Visualising scheduled tasks on Windows with R

I do most of my work on Windows 10, with the usual terminal sessions via SSH to Linux or VirtualBox VM for Ubuntu. Quite often though I have need to have tasks run automatically on my machine while I’m testing them before integrating into larger production deployments. A great tool is the taskscheduleR add-in for R Studio. It provides a very simple interface to the Windows’ 10 Task Scheduler (which is like cron) —

Schedule R scripts/processes with the Windows task scheduler. This allows R users to automate R processes on specific timepoints from R itself. The package is basically a wrapper around the Schtasks.exe functionality. More information about schtasks can be found at or at the doc folder inside this package.

You can find out much more about it at the GitHub page here

What is really useful though is by calling the library underpinning the R Studio add-in, and with a few lines of R code, it is possible to create a simple but easy to view chart of when various R scripts will be executed —

taskscheduler_ls() %>%
as_tibble() %>%
clean_names() %>%
mutate(next_run_time = dmy_hms(next_run_time)) %>%
filter(author == “<<put the author name here>>) %>%
arrange(desc(next_run_time)) %>%
mutate(task_name = factor(task_name, levels = unique(task_name))) %>%
ggplot(aes(next_run_time, task_name)) +

What this does is

  • use the taskscheduler_ls function to list all of the scheduled tasks
  • convert to a data frame
  • clean up the names using Janitor
  • cast the next run time to a date-time object
  • filter by the author, in this case replace with your own value
  • sort by next run time
  • mutate the task name to use factors
  • plot a scatter plot

This ends up looking like the below, although I’ve removed the script names for privacy reasons.

It just gives a very simple way to see when your script is going to run next.