How do I search for a task in task scheduler (use autoruns)

Background on Windows Task Scheduler

If you’re already familiar with task scheduler skip to the answer

Windows (7, 8*) has many tasks that are scheduled to run at various times. Programs you install often create new tasks of their own to run at various times. These tasks can be set up to run at various times of day, or on various triggers, like system start, or user logon, or the start of a program (most likely a related program to run in a coordinated fashion).

You start task scheduler by

Windows 7:
clicking on the start orb (or hitting Ctrl-ESC) and typing “task” in the search box and clicking on “Task Scheduler”
Windows 8*:
Going to the tile screen (or hitting Ctrl-ESC) and just typing “task”. It’s in the “Settings” group; click on “Task Scheduler”.

How to search–You Can’t–Use autoruns

The short answer is that Windows Task Scheduler PROVIDES NO WAY TO SEARCH.
But, fortunately, another program Sysinternals autoruns, does.

Download autoruns here:

(it’s a .zip file so after downloading you’ll have to double-click it to open the .zip file and extract all the files in it to a folder that you’ll remember.)

Then double click on autoruns.exe to start it. (not the file with the ‘c’ in it’s name–that one runs the console-only application. That is, unless you like the command line style.)

Click the “Scheduled Tasks” tab to show ownly scheduled tasks.

Click File -> Find (or type Ctrl-F) and search for your task.

Once you find it, you can see the hierarchy in the first column of where it’s stored in regular task scheduler.

2 thoughts on “How do I search for a task in task scheduler (use autoruns)

  1. What’s the alternative when the task is not listed by Autoruns? I have a wake timer “Maintenance Activator” and Autoruns shows nothing with that name.

  2. Make sure bottom left status of autoruns says it has finished scanning before you search (will say “Ready).

    Search for “Maintenance” itself, without quotes. Make sure autoruns search box “Match case” is UNchecked.
    Turn off autoruns search box “Match whole words only” and search for just “maint” (no quotes). Or search for just “activator” or just “activ”

    Not just tasks can be a wake timer. Services can also.

    Autoruns should list all the services also, but

    Nirsoft’s “serviwin” ( will focus on just services. Search using that too.

    Note services have a short name and long, descriptive name which are often different from each other.

    You may have already done this, but view wake timers as specified here:
    (ie use powercfg command line)

    That’s all I can think of at the moment.

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