Windows Server

How to create advanced scheduled task on Windows Server with Windows Task Scheduler

Task Scheduler enables you to automatically perform routine tasks on a chosen computer. Task Scheduler does this by monitoring whatever criteria you choose (referred to as triggers) and then executing the tasks when those criteria are met. You can use the Task Scheduler to execute tasks such as starting an application, sending an email message, etc.

Tasks can be scheduled to execute in response to these events, or triggers. On how to create a Scheduled task with Windows Admin Center and on how to create Windows Task Scheduler via the command prompt

To perform these steps via the task scheduler, follow the steps below. Ensure you have your script ready and saved with .ps1 extension.
– Search and launch the Task Scheduler Tool as shown below or
– From the Start menu,
– Select Administrative Tools 
– Task Scheduler.

This will open up the task scheduler Tool
– Right-click on Task Scheduler or “under Actions”
– Select “Create Task”

This will open up the create task dialog window as shown below.
– On the General Tab, Enter the Task Name
– Enter a description for others to understand what you are doing
– Select “Run whether user is logged on or not”
If this is not selected and the first option is used, the script may not run when a user does not login. We have had a similar issue in the past.
– Ensure to run with the highest privilege (Here you have to evaluate your security need)

Note: If you are using an account with administrative privileges, the default user should be fine. If you are running a Command Prompt or PowerShell command, you can select the Run whether user is logged on or not option to prevent the command window from showing up when the task runs automatically.
- If the task requires elevated privileges, check the Run with highest privileges option.

Navigate to the Trigger Tab as shown below
– Click on New, This will open a window where the trigger can be defined.

Since we are defining this task for Windows update, and maintenance are done just one in a Month, I will perform the following highlighted in red.

You can decide to have the updates installed on a particular day.
– By selecting the Days and from the dropdown menu, you can select a date.

When you are done creating the trigger, The following configured trigger will be displayed as shown below

More about schedule, see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/taskschd/task-scheduler-start-page
– Next. click on the Action tab

This will open a new Action tab as shown below
– Under the “Settings” section, in the “Program/script” field, specify the path for the application (Here you will have to select the script by browsing to the location or copy the script path to this field).
– Optionally enter the “PowerShell.exe” program path needed to run your script. When this is not select, your script cannot run.

Note: If you don't know the path of the app, click the Browse button to find it. Also, if it is a known application like PowerShell or Command Prompt, all you need to do is to specify the file name.
Note: Use the "Action" drop-down menu and select the Start a program option.You can still use the Send an e-mail or Display a message option, but these are deprecated features, which means that they may or may not work because Microsoft is no longer maintaining them.
- In the "Add arguments" field, you can specify arguments to run the task with special instructions. E.g., -NoExit -ExecutionPolicy Bypass C:\PATH\TO\SCRIPT\first_script.ps1.
Using the "powershell.exe" command and the above argument, it'll run the script named "first_script.ps1." The argument "-ExecutionPolicy Bypass" ensures that the script runs successfully, and the "-NoExit" argument will prevent the window from closing after running the script.

When this step is complete, it will appear as shown below

Note: You can also edit the Action after it has been created etc.

Next, click on the condition tab as shown above.
– For me, these settings are not applicable, but below is a screenshot of how it looks like 🙂

Also, on the settings tab, all needed

This will prompt you to enter your password as shown below

To view the configured task, click on the “Task Scheduler Library” and
– Search for your configured task on the left pane of the Window.

To test this task, since the date we have configured this task to run is still in the future, we will manually run the task as shown below.
– For more information on how to run, edit, and delete a task using Task Scheduler GUI (taskschd.msc), see the following link https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/04/02/how-to-run-edit-and-delete-a-task-using-task-scheduler-gui-taskschd-msc/

– Right-click on the task and
– Click on run

In this same manner, the task can be disabled or also from the Actions pane
– Now that you have selected to run your scheduled task, the status will change to running as shown below.
– With the F5 button on your keyboard, you can use this to refresh the states

For more https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/taskschd/task-scheduler-start-page

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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