If you use your computer on a daily basis, it is more likely that you perform the same tasks repeatedly. You find yourself manually opening the same apps, deleting unwanted data, and running various system tools among other basic functionalities. Though you are already used to this routine, automating some of these tasks can save you time, making you more productive. Fortunately, there are several ways of automating tasks using Windows in-built tools or third party software. In this article, let us take a look at how you can automate tasks in Windows 10.
Related: How to secure your Windows 10 PC?
3 Ways to Automate Tasks in Windows 10 PC
Here are the three ways you can try automating tasks in Windows 10 PC.
- Automate using Command Prompt
- Use Windows PowerShell for automation
- Use Windows 10 Task Scheduler for automation
1. Automating Tasks Using Command Prompt and Batch Files
Command Prompt is a command line interpreter software that can be used to run multiple DOS commands in saved in a batch file. The user types the commands required to automate a task in plain text like “.txt” and saves the file with the “.cmd” or “.bat” extension. When you open the batch file, Windows 10 will execute the commands sequentially as compiled in the file.
For instance, if you usually open multiple applications at the same time (say Chrome browser, a Word document, Control Panel, and Paint program), you can automate the task instead of having to open each application manually.
- Open a text editor (Notepad) and type the commands to launch the different apps as shown.
- Before you save the file, it is important to test whether the commands work as intended.
- Type “cmd” in the search box and choose “Command Prompt” from the result.
- Copy the commands and paste them in the cmd interface and hit “Enter”.
- If the commands work correctly go to “File > Save” and change the file extension to “.cmd” or “.bat” and click the “Save” button.
- You will notice the difference between the icons for the .txt file and the .bat file.
- To execute the tasks, double click on the file icon or right-click it and then click “Open”.
- This is simple task automation using Cmd and batch files. You can write commands to automate many and complex tasks.
2. Automating Tasks Using Scripts in PowerShell Scripts
The Windows PowerShell is a more advanced management framework and automation tool designed for power users. You can use PowerShell Scripting to automate and complete repetitive and complex tasks in Windows 10 with less time. The PowerShell ISE is more like a programming language IDE with inbuilt commands that makes the scripting easier and faster. It provides more and powerful features to enable system admins to automate deeper system tasks.
- You can use two interfaces to execute PowerShell commands (cmdlets); the PowerShell Console and PowerShell ISE environment.
- To launch PowerShell, press “Win + X” on your computer keyboard and select “PowerShell (Admin) or type “Power” in search and select “PowerShell ISE” from the result.
- We can use the PowerShell ISE to automate a similar task as above. Open a new script and type the commands.
- To test the command, click the green arrow (Icon).
- Now click the “File” menu and select “Save” and save the file with a “.ps1” extension.
- To run the script right-click the .ps1 file icon and choose “Run with PowerShell”.
3. Automating Tasks Using Windows 10 Task Scheduler
Window 10 Task Scheduler is a tool that helps users to automate tasks by scheduling programs and tasks to run at a particular time. Users can set notification messages and alerts for complete, about to start or starting tasks among others. It also allows users to customize a scheduled task to suit their purpose.
- To automate tasks in Windows 10, type “Task Scheduler” in search and click it from the result to open.
- Select “Create Task” on the right-most panel. On the “General” tab type the name of the task, and specify other details about the task.
- Add a new trigger and for “Begin the task” choose when you want the task to be triggered and click “Ok”.
- Under the “Action” tab and click “New” to add an action. Click the “Browse” button to select a program or script of the task you want to complete.
- We can choose the cmd script we created above “Launch My Apps” and click “Ok”.
- The script will run automatically, every time you start your computer.
Note: You can add more than one task depending on the tasks you want to schedule.
Automating process and tasks can save you time, increase accuracy and your productivity in Windows 10. There are many third-party task automation tools, but you can still use the above three Windows 10 in-built utilities to eliminate complex and repetitive processes and tasks that can compromise your performance.
Thanks for a very useful article.
I need to go one or two steps further. Could anyone tell me how I can (hopefully simply) achieve the below:
I have a Windows application (.exe) that starts up during normal Windows startup (Windows Server actually). About twice a week, it gets its panties in a bunch and starts causing locks to be set in a database. I want to preempt the above by restarting the program every night. The problem that I have is that to actually stop this program in a safe way, I have to press a button marked “Stop”. To start the program again, I have to execute the program and then press a button marked “Start”.
Thanks, super easy to follow.
Great example on cmd/bat to go with same commands to powershell.