CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

AOC starts Twitch channel 2020 Orionid meteor shower Walmart Black Friday Stimulus negotiations Fauci warns against thinking pandemic is nearly over Control Game of Thrones star in live game iPhone 12 and 5G

How to automate Windows programs and processes

If you want to automate some of the more repetitive Windows processes, When Then is a straightforward program to check out. CNET shows you how to use it.

We often repeat ourselves when working or playing with our computers. Maybe I want to start my media player when I close my BitTorrent client, or maybe I want to shut down my computer once I exit Word. It'd be nice to automate at least some of that repetition, and Windows users have a neat, free option to do just that. When Then is a lightweight, free app that acts kind of like a PC-based IfThisThenThat, letting you direct and automate Windows processes to make life easier going forward. Here's how to use it: 

  1. Download and install When Then. 
  2. When you run it, it bashfully informs you that it is "woefully incomplete," but it works as advertised. Click the "[this event occurs]" link to bring up a few options for triggering events. You can select an open window, a process ,or a time. I picked Outlook closing as my trigger. 
    Step 2: Start up When Then.
    Step 2: Start up When Then.
  3. Now click the second link in the main window to bring up your options for actions. I decided to run my Steam client when Outlook closes, as that's when I'm done working for the day. 
    Step 3: Select event.
    Step 3: Select event.
  4. Click the "Enable" box and you're done. 

That's it! It's small and it's simple, but it works.