I cannot get SyncBack to work with the Windows Task Scheduler

Before continuing, it is recommended you first read our article on the Windows Task Scheduler:


There are a number of possible reasons why you are having difficulties connecting SyncBack with the Windows Task Scheduler:

  • Check to see what error message is returned from the Windows Task Scheduler. Go to the Control Panel, switch to Classic View (option on the left of the window), double-click Administrative Tools, then double-click Task Scheduler. Alternatively, press the Windows key and type Scheduler. Click the Task Scheduler entry that appears.
    On the left of the Task Scheduler window you must expand the tree to Task Scheduler(Local) -> Task Scheduler Library -> 2BrightSparks -> SyncBack (if SyncBackSE, or SyncBackPro if SyncBackPro, or SyncBackFree if SyncBackFree). Under the SyncBack node are entries for users. Click on the one that has your login username. Then click on the scheduled item and go to the History tab. It will show when the schedule was run and any error codes or error messages related to it. (This assumes the Scheduler has History enabled, which may not be the case. If not, you need to enable it via the Action menu > Enable All Tasks History. You may need to de-select any selected Task, as the Action menu is contextual, and will display individual-Task-specific commands if a Task is highlighted/selected. Having enabled the History, you will then need to let the Task/s run again (or try to) as they normally would, to record the History of what happens when they try to trigger
  • If the Last Result column value is 0xFFFFFF97 then that means the profile could not be run because it does not exist. Possible reasons for this are: the profile name is wrong, the profile name is not wrapped in double-quotes, or you have scheduled under a different username than the user that created the profile (profiles are by default user-specific). See the help file for other error values.
  • Make sure you set your password for the task. You must use your Windows login password.
  • Your login password is blank/empty and you have not allowed SyncBack to configure Windows to allow blank passwords. See our how to run schedule tasks article.
  • You are using the wrong username and/or password. You must use your Windows login password.
  • The scheduled task may not be set-up correctly to wake the computer if it is hibernating or in standby mode.
  • The scheduled task may be set not to store the password with the task. This will likely cause profiles which access network resources to fail with a network credential-related error. Try changing that setting if so.
  • The scheduled task may be set not to run unless the user is logged in (and the failure might occurring be at a time when that user is not logged in). Try changing that setting if so.
  • The scheduled task may be disabled. In all Scheduler versions this will be displayed as such in the list of profiles displayed. In Vista and later you can enable it by right-clicking the Task in the list and selecting Enable.
  • The scheduler may be stopped or not installed. See your Windows documentation for details on how to start or install it. 
  • The scheduler may be paused.
  • Profiles are user specific, they are not visible to every user on the computer. This means when you create a profile under a Windows username, and logout and login as a different Windows user, then you will not see the profile created as the other user. When scheduling a profile make sure your scheduled task is being run as the user who created the profile (this is the default when new schedules are created).
  • If you are a member of a domain check that the correct username is being used for the scheduled task. By default your local (machine) username may be used, but it may be that you must use your domain username (domain\username).

How to trouble shoot problems with the task scheduler

If scheduled tasks do not run, you can use several methods to determine the source of the problem.

Enabling History

If you enable history in the Windows Task Scheduler, then you will be able to see detailed logs for a scheduled task, including any errors. To enable history:

- Go to the Windows Task Scheduler

- Right-click on Task Scheduler Library (in the tree on the left)

- Select Enable All Tasks History

- Exit the task scheduler

At a later stage (e.g. after the scheduled task was supposed to have started) you can return to the task scheduler and check the History tab for the scheduled task. IMPORTANT: The task scheduler often fails to refresh the display. You may need to exit and run it again for history items to appear.

Checking the Task Status

Periodically check the status of scheduled tasks, because sometimes you may not be aware that a scheduled task did not run. See the following information about each task:

  • Schedule - The schedule for the task.
  • Next Run Time - The time and date that the task is next scheduled to run.
  • Last Run Time - The time and date the task was last run.
  • Status - The current status of the task.
  • Last Result - Code that indicates the result of the last run.

The Status column has the following status and description information:

  • Blank - The task is not running, or it ran and was successful.
  • Running - The task is currently running.
  • Missed - One or more attempts to run this task was missed.
  • Could not start - The most recent attempt to start the task did not work.

The Last Result column displays a completion code. You can obtain a full explanation of all Windows completion codes from MSDN, but the common codes for scheduled tasks are:

  • 0x0: The operation completed successfully.
  • 0x1: An incorrect function was called or an unknown function was called.
  • 0xa: The environment is incorrect.

If the result code has the "C0000XXX" format, the task did not complete successfully (the "C" indicates an error condition). The most common "C" error code is "0xC000013A: The application terminated as a result of a CTRL+C".

Also check the path to the program and make sure that it is correct. Also check the program to see if it requires some command-line parameters that are missing.

Checking the Task Scheduler Service

The Task Scheduler service must be running and properly configured to run tasks. If you had stopped scheduled tasks manually from the Scheduled Tasks window, the service stops and does not initialize the next time you start the computer. If the service is not configured to log on as the local system account, it may not start.

To check the settings for the service:

  • Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Administrative Tools.
  • Click Computer Management.
  • Expand Services and Applications, and then click Services.
  • Right-click the Task Scheduler service, and then click Properties.
  • On the General tab, make sure that the startup type is set to automatic, and that the service status is Started. If the service is not running, click Start.
  • On the Log On tab, make sure that the local system account is selected, and that the Allow service to interact with desktop check box has a check mark.
  • Click OK, and then quit Computer Management.

User Rights

You should also make sure the user account has the necessary Windows user rights. To do this, run the Local Security Policy control panel applet (in the Administrative Tools section of the control panel). If you are using the home version of Windows then you may not have access to the Local Security Policy control panel applet (Microsoft have removed the feature from home versions of Windows).

Make sure that the user account has the following user rights:

  • Act as part of the operating system 
  • Log on as a batch job 
  • Log on as a service 

Make sure the user account is not listed in the following user rights:

  • Deny logon as a batch job 
  • Deny logon as a service


Note that you are not forced to use the Windows Task Scheduler. You can use 3rd party schedulers instead of the Windows Task Scheduler, the only drawbacks being that SyncBack will not 'know' the profile is scheduled (it will still run, as that is the job of the scheduler used), as the Schedule options in SyncBack (to create, delete & monitor a Schedule) will still only use/link to the Windows Task Scheduler. Therefore, SyncBack won't link to it nor display any info from it. In addition, task from third party schedulers needs to be configured manually ('outside of' SyncBack).

Note that we cannot provide bespoke support on recommending third party schedulers, nor can we provide support for creating/troubleshooting issues arising from the use of such schedulers.