Idle Trigger


Triggers a task when the system has been idle due to absence of user interaction (i.e. no mouse or keyboard input) within the specified time period.

Practical Usage

Occasionally, tasks are better run when the computer is not in use. The Idle trigger can be configured for such a scenario.

NOTE: Some computers may become locked or a screensaver may appear (which automatically locks a computer) when the system is idle for a specific time period. In such cases, tasks containing steps that interact with the desktop (i.e. Move mouse, Send Keystrokes or Close window activity) will fail if a workstation is in a locked or logged off state. Make sure that the Logon parameters of such tasks are set to unlock the workstation when it is locked or log onto the workstation when a user is logged out.

Related Topics  






Idle period


Combined with the Measurement parameter below, specifies the total time period to delay after the system becomes idle before activating the trigger.


Text (options)

The time unit in which the idle period should be measured. The available options are:

  • Seconds - The idle period is measured in seconds.

  • Minutes (default) - The idle period is measured in minutes.

  • Hours - The idle period is measured in hours.

  • Days - The idle period is measured in days.




Trigger on startup if condition is true

If enabled, the system will act upon conditions that already exist upon startup of the current trigger. For example, if the Notepad window is already open on the desktop, a newly created Window trigger set to monitor for the existence of a Notepad window will immediately launch the task as a result. If disabled, the trigger will ignore the open Notepad window upon startup. This parameter is disabled by default.

Trigger after the condition has been met 'X' times.

If enabled, specifies how many times the trigger condition must be met before the task is started. For example, if a Window trigger is set to monitor for the appearance of a Notepad window and this parameter is set to 3, the task will not launch until the third instance of Notepad appears on the desktop.


additional notes


When this trigger is activated, it automatically passes the AMTrigger object to the task. AMTrigger is a standard AutoMate dataset and can be used much like the datasets created by the SQL Query and Email actions. The fields of AMTrigger can be used within a task to determine specific values, such as whether or not the task was started by a trigger, which trigger started the task, when the trigger was activated and other properties. AMTrigger populates a unique set of field–value pairs for each AutoMate trigger. The following table lists the ones specific to this trigger. For more details about a specific AMTrigger field–value pair, click the associated link.


Data Type

Return Value



Returns the total idle duration time in the following format: HH:MM:SS:MS



Returns the date/time the system initially became idle. The date/time is returned in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS


NOTE: A full list of AMTrigger objects exclusive to each trigger can be viewed from the Expression Builder by expanding Objects -> Triggers and selecting the desired trigger.