Use the windows_task InSpec audit resource to test a scheduled tasks configuration on a Windows platform. Microsoft and application vendors use scheduled tasks to perform a variety of system maintenance tasks but system administrators can schedule their own.


A windows_task resource block declares the name of the task (as its full path) and tests its configuration:

describe windows_task('task name uri') do
  its('parameter') { should eq 'value' }
  it { should be_enabled }


  • 'parameter' must be a valid parameter defined within this resource ie logon_mode, last_result, task_to_run, run_as_user
  • 'value' will be used to compare the value gather from your chosen parameter
  • 'be_enabled' is an example of a valid matcher that checks the state of a task, other examples are exist or be_disabled


The following examples show how to use this InSpec resource.

Tests that a task is enabled

describe windows_task('\Microsoft\Windows\Time Synchronization\SynchronizeTime') do
  it { should be_enabled }

Tests that a task is disabled

describe windows_task('\Microsoft\Windows\AppID\PolicyConverter') do
  it { should be_disabled }

Tests the configuration parameters of a task

describe windows_task('\Microsoft\Windows\AppID\PolicyConverter') do
  its('logon_mode') { should eq 'Interactive/Background' }
  its('last_result') { should eq '1' }
  its('task_to_run') { should cmp '%Windir%\system32\appidpolicyconverter.exe' }
  its('run_as_user') { should eq 'LOCAL SERVICE' }

Tests that a task is defined

describe windows_task('\Microsoft\Windows\Defrag\ScheduledDefrag') do
  it { should exist }

Gathering Tasknames

Rather then use the GUI you can use the schtasks.exe to output a full list of tasks available on the system

schtasks /query /FO list

rather than use the list output you can use CSV if it is easier.

Please make sure you use the full TaskName (include the prefix \) within your control

C:\>schtasks /query /FO list
Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Diagnosis
HostName:      XPS15
TaskName:      \Microsoft\Windows\Diagnosis\Scheduled
Next Run Time: N/A
Status:        Ready
Logon Mode:    Interactive/Background


For a full list of available matchers, please visit our matchers page.