I have a scheduled task that starts a batch script that runs robocopy every hour. Every time it runs a window pops up on the desktop with robocopy's output, which I don't really want to see.

I managed to make the window appear minimized by making the scheduled job run

cmd /c start /min mybat.bat

but that gives me a new command window every hour. I was surprised by this, given cmd /c "Carries out the command specified by string and then terminates" - I must have misunderstood the docs.

Is there a way to run a batch script without it popping up a cmd window?


11 Answers 11


You could run it silently using a Windows Script file instead. The Run Method allows you running a script in invisible mode. Create a .vbs file like this one

Dim WinScriptHost
Set WinScriptHost = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
WinScriptHost.Run Chr(34) & "C:\Scheduled Jobs\mybat.bat" & Chr(34), 0
Set WinScriptHost = Nothing

and schedule it. The second argument in this example sets the window style. 0 means "hide the window."

In Task Scheduler, run the .vbs file using wscript.exe by setting the 'Action' to run wscript and using the fully-qualified path to the .vbs file as an argument.

Complete syntax of the Run method:

 object.Run(strCommand, [intWindowStyle], [bWaitOnReturn])


  • object: WshShell object.
  • strCommand: String value indicating the command line you want to run. You must include any parameters you want to pass to the executable file.
  • intWindowStyle: Optional. Integer value indicating the appearance of the program's window. Note that not all programs make use of this information.
  • bWaitOnReturn: Optional. Boolean value indicating whether the script should wait for the program to finish executing before continuing to the next statement in your script. If set to true, script execution halts until the program finishes, and Run returns any error code returned by the program. If set to false (the default), the Run method returns immediately after starting the program, automatically returning 0 (not to be interpreted as an error code).
  • 1
    username, I honestly think that Sam deserves it much more than me. But thank you anyway! And don't mention me and Jon Skeet in the same sentence. That's blasphemy! ;-)
    – splattne
    Commented May 17, 2009 at 14:00
  • 3
    To the question "Is there a way to run a batch script without it popping up a cmd window?", it gives a very direct answer: Run it using a Windows Script file.
    – Mark Meuer
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 15:51
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    @Lee I guess double quotes are necessary if your path contains spaces.
    – splattne
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 13:13
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    Probably goes without saying, but in Task Scheduler, run the .vbs file using wscript.exe by setting the 'Action' to run wscript (usually %WINDIR%\System32\wcript.exe )and using the fully-qualified path to the .vbs file as an argument. (Other use cases might use cscript - same directory as wscript)
    – GT.
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 6:18
  • 1
    @GT. It certainly doesn't go without saying! This was key to making mine work – thanks! Commented May 18, 2020 at 17:46

Are you running this as a scheduled task? If so set it to run as a different user account then it won't be visible to the logged on user. If the script needs no network access to items that need windows auth (like file shares or printers), you can run it as "nt authority\system" and leave the password blank. On Windows 7, just set the user to SYSTEM, and press OK.

(You probably have to use a real user though if you're using robocopy...)


  • 3
    Thanks - this was less hassle for me than the .vbs option.
    – mackenir
    Commented Feb 10, 2010 at 16:45
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    I set the "Run as" user to SYSTEM (which it later changed o NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) and it worked for me. I no longer see the popup CMD window when my scheduled task runs. Thanks! Commented Mar 25, 2011 at 17:28
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    +1, this is elegant. Be sure to enter "system" as the user name, then win7 does the rest for you. Note that you DO get network access to the internet, just not to network shares and things that need windows auth. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 4:36
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    System user is simple and elegant, great TIP! +1 ! Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 8:40
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    See Implementing Least-Privilege Administrative Models. Is use of the System account for this a violation of Least-Privilege policies? If so then administrators should know to not do this in most situations.
    – Sam Hobbs
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 16:54

Simply configure the Scheduled Task as "Run whether user is logged on or not".

  • 10
    Perfect! You can even disable credential storage and then this ends up being more secure than having SYSTEM run it!
    – binki
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 17:50
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    Just note that it requires "Log on as batch job" rights to be able to do this -- regular user accounts will not have this permission
    – Jon
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 3:49
  • This did exactly what I needed it to. Thanks for the help!
    – ScrappyDev
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 0:03

You could also try CHP (Create hidden process), does exactly what you'd think...

CHP.EXE mybat.bat

Runs with no command window. Perfect! Made by the same people as CMDOW, but this is more appropriate.

  • Works perfectly when you need to run the task in the context of the logged in user ("Trigger: on connect to user session", "Run task as: Users")
    – Sergei
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 6:10
  • 3
    this isn't a built in tool
    – JonnyRaa
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 11:04
  • Funny, FortiNet classifies this as a harmful hiddenware. Fake alert most probably. Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 7:07

CMDOW is an awsome tool that allows you to do many, many things to windows from the command line.

One of the simplest things to do is hide the current window (usually as a first line in the bat file) with:

cmdow @ /hid

or start a new hidden process with

cmdow /run /hid mybat.bat 
  • 4
    Both this and Rocketmonkeys suggestion involve downloading new tools, which means more compatibility over various peoples desktops. The baked in, using windows commands is much better.
    – IanVaughan
    Commented Feb 9, 2011 at 15:14
  • Plus cmdow is detected as "hazardous" by some anti-virus programs (it is not hazardous, but the detection can itself cause some problems if the cmdow file is quarantined...).
    – Otiel
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 15:36
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    there is still popup console, just flash very quick.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 10:37

You can create a shortcut to the batch file, set the shortcut to start minimized (in the shortcut's properties, 'Shortcut' tab), and then set the job to start the shortcut.

Important: You'll need to specify the path to the shortcut manually by typing it into the Run text field, complete with the '.lnk' extension; if you just try to browse to it, it will helpfully redirect itself to whatever the shortcut points to.

  • This doesn't work on Windows 10 x64, this gives a popup "How do you want to open this file?"
    – Jan
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 15:22
  • @Jan It does work on Windows 10 x64, you need to make sure you keep your original file in the same directory as the shortcut, or else update the shortcut properties.
    – Jon
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 3:57
  • It doesn't work for shortcuts to .bat files. Commented Mar 1 at 7:58

Try invoking the script with

start /b <command>
  • 2
    This does not work, the Scheduled Task->Status states "Could not start", thats with : start /b C:\file.bat : and : start /b "C:\file.bat" : but : C:\file.bat : works just fine.
    – IanVaughan
    Commented Feb 9, 2011 at 15:12
  • 1
    Because start is not a program, it is a command. You need to specify cmd as the program to run and /c start /b <file> as the argument. However, this is still not going to work because it will still create a console window for cmd and flash a black window on screen.
    – Synetech
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 20:23
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    Can also confirm with @Synetech that this will not create a new window, but you still need to have a console window open in order to start it. This is indeed a handy command, but cannot be used as requested with Scheduled Tasks. Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 12:12

I realize this question has already been answered with a perfectly good resolution that is native to Windows and thus should be the most compatible, and I agree completely.

I also wanted to say that I disagree with @splattne's comment (but not his actual answer) -- that the resolution in the other referenced thread deserves the credit. That answer involves running the script as a different user (SYSTEM), which is pretty much the equivalent of giving the script root access. It will also fail for jobs such as ROBOCOPY (as referenced by John Rennie), which require network access.

I have never tried CMDOW before, but I would like to offer another similar resolution, which [although is not natively-installed on Windows] is still highly-portable to most versions, and comes in both 32 and 64-bit versions, and that is NirCmd.

NirCmd is a very powerful tool that has myriads of options, the most useful of which, I personally find to be its ability to launch hidden command windows by simply executing the following:

c:\path\to\nircmd.exe exec hide "c:\path\to\mybat.bat"

From the exec section of The NirCmd Command Reference:

exec [show/hide/min/max] [application + command-line]

Runs an application, and optionally specify one or more command-line parameters for the executed application. The [show/hide/min/max] parameter specifies whether the running application will be visible or not. If 'hide' is specified, the running application won't be visible to the user. If 'max' is specified, the running application window will be maximized. If 'min' is specified, the running application window will be minimized.

EDIT: I was trying to run a ROBOCOPY job and tried the method in this answer, and it did not work, even after editing the network access privileges. I tried double-clicking the script and could not get it to work, but could only get it to run under an elevated command prompt. I did create a shortcut to the batch file and have it run as Administrator and was able to get it execute by double-clicking it, but the method I ended up going with was to run it hidden as SYSTEM (I know, I know) -- but it does work with ROBOCOPY, for what it's worth, as long as the batch file has the correct permissions.

EDIT 2: For some reason, it would not work as SYSTEM (probably the network access thing referenced earlier) -- I only noticed this after actually running ROBOCOPY without the /L flag, which is basically just a simulation and [apparently] doesn't actually connect to the remote system, but when I run the batch file with highest privileges and check the hidden box, and I can still run it as the logged in user in the background without a command window showing, for whatever this is worth to anyone.


Another solution I've used is Hidden Start


Try putting in an exit command at the end of your batch file. This should close the command window when the script is done.


To hide the output (although not the window), add this to the beginning of your batch file:

@echo off

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