15

I created a new Task in my task scheduler and I wanted it to be running only if the computer is idle for 10 min.

but then I saw this checkbox which I don't understand what it does :

enter image description here

The help says :

If a task is set to start only if the computer is idle for 30 minutes, and the task waits for the computer to be idle for 10 minutes, then the task will launch in 5 minutes only if the computer has been idle for 25 minutes prior to the time the trigger was activated. The task will not start if the computer enters an idle state 5 minutes after the trigger is activated.

Sorry I don't understand this explanation. ( where the 5 min came from ???)

can someone please shed light ? ( in simple words)

17

You are right: that explanation is very hard to follow! I'll try to explain it a different way:-

In your screenshot you have a task that will trigger at a certain time. When this task triggers, it will only execute if the statement "the computer has been idle for 10 minutes" is true. The task will wait up to an hour for the statement to become true, and then it will give up.

If the computer has been idle for 10 minutes or more when the task is triggered, it will execute immediately. Otherwise it will wait.

If the computer becomes idle after, say, 15 minutes after the task triggered, the task will continue waiting. 25 minutes after the task triggered, the statement "the computer has been idle for 10 minutes" becomes true, so the task will execute.

If the computer doesn't become idle within 50 minutes of the task being triggered, the task will not execute. That's because the task will stop waiting after 60 minutes, so if the computer becomes idle more than 50 minutes after the task was triggered, the statement "the computer has been idle for 10 minutes" won't be true until after the specified 1 hour wait is over.

  • Why do you mention re-run tasks in your answer ? the setting for this is in another tab. – Royi Namir Jul 6 '14 at 7:44
  • at first - there is no task triggered – Royi Namir Jul 6 '14 at 7:45
  • I don't mention 're-run tasks' in my answer. – mmmason Jul 6 '14 at 7:45
  • ...if the computer has been idle for 10 minutes or more when the task is triggered,... – Royi Namir Jul 6 '14 at 7:47
  • 4
    I don't understand. All Scheduled Tasks get triggered at the time that they are specified to run. If you set a Scheduled Task to run at, say, 11:15 then it will be triggered at 11:15. If there are conditions set (such as the computer having to be idle), then although the task is triggered it might not necessarily execute. – mmmason Jul 6 '14 at 7:50
3

You need to have an actual trigger (e.g. 6pm everyday) for your task, otherwise "wait for idle for" does not make sense.

Now you read it as:

At 6pm everyday, if the computer is not idle yet, wait for another 1 hour to become idle.

  • If it becomes idle within that time, let it be idle for 10 minutes and then the task gets started.
  • If not, the task will not be triggered.
2

And just to complicate this a little more, Windows only evaluates if the computer is idle every 15 minutes. So even if you schedule a task at 09:00, with an idle for 1 minute and you make sure you're not doing anything for that whole minute, it may still not activate at 09:01 and may actually not activate until 09:15 depending on when Windows evaluates the idle state.

2

I can explain this much more clearly...

Imagine you're sitting beside a busy roadside. You're bored, so you play a game: You tell yourself that if no cars drive past for one whole minute - you win!

The thing is, you're probably not going to win if you're only sitting there for a few minutes. But if you waited there for many hours, you'd have much more chance of winning.

So there are two parameters involved here:

  1. How long does the break in traffic need to last?
  2. How long you are you going sit there waiting for a break?

It's exactly the same with Task Scheduler:

  1. How long does the break in activity need to be?
  2. How long should the computer spend waiting for such a break?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.