|Windows Help > Windows Processes > taskeng.exe|
taskeng.exe - Task Scheduling EngineThe Windows process taskeng.exe is associated with the Task Scheduling Engine ("taskeng" is shorthand for "task engine"). This process is responsible for executing certain processes at pre-scheduled times. This process has existed at least since Windows 2000 and is a legitimate component of the Windows OS. Disabling it is generally frowned upon, since this means scheduled tasks such as automated backups or virus scans may no longer execute.
This process has changed as of Windows Vista. In earlier versions, taskeng.exe was solely time-based. It would execute processes at specific times, such as "every Sunday at midnight" or "once per day at 9:15PM." The new Vista model also provides trigger-based execution, so that certain tasks can be scheduled to execute automatically upon boot, user login, remote connections or logins, etc. This additional condition-based execution control allows system administrators much finer control over process management.
Some problems with the new Vista model have been reported. Certain users have noted many copies of taskeng.exe running simultaneously and have suspected a virus. However it appears this is actually a defect in the initial Vista release, and it may be corrected in the impending SP1 patch set.
It's also possible a virus or malware application is masquerading as taskeng.exe in order to escape detection. The legitimate copy of taskeng.exe will always be found in the system32 directory, e.g. C:\windows\system32. Other copies of this file found elsewhere on your PC should be treated with caution. No reports of malware impersonating this file have been found, but this situation could change at any time.
As always, if you suspect a malware infestation you should download and run a current copy of an antivirus/malware scanner in order to isolate and remove the offending application. Be sure to obtain the most recent definition files, since these are critical to the removal of current malware variants.