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How can I run scheduled tasks in the background when they run as the currently logged-on user?

A. Scheduled tasks usually run under the SYSTEM context and run in the background. However, if you change a service to run as a user account and that account is currently logged on to the machine, the scheduled task will run in the foreground. To change this behavior, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
  3. Double-click Shell (which is explorer.exe).
  4. Modify this value to '<c:\windows>\Explorer.exe,' (don't type the quotes but do type the comma) where <c:\windows> is your local machine's system root.
  5. Click OK.
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