, it’s a good idea to install them. Doing so may fix anything that is wrong with the system.
- Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
- Go to Update and Security.
- Select the Windows Update tab.
- Click Check for updates.
- Download and install available updates.
- Restart the system for good measure.
Task Scheduler rarely runs into problems with the OS. Most tasks that fail to run often have problems with either the triggers or the actions. The app also disables scheduled tasks after they have been run 3 times unless the user specifically unchecks this option when the task is set up. The basic checks alone should solve the problem in most cases if your tasks aren’t running.