Task Scheduler not running? Here’s how to fix it

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Task Scheduler not running
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Task Scheduler helps with scheduling (the same way you schedule jobs) programs, and scripts.

When it isn’t working, then the programs and scripts in Windows cannot be launched at the times or intervals as planned.

Before resolving the issue, check the last time it worked, and whether you made any recent hardware and/or software changes on your computer.

Here are some solutions to help you fix the Task Scheduler when it’s not working.

How to fix Task Scheduler on Windows 10

1. Start Task Scheduler from Command Line

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Type CMD in the search field box
  • Right click Command Prompt
  • Click Run as Administrator

  • When the Command Prompt opens, type net start task scheduler

Does it open? If not, try the next solution.

Learn to work in Command Prompt like a real technician with our comprehensive guide!

2. Check if Task Scheduler is actually running

  • Click Start
  • In the search field box, type services.msc

services.msc windows 10

  • Click Enter
  • Look for Task Scheduler

  • Right click then select Properties
  • Under Startup Type list, select Automatic

  • Click Start
  • Click Apply
  • Click Ok

3. Run a System File Checker scan

A System File Checker scan checks or scans all protected system files, and then replaces the incorrect versions, with the genuine, correct Microsoft versions.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type CMD
  • Select Command Prompt

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  • Right click and select Run as Administrator

  • Type sfc/scannow
  • Press Enter
  • Restart your computer

If the Task Scheduler still isn’t working, try the next solution.

5. Delete the corrupted task

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Type Task Scheduler in the search field box
  • Press Enter
  • On the left pane, click Task Scheduler library

  • Select backup task in the middle pane and delete it

If you cannot find the corrupted task, do the following:

  • Click Start
  • Type CMD in the search field box
  • Right click on the Command Prompt
  • Click Run as Administrator
  • Execute this command: schtasks /query | findstr /i

Once the command is executed, look for either of the following errors:

  1. ERROR: The task image is corrupt or has been tampered with
  2. ERROR: The task cannot be loaded: task name

Finally, try scheduling a task and check if the issue persists.

6. Restart Task Scheduler

  • Click Start
  • In the search field box, type Services
  • Right click Services

  • Click Run as Administrator
  • Give the necessary password or permissions or click Continue
  • Right click Task Scheduler service
  • Select Restart

7. Change Service Configuration

  • Click Start
  • In the search field box type CMD
  • Right click on Command Prompt
  • Select Run as Administrator

  • Choose continue at the UAC prompt
  • In the console window, type SC Comfit schedule start= auto
  • If you get the reply [SC] ChangeServiceConfig SUCCESS, the service will be changed to automatic once you reboot

Are these solutions too complicated? Ease your work by installing one of the task scheduler tools from our list!

8. Perform a Clean Boot

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes of the Task Scheduler not working.

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These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally.

How to perform a clean boot

In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig
  • Press Enter or Ok

msconfig windows 10

  • Select System Configuration

  • Find Services tab
  • Select Hide all Microsoft services box

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  • Click Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab
  • Click Open Task Manager
  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try and check if your Task Scheduler still doesn’t work, or if the problem is gone.

9. Create a new user account

You can create a new user profile then change settings to administrator privileges, and check if the issue of Task Scheduler not working persists.

Here’s how you can create a new user profile:

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings

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  • Select Accounts

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  • Click Add someone else to this PC

  • Fill in the form with the user name and password. Your new user account will be created.
  • Click on Change account type

  • Click the drop down arrow and choose Administrator to set the account to administrator level
  • Restart your computer
  • Login to the new account you just created

If the issue goes away, then it may mean your other user profile is corrupted. Learn how to fix that by following our guide.

You can try the following in case of a corrupted user profile:

  • On your new account, use it to downgrade your usual account
  • Click Apply or Ok
  • Raise back your old account to its default admin level
  • Rinse and repeat a few times as this will help to remove any corruption
  • Leave your account on as Administrator

Check whether the issue of Task Scheduler not working goes away when using the newly created account. If it does, then you can either Fix the old user account or migrate to the new account.

10. Perform a repair install

Here’s how to do this:

  • Insert the Windows installation DVD
  • Restart your computer
  • If asked to boot from your DVD drive, do so
  • Choose your language
  • Click Next
  • Click Repair your computer
  • Select the operating system you want to repair

Windows 10 won’t install? No fear, we got the right solutions for you!

Particular troubleshooting steps on Task Scheduler

  1. A task doesn’t run as and when it is expected to

If this happens, ensure the task is enabled, and check that the triggers on the task are set correctly. Check the task’s history to see when it was started and check for errors.

A task only runs if its conditions are met. Some run when a particular user is logged in depending on the security options on the task itself, so ensure the task’s security options are correctly set.

  1. The task runs, but the program didn’t run correctly

If this happens, try running the program manually (not from the task) to check that it works properly. You can add a command line option to the program’s path.

Some programs need elevated privileges to run correctly, so set the task to run with the highest privileges by changing its security options on the General tab of the Task Properties dialog box. If the program doesn’t run properly, check the task’s history for any errors.

  1. You get an error when the task tries to send an email

If this happens, and the email isn’t sent correctly, ensure the settings for email action on the task are properly set. The email action should have a valid value for the SMTP server To and From settings. Ensure the SMTP server is set up correctly.

  1. A task uses 100% of the CPU

If this occurs, the system can be rendered unusable. Disable the task then change its trigger. If the system is unresponsive because of this issue, do the following:

  • Restart in Safe Mode (Task Scheduler doesn’t run in Safe Mode)
  • In Windows/System32/Tasks folder, rename the task file, or delete it
  • Restart in Normal Mode
  • Redefine the task

Now that your Task Scheduler works, read our guide to learn to use it at its full potential!

Let us know in the comments section whether these solutions were helpful.

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