How to Automate Repetitive Tasks in Windows

November 5, 2019 • Zachary Amos


Computers are designed to make us more efficient and productive. But sometimes they work against us instead, and we find ourselves getting caught on repetitive tasks — typing up the same email, backing up files or getting all the programs you need running, every time you start your computer. But you may not know easy it is to automate repetitive tasks in Windows to work with you, and cut down on the number of repetitive tasks you perform every day.

The most productive people automate as much of their day as possible. You can set up your computer to automatically complete many of the simple tasks that you spend time on throughout the day. Don’t waste valuable time — learn how you can automate repetitive tasks in Windows with a few simple steps.

Why Automate?

Automating tasks can help you save time, simplify your workflow and get started with work sooner. Having Windows set up to automate important tasks can also help you make sure that critical jobs — like a daily, template-based email report — will be completed, even if you’re away from your computer or distracted with other work. Cutting down on typing can also save your hands in the long run.

Highly productive people automate as much of their day as possible, saving the rest for essential work that requires deep focus. Spend some time setting your computer to complete tasks for you, and you’ll have extra time you can put towards the work that matters.

Automating Tasks With Windows

With Windows, there are a few different tools that you can use to automate repetitious tasks.

Windows Task Scheduler, which comes with every installation of Windows, can be used to perform routine tasks based a schedule that you set. These tasks can include opening a certain program, starting a process, or a complex combination of different actions — like deleting the oldest file in a specific folder, sending an automated email or backing up the data on your hard drive to the cloud.

You can also set certain conditions that will perform tasks when triggered — so if you need a certain task performed every-other-weekly, or on the 15th of every month, you can set up Task Scheduler to do so.

The application has also been around since Windows 95, and its interface is a little dated. You may need to experiment to automate the tasks to your liking — and you might also need a little bit of programming know-how to automate more complex tasks. Luckily, there is a wealth of guides and pre-written routines out there on the internet that you can borrow and tweak to your needs. And once a routine is set up to your liking, you’ll never have to mess with the settings again.

Combined with other productivity apps and automation software, you can easily use Task Scheduler to cut down on the number of different tasks you have to keep track of.

You can also use Window’s Startup folder if you just need to have certain programs running as soon as possible. If you need a few different programs to be running to start your workday — for instance, Outlook, Chrome and Excel — you can set these programs to automatically launch on startup with the Startup folder, or with the Startup Apps menu in Windows 10. You should keep in mind, however, that setting up too many programs may slow your computer down a bit on startup as Windows gets all of your programs running.

And there are other, third-party programs that you can use to automate even more tasks — like PhraseExpress, which automatically expands typed abbreviations, or FormatFactory, which bulk converts media files from one format to another.

Saving Time With Windows Task Automation

The most productive people automate as much of their day as they can. With Windows, you can use Task Scheduler, the Startup folder or Startup Apps menu and third-party software to automate many of the repetitive tasks that you can get bogged down by throughout the day.