"How To Automate Tasks
So You Can Do More
With Your Time"
There's no reason to stare at your computer while it cleans
house. Unless you like watching it work! Once the novelty has worn off, you can set up a
scheduled task to be performed while you are busy with other things,
like sleeping. That's the genius of automation-- make the machine take care of
itself on its own schedule!
Let's take defragmenting for example. This is a task that
can take up to an hour or more on one of today's big hard
drives. Here's how to create an
automatic defragmentation program.
Like most tasks in Windows, there's more than one approach.
I'll show you the quickest, easiest way.
Step 1. Double click the My Computer icon.
You'll see the following dialog appear. I've highlighted the Scheduled Tasks folder.
Step 2. Double click the Scheduled Tasks
folder. Or, once it's highlighted, you can press the Enter key. Either way, the folder
will be opened to reveal the Scheduled Tasks window as shown below.
Icon View of the Scheduled Tasks window
Note: Notice the red
("X") on two of the icons above. This means no tasks are scheduled for those items. Changing the
view of this window to a detailed view (Click View and select Details from the drop down
menu) provides you with details concerning each item in the window, as shown below:
View of Scheduled Tasks
Step 3. Double click the icon you want to
work with. In this case, I've chosen the defragmentation icon. Here's the window that
appears with the Task tab first:
Note: Windows automatically fills in the
Run line and the Comments field.
Be sure to enable automation by selecting this check box: Otherwise, your
task will never run. I learned this by trial and error. I couldn't figure out why the task
never operated as scheduled until I looked more closely and found the check box
Step 4. Click the Schedule tab
to receive the following
Note: Select the check boxes you need to
create a schedule that works for you. This can be changed at any time.
Step 5. Click the Settings tab for more
options. Here's the picture:
Note: Select the check boxes as needed.
When you're finished, go back over the tabs to be sure everything is the way you want it.
When you're satisfied with your options, click OK.
The screen goes away, and the task is set to be performed
at the time you've scheduled. You can apply these same steps to any scheduled task. Just
make sure your computer is running at that time or the task won't run.
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