How to disable automatic maintenance tasks in Windows 8

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 23, 2014

If you are running the Windows 8 operating system, and it does not really matter if you are still on Windows 8 or have upgraded to Windows 8.1, then you may have noticed that the system starts to run maintenance jobs all of a sudden.

While some of those tasks are defined to execute only when the system is idle and not in use, you may still notice that the tasks are run regardless of that.

So, if you are playing a multiplayer game, watching HD movies or running other tasks that require a lot of processing power and system resources, you may have noticed that things slow down during that time.

While that won't happen if you use a high-end machine, it may very well be an issue on low to mid-end systems.

Another thing to consider is that Windows will wake the computer to run the regular maintenance task on the system.

How scheduled maintenance works

Automatic Maintenance has been designed to address several issues of maintenance related tasks that users experienced on previous versions of Windows.

The goal of the feature is to combine all maintenance related tasks such as checking for Windows and software updates, running defrag or performing antivirus scans and including those by Windows and third-party developers to run them without impacting the performance or energy efficiency of the PC.

Windows schedules the automatic maintenance to run at 3AM or 2AM every day by default. The daily limit is set to 1 hour which means that it will run no longer than that per day.

It will also only run if the computer is idle, and stop maintenance tasks when the use returns and starts using the PC again.

Maintenance tasks are resumed when the PC is idle again with an important change. Tasks marked as critical will be run regardless of user action or load.

Additional information about Automatic Maintenance tasks are available on MSDN.

Disable maintenance tasks

automatic maintenance windows 8

Disabling the maintenance tasks may resolve those issues for you. It is suggested to disable the tasks to see if this is indeed the case. If it is not and the issues that you are experiencing are caused by something else, then you may want to consider enabling the tasks again.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to bring up the start screen interface. If you are already on it, skip this step.
  2. Type Task Scheduler and click on the schedule tasks result. This opens the Windows Task Scheduler.
  3. Browse to the following folder: Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > TaskScheduler
  4. The maintenance tasks are displayed on the right.
  5. Right-click on Regular Maintenance and select disable from the context menu. This turns this task off so that it won't be run anymore.You can perform the same operation on the Idle Maintenance task as well, even though that should not really be necessary.

Windows won't run the disabled tasks anymore. It is up to you to determine whether that is beneficial to the system's performance or not. If you use the system as usual, it should become obvious whether that is the case or not.

As a side effect, you may disable the wake feature that the maintenance triggers to run the task. If that is the issue that you are noticing, you can alternatively change the time the maintenance task is executed at.

It is possible to change both the time and the wake option using the Task. You do need to double-click the task in the Task Scheduler to do so.

  1. Switch to Triggers and select edit. Here you can change the time the task is run on the PC.
  2. After you have made the change and clicked ok, switch to Conditions.
  3. Remove the checkmark from "Wake computer to run this task" to disable that feature as well.
How to disable automatic maintenance tasks in Windows 8
Article Name
How to disable automatic maintenance tasks in Windows 8
How to turn off or modify Windows 8's automatic maintenance tasks.

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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