2 Ways to Run Programs Automatically in Windows 11/10

Wouldn’t it be cool to see your computer do some stuff on its own? With Windows 11 and Windows 10, you can automate certain tasks so that when the time comes, you will not have to be physically present here to perform them yourself.

We are going to show you 2 ways you can run programs automatically on your system. This is especially useful for the users that have to perform the same tasks day-in-day-out.

Let us now show you how you can execute programs to run by themselves.

Run programs automatically in Windows 11/10

Using Windows Task Scheduler

Both Windows 11 and 10 come with a preinstalled tool called Windows Task Scheduler, and this tool does exactly what its name says. It is used to automate (schedule) tasks, and using this utility you can configure it to run programs at certain times, repeat them daily, or on specific days only – the choice is yours.

In the past, you could also use Windows Task Scheduler to send out emails or even show pop-up messages for reminders. However, these features are now deprecated.

  1. To automatically start a program using the Task Scheduler, open the utility by typing in taskschd.msc in Run.
  2. In the Task Scheduler, click Create basic task in the far-right column.
    create basic task
  3. In the Create a basic task wizard, enter a name for the task you are about to create, and then click Next.
    name
  4. Now, select when to trigger this task. Meaning, select the option when you want to repeat this task. It can be everyday (daily), on selected days in a week (Weekly), once a month (monthly), and so on. When the right radio button is selected, click Next.
    trigger
  5. You may now see another screen asking for further information about when to schedule the task (depending on which option you choose to trigger the event). If you do, fill out the information and click Next.
    daily
  6. On the next screen, ensure that the Start a program is selected (since the rest are already deprecated) and click Next.
    action
  7. On the next screen, browse or enter the program you want to run beneath Program/Script. Once done, click Next.
    start a program
  8. Now, check the final settings of the task you have configured, and then click Finish.
    finish

You have now successfully automated the program to run at your desired time(s).

You can also modify the task later whenever required. Simply return to the Task Scheduler and double-click on the task that you want to modify.

Modify
Double-click to modify existing task

Also, you can right-click the task and click Delete from the context menu to remove an existing task.

Automatically start programs using DelayExec

You can also set delay timers to automated tasks to open them after a certain period of seconds. This is possible using a third-party commandlet-based utility known as DelayExec.

DelayExec is a small utility created by RJL Software that can be installed on your computer, and then use the Command Prompt to run programs after some delay time using the utility.

Here is how you can download, install, and use DelayExec to run automated programs:

  1. Download DelayExec by clicking here. Once downloaded, click on it to execute the file. You will then see the following prompt. Click OK.
    prompt delayexec
  2. In the next window, click Unzip to extract the content.
    unzip
  3. Once the extraction is successful, click Close. DelayExec has now been installed in your system.
  4. Now launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
  5. You will now need to navigate to the directory where DelayExec was extracted. Since we extracted the program at C:\delayexec, we will be using the following command to change the directory to that particular folder. You can use this command to change the path to where you have extracted DelayExec:
    cd /d c:\delayexec
    cd cmd
  6. Now, use the following syntax to run a program after some delay:
    delayexec <PathToProgram> <DelayInSeconds>
    In the command above, replace <PathRoProgram> it with the complete path of the program that you want to schedule, and <DelayInSeconds> with the number of seconds that you want to run the program after (integer). Here is an example:
    delayed
    The command above will run notepad.exe after 15 seconds of running the command.

Closing words

The Task Scheduler has been around for some time now. However, not many people use it to their advantage. On the other hand, DelayExec is a tiny, nifty tool that can help you automate tasks. You can even create batch files and run complete scripts after a certain delay.

Do let us know what you think about DelayExec in the comments section below.

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Subhan Zafar
Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several systems and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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