How To Wake Up A Sleeping Windows 7 Computer To Run A Microsoft Security Essentials Scheduled Scan


Normally, when we schedule a time-consuming task like virus scan we usually put them into the time slot when we don’t use the computer, like midnight. But the problem is not every computer is running on 24 hours. So what we ended up is that those scheduled jobs that help your computer in a good working sharp are never performed.

Here is a little trick that uses a neat job scheduling feature in Windows 7 to wake up a computer while it’s in sleep mode to perform the scheduled scanning job in Microsoft Security Essentials.

First of all, in order to make it work,

1. The computer has to be in a sleep mode. If it’s in hibernation or turned off, it cannot be woken up later on.

2. The scheduled scan in Microsoft Security Essentials has to be on and set to a certain time. For example,


Then, turn on the wake up option in Task Scheduler

1. Open the task manager by simply typing “task scheduler” into the search box from the start menu.

2. Locate and highlight Microsoft Antimalware from Task Scheduler Library / Microsoft.


3.Highlight and right-click on MP Scheduled Scan job from the task list, and select Properties. If you don’t see the job, make sure View Hidden Tasks option is checked in the View toolbar.


4. In MP Scheduled Scan Properties window, click on Conditions tab, and tick the option “Wake the computer to run this task”.


The change will take effect immediately after clicking OK.

A few notes

1. This conditional option is not limited only to Microsoft Security Essentials. It can be applied to any task you want to schedule, preferably those backup jobs.

2. Besides this wake-up condition, you can also set the task to run

  • only if the computer is on AC-Power.
  • only if the computer is idle for a certain amount of time.
  • and only if the specified network connection is available.

3.  When the task scheduler service wakes up the computer to run a task, the screen will remain off even though the computer is no longer in sleep mode. The screen will be turned on only when Windows detects the activities from a user who returned to use the computer.


  1. The tip explained above is something MSFT should have included in Windows 7.
    However, a few days after I set it up for scheduled scans while asleep, I wanted to go back and see if I might want to modify anything.
    When I clicked Microsoft Antimalware, “MP Scheduled Scan Ready …” was not there to check the properties of.
    Where is it to be found, and how can I do this from scratch?

  2. In order to see the scheduled task in the antimalware scheduled list, I had to check the box for “start the scheduled scan only when the computer is on but not in use” in the scan settings security essentials application. Once I did that, it showed up in the scheduled task list and one can then set the conditions/options as desired.


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