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windows_task resource

Use the windows_task Chef 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.



This resource is distributed with Chef InSpec and is automatically available for use.


This resource first became available in v1.10.0 of InSpec.


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 Chef 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 Task Names

Rather than 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, see our Universal Matchers page.
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