System Options


Determines how AutoMate behaves on a system level. Here, you can view or modify the default managed task location, change the behavior of the AutoMate "A" system tray icon, modify the communication port that AutoMate uses, change the task isolation level and more.




Show AutoMate icon in tray


Sets when the AutoMate icon is visible in the system task tray (located near the system clock). The available options are:

  • Always (default) - The AutoMate icon is always visible. The icon turns green when a task is running. Information about the total number of tasks running and the total number of tasks waiting can be viewed by hovering the mouse over the icon.

  • When a task is running - Display the icon only when one or more AutoMate tasks are running. When no tasks are running, the icon disappears from the tray.

  • Never - Do not display a tray icon.

AutoMate server port

AutoMate uses TCP/IP communication to interact with itself and other AutoMate installations. By default, AutoMate will accept connections from local copies of the Task Administrator, and remote AutoMate installations (if enabled) on port 7977. This port can be changed if it conflicts with other applications on the system. After changing the port, the AutoMate service needs to be restarted in order for the new port to be recognized. This can be accomplished by right-clicking the AutoMate tray icon and selecting Exit from the right-click menu, then restarting the AutoMate Task Administrator from the Start menu.

Default Managed Task Location

When a new managed task is created, AutoMate auto-generates an associated task file that contains the task's properties and steps. Set this to the directory where this default task file should go. This location can vary depending on the operating system. However, by default, tasks go into a location accessible by all users on the system. This location is different from the default unmanaged task location. See Managed & Unmanaged Tasks for more details.

NOTE: If specifying a network location as the default managed task location, it is critical that mapped drive letters not be used. Folders should always be specified using UNC (Universal Naming Convention) paths. For example: X:\pathname\ should be \\servername\pathname\. This is because mapped drives are available only when a user logs on and this does not occur for LocalSystem services.

Task Execution Speed

Use this option to customize the step-by-step execution speed of running tasks. A delay by the amount specified (in milliseconds) will automatically be placed between each step without using a 'Wait' action. The default value is a 0 millisecond delay. This option is set globally, therefore, all tasks that run on the local system will be effected.

Disable Windows Foreground Timeout


The Windows Foreground Timeout feature of Windows operating systems prevents other applications from focusing or changing the order of windows on a system without direct user interaction if another application has been accessed within several seconds. This can prevent AutoMate from properly focusing windows using the 'Focus Window' action. Instead of the window being focused and brought to the foreground, Windows will blink the window in the system tray until it is manually clicked. To turn this Windows feature off and allow AutoMate unobstructed ability to focus windows, enable this option. This parameter is enabled by default.

Task isolation level is

AutoMate tasks can be tailored to execute with varying degrees of isolation allowing for faster startup speeds. Tasks can be set to run under a single pre-loaded process allowing faster startup speeds but eliminating tasks from being isolated from one another or each task can be set to start in their own process isolating them from other running tasks at the cost of a reduction in startup speeds. To modify task isolation, click the Change Task Isolation Level button. A Task Isolation Level dialog will appear (as shown below).

Task Isolation functionality operates only in situations when multiple tasks begin simultaneously (either manually or automatically with the use of a trigger) or when one or more tasks are started while another task is currently in a running state. Keep in mind that certain tasks may need to run independently, such as tasks that contain interactive actions and directly interact with the desktop. Such tasks can be set to run alone within their Priority settings. The available isolation levels are:

  • High - All tasks are set to start in their own process as opposed to starting from a single pre-loaded process. The first task instance and subsequent simultaneous task instances must wait for their corresponding process to start reducing overall startup speed. However, because each task is isolated in their own process, they become independent from all other running tasks. Therefore, failure of a particular task will not effect other running tasks.

  • Medium (Default) - The first task instance starts from a pre-loaded process providing faster startup for that task. If other task instances start while the first instance is currently running, each of those tasks will start from their own process which may reduce their startup speed. However, since each subsequent task is isolated in its own process, failure of an individual task will not effect other running tasks.

  • Low - The first task instance and all other simultaneous instances start from a pre-loaded process allowing for optimum startup speeds. However, since all tasks are run from the same process, failure of a single task will effect all tasks that are running under the same process.     

NOTE: When Task Isolation level is set to High, tasks that start in their own process may be delayed by only a few seconds compared to tasks that are started in the same process when isolation is set to Low. Therefore, Task Isolation should be modified only if startup speeds are significantly slow or are imperative to the overall progress or result of a task.

See Also

Task Administrator - Overview

System Options - Overview

Customizing Task Administrator Windows & Toolbars