Windows 7 Task Scheduler: “The user account does not have permission to run this task”

14 02 2012

I was encountering a problem with the Windows 7 Task Scheduler. I had a task configured, and it was running correctly at the specified time. But whenever I would open the Task Scheduler and try to run the task manually, it would fail with this error:

I had no idea what this error meant. It could’ve meant that the user account that the task was configured to run under didn’t have permission to run the task — but that didn’t make sense, because the task ran fine at its scheduled time. It could’ve meant that the user account I was using didn’t have permission to run the task — but I was running as a system admin. I spent a while searching Google, and while I found people talking about the error, I couldn’t find any useful information about what it meant or how to fix it. Finally, I whipped out my old friend ProcMon, which helped me see what was happening:

The Windows 7 Task Scheduler stores tasks as individual XML files in the directory C:\Windows\System32\Tasks. This task in particular had been created by a script using the Schtasks.exe utility. The way Schtasks had configured the permission on the task file was very strange — it had granted the Administrators group all permissions except Execute:

Oddly enough, you need to have Execute permission on the task file in order to run it. This can be edited through the Windows UI, or from the command line by running:

cacls "C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Task Name" /g Administrators:F

Naturally, you’ll need to replace “Task Name” with the actual name of the task, and Administrators with the user or group to grant access.




4 responses

7 11 2012

Soooooo many thanks for this, spent a couple of days with the same issue and never thought to check the file permissions, the minute I checked them and saw they didn’t have execute, my tasks started running as different users! Awesome, cheers!

23 10 2013

Thanks. This helped me solve the problem where I was unable to modify an entry in task manager when logged in using my own account (without admin rights) even though I was named as the owner of the task.

Your post led me to find that Admin was the owner of the xml file in C:\Windows\System32\Tasks. I changed that so that I was the owner and I could then modify the task.

16 09 2015

Thanks !!!

9 09 2016

Arf. Thanks nig, I couldn’t figure out where those files were that gwx kept shitting into my file system.

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