|Component of Microsoft Windows|
|Introduced in||Microsoft Plus! 95 (as System Agent)|
Windows 98 (as Scheduled Tasks)
Task Scheduler (formerly Scheduled Tasks) is a system utility that was initially introduced in Microsoft Plus! 95 as an OS enhancement called System Agent and then included in subsequent versions of Windows ever since. It allows users to run various automated tasks like launching programs or making a custom dialog box pop-up on the screen at pre-defined times or after certain set times. Originally introduced as a standalone application, it turned into a MMC snap-in (
TASKSCHD.MSC) in Windows 2000.
Before Task Scheduler, a similar application called "Command Scheduler" was already available as part of the Resource Kits of Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5, which also allows to run a task at a specific time. Additionally, it allows to create tasks for remote computers. Upon launch, it requires to start the Schedule service on the target device.
The Task Scheduler is also available as an Internet Explorer 4 component on the IE4 CD, which can be installed with the Internet Explorer Add-On installer on the disc.
Many built-in background processes that run in Microsoft Windows have associated automated tasks that are enabled by default to ensure that the operating system runs properly.