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I have a scheduled task that runs an exe in the background. Every once in a while I'm suspicious that the exe isn't running properly but I have no way to see the output since it's hidden and I can only be aware of the process in task manager.

Question

Is it possible to bring a background task to the foreground?

  • You should be able to see such a task minimized or hidden in the Task Bar. Look there - it should be underlined. That is what I do and how I find things I expect but do not see in the foreground. – John Jul 13 at 16:12
  • Maybe you can find it in notification area's more icons area? – Wasif Hasan Jul 13 at 16:26
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Task Scheduler tasks by default cannot interface with the logged-in user session/desktop.

The isolation rules of scheduled tasks change with each new Windows version, but do define the task with "Run only when user is logged on". When this option is selected, your user account should be displayed under "When running the task, use the following user account:".

With these options, the scheduled task will be able to interface with the desktop session of the defined user, so it can be brought to the front.

You may undo the above once you no longer wish to see the task's window.

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In the light of the answer by @harrymc I'm not sure I've understood the question but I'll plough on anyway.

If you have a lot of tasks open (including Task Manager) you can use Alt/Tab to see a list of everything that's running and bring a selected one to the top.

  1. Press and hold Alt

then, whilst still holding

2a. Repeatedly tap and release Tab to cycle through the windows. When you're on the one you want, release Tab and it will come to the top.

or (better)

2b. While hold Alt, tap Tab once and then mouse-click on the one you're interested in. It will come to the front.

or

2c. Examine the thumbnail you are interested in - it will show you the current state of what's running.


You can also experiment with WindowKey (flag key) plus Tab.

There are other shortcuts depending on what exactly you are trying to do.

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  • Tasks run by the Task Scheduler do not show when you do Alt-Tab. – Martin Argerami Jul 14 at 5:42
  • @Martin Argerami - Thanks, I obviously misunderstood. I'll delete this answer soon. – chasly - reinstate Monica Jul 14 at 9:30

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