How to Confirm a Task Ran in Windows Task Scheduler

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, you can automate a lot of tasks in the Windows Task Scheduler, but never assume that automation takes place. To confirm that a task has run and run properly, follow these steps:

1

Open the Task Scheduler window.

Open Control Panel and choose System and Security (Windows 7) or System and Maintenance (Windows Vista). Then select Administrative Tools and, finally, Task scheduler.

2

From the left side of the window, open the folder containing the task.

As an example, choose the Defrag folder, found in the Microsoft\Windows folder. You can check the status of automatic defragmentation on your PC by confirming that the Defrag utility has run.

3

Choose a task from the top-center portion of the Task Scheduler window.

To check on the Defrag utility, choose the ScheduledDefrag task.

4

In the bottom-center part of the window, click the History tab.

You see a list of all recent times that the task has executed. You can click to highlight a specific event and see details toward the bottom of the window, or you can double-click an entry to see more information in a dialog box.

5

Close the Task Scheduler window when you’re done.

When the task fails to run, an error message is displayed ― hopefully, with an explanation, though often the reason a task fails to run is that the computer was turned off. In fact, the Windows Backup routine displays a notification area pop-up balloon informing you of missed backups.

If you look for it, you won’t find the Windows Backup program anywhere in the Task Scheduler. That’s because backup schedules its own tasks. Similarly, the PC’s antivirus program might do its own scheduling.

If you have a problem reading the history log, the Task Scheduler displays a pop-up warning window. The warning doesn’t mean that something is wrong with your task, but rather that there’s a problem reading the log.

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