Run, Stop, Schedule, Disable Automatic Maintenance in Windows 8 – FAQ

Windows 8 introduces a new feature that allows you schedule and run Automatic Maintenance on your computer. The task when run, will carry out task like security updating and scanning, Windows software updates, Disk Defragmentation, Disk Volume Errors, System Diagnostics, etc and also includes  enterprise-level  Network Access Protection scanning and security standards scanning on all enterprise workstations.

In Windows 7 and earlier versions, performance and energy efficiency are impacted to a certain extent, but in Windows 8, this  maintenance activity, is designed to run in the background – in a prioritized fashion - with limited user interaction and minimal impact to performance and energy efficiency.

Automatic Maintenance in Windows 8

Automatic Maintenance in Windows 8 will run daily and will combine all the background maintenance activity, like updating of Windows software, apps, attending to Action Center messages, running background maintenance tasks, etc, without negatively impacting performance and energy efficiency. It will allow the user to be to be in control of maintenance activity scheduling and configuration too.

The process is named MSchedExe.exe, and it is located in the System32 folder. To access Automatic Maintenance in Windows 8, open Control Panel and navigate to Action Center. Here under Maintenance, click on the small arrow on the right side. This will expose Automatic Maintenance. If you find that this is not being monitored, you may click on Turn on messages about Automatic maintenance.

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This will let Action Center monitor Automatic Maintenance and give you any messages via the  Action Center icon in your taskbar.

If you wish to disable these messages, you can also do so by unchecking the option under Action Center > Change Action Center settings > Maintenance messages.

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By default, Automatic Maintenance runs in the fully Automatic Mode, ie, your PC is intelligently scanned during idle-time and at scheduled times, without user intervention. The complete task is executed silently, and you will not even notice anything.

If your computer is busy, it will run the next time your PC is not being used.

If your computer is in Sleep mode, while on AC Power, it will be resumedand the maintenance activity will be carried out using full system resources to execute the task as fast as it can. After completion of the task, the system will be returned to Sleep mode. You will however, have to check the Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer, if it is plugged in at the scheduled time option.

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If you wish to change the schedule of this Automatic Maintenance, click on Change maintenance settings, and from the drop down-menu, you will be able to set the timing.

If for some reason you wish to start the Maintenance task right away, you can do so by clicking on the Run Maintenance button. This will allow you to run this task at unscheduled times. This is referred to as the User Initiated Mode.

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To stop the Maintenance job, you may click on the Stop maintenance button anytime. The task will be stopped in a few seconds.

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When Automatic Maintenance is being run, you will see its indication in the taskbar icon.

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Disable Automatic Maintenance in Windows 8

To disable Automatic Maintenance, you will have to open Task Scheduler  > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > TaskScheduler.

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Here right-click on Idle Maintenance and Regular Maintenance and select Disable.

I have not been able to find out the exact number of system tasks that it carries out and in the order they are executed – nor is there any way currently to select or de-select the maintenance tasks – but I am sure Defragmentation, checking for Microsoft software updates, security scanning, system diagnostics, malware scanning, Disk Error Checking, checking Clock or System Time, checking if history, error reports and logs are currently taking too much disk space – and addressing these issues if required, etc. must be some of the tasks being executed.

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • Devora32

    How can I schedule the Automatic Maintenance using code?
    Thanks!

  • Pdominicb

    how can I disable this?

  • Mob93761

    How do I disable Automatic Maintenance in Windows 8? It slws down my computer at startup, and I can’t do anything before it stops… I really hate this feature, so please provide me with means on how to stop this pesky thing.

  • BlackHatMario

    i think there is no way to disable autoatic maintenance… I tried to disable it in the scheduler but after a while it activates itself back to normal and starts annoying the crap out of me. I think the only way to get rid of this is to update to windows 7… or linux -.- who the fuck installed this asshole feature in windows 8? I want to see his face so I can hate him as much as I can.

  • Djharty

    mate its a good thing, it helps your pc run better and cleans it up without having to run programs like ccleaner, and it runs in the background without you having to do anything, and the person saying it slows their pc down well i think you need to get a better pc, ive got a core i5 processor and 6gb ram and automatic maintanance does not slow my pc down

  • BlackHatMario

    yes, it is maybe a good thing.. but it starts when I need silence. For example in school or library… the maintenance uses a lot of CPU (i7 laptop) and it starts whenever I don’t use my laptop for few minutes.

  • cjs

    I also have an i5 and I can tell you while watching movies with some players, maitanance will come on automatically and freeze the system and the movie will lag. So I know it uses up lots of resources.

  • Buck Robins

    I love this, you liberal asses think you know what is best and want to force everyone to do as you say. I am going back to win 7 till I can buy an apple computer. I will decide what is a good thing for me. Big deal you have a nice fast computer, stick it.

  • tootie38464

    how long is AUTO MAINTENANCE sopose to run ? when i click button to stop maintenance nothing happens,im on my computer alot and this is the first time i have ever seen anything in the action center
    saying MAINTENANCE IN PROGRESS

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    The time would depend on your system. but it could be around 5-10 minutes. Give it a couple of minutes to stop, after you press the Stop button.

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