Automate Tasks In Windows PC: One of the best parts of owning a PC isn’t downloading videos, sending email, or playing games. If you ask me, the best tool for your computer is Automation. Get it, to do some of the mundane things you need to get done in the day or that make your work life just a little bit easier. With these simple methods, you can easily schedule your tasks in Windows PC and get it done on time.
Every day when we turn on our PCs, we find ourselves firing up the same software and reading the same websites.One way to do that is to use the built-in Task Scheduler for Windows. A simple, but also strangely satisfying use for Task Scheduler is to fire up all the programs you need to get going during your morning work routine.
Windows opens them up automatically for us. While we’re away from our computers, it sometimes performs routine maintenance by defragging the disk or scanning for viruses.
The tool that turns your docile computer into a caring virtual nanny is the Windows Task Scheduler. All you have to do is make a list of tasks you’d like to automate and configure the Task Scheduler to handle them for you.
The Task Scheduler allows you to create all kinds of automated tasks in Windows.
- You can schedule a program to run at a specific time interval.
- Launches any app you have installed.
- Send an Automated Email.
- Open and Organize Your Browser.
- Take Monthly Backups to the Cloud.
- Play Music or Video Every Morning and soon.
You can schedule just about anything with it. The only limit is your imagination. To get you started, we created this guide on how to use the basic task wizard in the Task Scheduler. Here’s how it works:
How to Set Task Scheduler for Windows
It is easy to launch Task Scheduler by going to Start menu and then Control Panel in any windows OS versions.
In Windows 8.1, simply start writing the word “schedule” on the Start screen, and then click or tap on “Schedule tasks”.
Both in Windows 8 and in Windows 8.1, you can also go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> Administrative Tools -> Task Scheduler.
How to start the “Create Basic Task” wizard
In the Task Scheduler window, go to the Actions column on the right. There, click or tap on “Create Basic Task” to open the wizard with the same name.
As the name implies, this wizard allows anyone to create basic tasks that are executed by Windows, at a given time or when a certain condition is met.
For illustration, let’s assume you want to create a task that runs the Mozilla Firefox and Gmail at a certain point in time and sees how you start creating this task:
- In the first step of the wizard, you are required to enter a name and a description for your task. When done, click or tapNext.
- Set Trigger: Now we have to choose when we want Firefox to open such as Monday through Friday. Select the Weekly radio button and click Next.
- Now we have to choose a Start time for our task. Let’s pick 8:45:27 AM–the last two digits represent the seconds.
- Now, click the check boxes for our working days (Monday through Friday) and ensure that above the days of the week it says Recur every: 1 weeks on.
- Click Next.
- Set an Action: The next item should already have the Start a program radio button selected, so click Next again.
- Now we have to choose what program we want to run, which is Firefox in our case.
- Click Browse… to start selecting your program. By default Task Scheduler usually opens File Explorer in Windows > System 32, an unfriendly location if ever there was one.
Let’s get out of there by clicking Local Disk (C:) in the left navigation pane in File Explorer. The stuff we’re looking for is going to be in one of two folders :C:Program Files andC:Program Files (x86). If you have only one of those folders, don’t sweat it, that’s fine too.
Finding our programs is a matter of going through each Program Files folder and looking for our apps by name.
- On my system, Firefox is stashed in C:Program Files(x86)Mozilla Firefox. Inside the Mozilla Firefox folder, I just look for the firefox.exe file, click Open and I’m done. The path to Firefox is now visible in the Program/script entry box.
- Because we’re fancy, we’re not going to stop there. We also want Firefox to open to a specific web page. This is ridiculously easy. Just type the full URL of the website (including https://) into the ‘Add arguments (optional):’ entry box. In the case of Gmail, we’d enter https://mail.google.com/.
Click Next and you’ll see a summary of the task we’ve created. If you’re satisfied with everything, click Finish and you’re done.
Rinse and repeat
Now, we just have to repeat the same process for Excel and Skype.
- On my system, Excel was in C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office 15rootoffice15Excel.exe. Okay, that one wasn’t so pleasant, but Skype is much easier: C:Program Files (x86)SkypePhoneSkype.exe.
When you create each new task be sure to separate their timing by one minute each. That will give Windows plenty of time to fire up each app without causing any problems.
That’s about all there is to get your morning programs set-up and running. Just remember your PC needs to be logged in for this to work, so schedule your tasks accordingly.
5 Best ways to automate tasks in Windows PC
Apart from inbuilt Task Scheduler for Windows, there are various other ways to automate tasks in Windows PC and it’s done with the right Windows automation software. Availability of so many software on the Internet actually make it a bit tricky to choose the one that best suits needs and quite satisfactory. That’s why I have shared some best tools to automate tasks in Windows PC, let’s have a look.
RoboTask is great and powerful automation software that automates series of tasks on your computer. The software enables you to automate any combination of tasks from launching applications to backing up files, checking emails to uploading or downloading and much more.
RoboTask allows you to create simple as well as complex automation including loops, custom variables, conditional IF/ELSE statements and other advanced options. RoboTask will take the hassle out of your PC and will let you enjoy.
Autolt V3 is freeware automation tool designed for Windows GUI. The software uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, windows/control manipulation, and mouse movement in order to manipulate tasks in a reliable way.
Autolt is a powerful, small and standalone application with add-on libraries and modules for specific applications. It allows you to run console applications and access standard streams. The tool creates GUI interface, messages and input boxes for Microsoft Windows.
AutoHotkey is another great automation tool for Windows and an open source macro creation tool through which you can map various repetitive tasks that are either scripted or recorded directly on your keyboard. You can easily automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks.
You can also create data entry form, menu bars, and user interface so that you can automate data entry jobs from text files, CSV, XML, Excel and other database formats. The AutoHotkey also includes script compiler, Window Spy that gives you detailed information about Windows programs and controls.
RadioRJ is one of the most advanced radio automation software for your online radio for Windows PC. The software is, flexible, reliable with an interactive user interface that doesn’t come with multiple options or menu that might confuse you. RadioRJ comes with built-in radio processor plugins in order to accomplish multiple playout event or sequence.
RadioRj is very accurate software that uses audio frames to set up cues, jungles, and sweepers, integrated with Shoutcast or Icecast encoder. If you are looking for automated radio software, RadioRJ is just the right option for you that comes with built-in sound processing system and fantastic music library support in which you can add or create categories. The software works well with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and runs on systems having hardware at least 1000 MHz CPU and 512MB RAM.
TinyTask is a little macro recorder that automates any process or action on Windows PC. The tool not only records the macro but also saves and compile macros and turn recorded macros into executable programs.
TinyTask is easy to use, you don’t need to install the software, just extract the program and run it from any drive or folder. The interface is also intuitive which includes six icons Open, Save, Play, Record, Compile and Options and includes the ability to remember settings in INI files.
Hopefully, the above automation’s helped you start thinking about things you can schedule in Windows. What other ideas do you have? Have you ever automated anything interesting with the Task Scheduler? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!