Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot cancel scheduled task - user account does not exist

  1. #1

    Cannot cancel scheduled task - user account does not exist


    I have some scheduled tasks that I set up with another user account that no longer exists.

    Even though my current user account is an administrator, I am unable to remove these scheduled task, or (as far as I can see) change user to my current user.

    Previously I was getting the error message "the specified account name is not valid." as the reason why my current account was unable to cancel or delete the task.

    I googled it, lots of people had the problem but no very clear solution. Eventually found a hack that included deleting the entry from the registry so I did that. I can no longer see the task in task scheduler, but it's still running!

    Gobsmacked that Admin user can not do something as simple as cancel an unwanted task.
    I want to get rid of this annoying task - what can I do!?

    (Please, no suggestions about re-installing Windows or comments about making Registry changes - I am fully aware that I can re-install and I know the standard blurb about Reg changes). Need concrete advise....)
    Last edited by martienne; 07 Nov 2015 at 06:23.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Try running Task Scheduler as Administrator.
    Click on start, type sched. Right click on Task Scheduler at the top then select Run as administrator.

    Don't know if it will make any difference but worth a try. Could also try deleting it from Safe Mode.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Try running Task Scheduler as Administrator.
    Click on start, type sched. Right click on Task Scheduler at the top then select Run as administrator.

    Don't know if it will make any difference but worth a try. Could also try deleting it from Safe Mode.
    Running it as Administrator is a really good idea. Should have thought of it myself, but kept thinking that my user is already an Admin. Not always enough though, for example in command. Confusing and easy to forget.
    Don't know about safe mode.

    Problem is, I can't get Task scheduler to start as Admin - Maybe my Win 8 start menu is messed up (am using a third party Start button and stay clear off Metro) I need to start it as Administrator the old fashioned way - taskeng.exe didn't work. The process must be called something else.

    Another issue is that I accidentally removed the key for the task in Registry, thinking it would delete the task.
    But it just deleted the entry for the task from Task scheduler. I think I can restore it, but it will take some time.
    I also deleted the XML file for the task from C:\WINDOWS\Tasks thinking that would zap it. But not that either.

    I am going to have to log into my cloned backup disk to restore the tasks fully - before I can try your suggestion!!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Can confirm that Ztruker's advise was correct.
    Answer is: Figure out how to run the Task scheduler as Administrator. The process is called taskschd.msc so launch that from the Run box in Task Manager.

    This goes EVEN if your account is already an Administrator.

    Then try again to cancel or end the task and it works.

    Unfortunately my various attempts at solving this earlier had messed things up but now I know what the solution is.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    What are you using in place of the default Start menu, Classic Shell, Start8, ????

    With Start8, pressing Ctrl and clicking on Start brings up the default Start menu where you can type sched. Right click on Task Scheduler at the top then select Run as administrator.

    With Classic Shell it's Shift then click ...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Cannot cancel scheduled task - user account does not exist
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