Mstask.exe is the Windows Task Scheduler process. This process manages task scheduling activities such as backups and updates that need to run at specified times. Removing or disabling this process will cause the scheduler to cease functioning. Your scheduled tasks will also fail to run if the mstask process is disabled or removed.
By default, the mstask.exe file is located in a subfolder within C:\Windows. Its file size on Windows XP is 700,416 bytes. Although located within the Windows folder, mstask.exe is not a core Windows file. The process loads at the time your Windows PC stats up.
Mstask.exe High CPU Usage Problem
Mstask.exe is known to hog CPU resources, especially when it is performing a task and slow down your computer as a result.
Disable Task Scheduler to Resolve Mstask.exe High CPU Usage Problem
If you have no need for the Task Scheduler or if you use an alternate method, you may disable it to resolve high CPU consumption problems caused by mstask.exe:
- Open Start menu and click on Run.
- Type services.msc and then press Enter.
- In the Services management console window, search for Task Scheduler.
- Right-click on it and then select Disable.
Error Running Scheduled Jobs
There may be incidences when Task Scheduler fails to run scheduled jobs on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, and Microsoft BackOffice Server 4.0. You may need to restart the Task Scheduler to run jobs again.
Why does this happen?
The following are two usual causes of this problem:
- If two tasks are scheduled to run at the same time and the first task runs successfully its status is set to Running. Now, if the second task fails to run, the post processing for the first task will not finish and its status will still be set to Running. This is the reason why, next time when mstask.exe tries to run this first task, it fails because the status is still displayed as running.
- Mstask.exe fails to complete a task for some reason. Now when the task list is submitted for rebuilding at the end of the day, usually midnight, new tasks are not is submitted until the following day. This results in problems when its time to run the task next time.
Microsoft has acknowledged that there are issues and has offered the following solutions to address them. Select the one that is applicable to your problem.
Simply download and install the latest service pack for Windows 2000. The English version of the fix should have this file attribute:
Date Time Version Size File name
09/27/2000 07:42p 4.71.2195.1 118,032 Mstask.exe
An alternate solution is to download and install the latest service pack for Internet Explorer Version 5.01.
A fix for Windows NT 4.0 is yet unavailable.
Users should note that if mstask.exe is running when there is no scheduled task, the process has a high probability of being a virus or a Trojan. Make sure that your computer is not infected. Run a scan using a reliable antivirus program like STOPzilla Antivirus. When you are done scanning for viruses, you may also want to run an anti-spyware scan on your system. Spyware Cease comes highly recommended and also has the capacity to protect users from identity theft.
If you feel that mstask.exe is causing other PC errors, you can also run registry scanning software like RegServe to fix issues. This is a lightweight but powerful tool that can help maintain overall PC health.