Best Free Program Scheduler

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Automatically launch programs or perform actions on your PC.
It's possible to use the Windows Task Scheduler to automate the running of just about any program. However, some programs require user input once they are started and will sit waiting forever for a keyboard response. There are several solutions to this problem but subscriber Mark Smith has come up with one that is simple, free and effective.

Mark writes, "Gizmo, I just found a utility that has filled a major gap for me. I use Diskeeper Lite for defragging but the scheduling feature is only available in the paid version. I overcame this by using a free utility called System Scheduler. It's simpler to use than Windows Scheduler and also allows you to enter parameters for a scheduled program or file. In particular, it allows you to enter key-presses in an easily understood manner which is great for non-programmers. So for example, with Diskeeper Lite, I could close the nag screen (Alt F4), activate the correct menu selection, Actions (Alt A) and press the key for defragment (D), all on one line without separators even. Very slick. So now I have the only feature that I really wanted in the paid version of Diskeeper!"

Great find, Mark. I'm sure a lot of subscribers will find this very useful. I note that the developer makes a free and a Pro version. The latter has some useful additional features such as the ability to reboot and run as a service but the free will do for most folks. Furthermore, the free version covers both home and business use.


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Quick Selection Guide

System Scheduler
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
1.9 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Server 2008


free program scheduler, free scheduler

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by royal mexx (not verified) on 24. December 2011 - 15:34  (85901)

can i schedule my pc to switch on and perform a task using any software...? please help

by mbee (not verified) on 24. July 2012 - 10:01  (96589)

That can only be done through the BIOS on certain computers, Macs and servers normally can but desktop PCs it is hard to say for certain.

by jason on 25. December 2011 - 2:34  (85932)

Provided your computer meets the hardware requirements as explained on the download page (Requires ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) hardware support. Most modern computers will support this feature.)

Wake on StandBy -

I use this on my laptop and it works great. (Of course it is coming from standby or hibernate)

by Awgeewhiz on 9. July 2010 - 15:44  (54005)

Here is one I found that is easy to use: Pycron.

A Cron type scheduler with built in time wizards.

You can do anything you want in a .bat file then time launch it.

by MilesAhead on 25. January 2009 - 19:31  (14675)

Does anyone know of a free Windows scheduler that takes hard disk activity into account? They all use CPU activity because you can get it in one WinAPI call in all versions of Windows. Disk access is tougher. I'd like to be able to avoid a disk intensive task from launching if another disk intensive task is already running. Esp. in Vista you never know when the HD will start running on.

I'm thinking along the lines of "run when computer is idle" more than at a specified time. As example, when I first got my Vista PC I didn't know defrag was in the task scheduler. I was in the middle of a defrag with a 3rd party defragger when defrag.exe decided the computer was "idle" and started defragging!! It had no idea the disk was so busy!

by Anonymous on 14. September 2008 - 21:03  (7731)

Solway's Task Scheduler is an excellent freeware scheduler. I've currently had it automating maintenance tasks on 3 different PCs for the past six months without a single problem.


by elli.dian on 23. August 2008 - 1:41  (6772)

In my program, i'm just wanna using task scheduler from windows.
But, i'm confuse how to manage the scheduler so the application can be running automatically (24hours) and every day without login to system. So if we start the computer, the application will be running automatically (without login to windows)

by elli.dian on 22. August 2008 - 9:31  (6747)

I have an application like an agent and then I wanna running the application automatically without login to windows. The application will be running automatically when the windows start.

Can i automatically start any application when computer starts in windows xp? (without logs in to windows)

Please give me how to solve above problem!!!

by Anonymous on 3. September 2008 - 5:16  (7263)

Yes you can using windows Task Scheduler to do this
Go to Windows directory in XP then There is a folder named TASKS and add new task.

In order to add new task there should be two services to be running in your computer 1. Event Log 2. Task scheduler, by default these two services are running in a standard Xp installation.

Now you can give the log on information (user name and pass word) the scheduler and the frequency of the program etc. in advanced settings.

Now you can start the computer the task mention will run automatically with out log on you manually.


by Anonymous on 21. July 2008 - 15:59  (4671)

nnCron LITE is a small, but full-featured scheduler that can start
applications and open documents at specified time or with specified
frequency. nnCron LITE is a perfect freeware Windows clone of a
well-known UNIX scheduler Cron (including all the useful Anacron
nnCron LITE home page:

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