Z-Cron takes its name from the Unix Cron utility and is an advanced scheduling tool that can be used to automate all manner of tasks. Whether you want to run a backup at a certain time each day, or you might want hibernate your computer automatically overnight. There are countless ways in which the program can be used and no matter what you tend to use your computer for, there’s a high chance that Z-Cron could help to make your life a little easier.

The program gets off to a great start thanks to the fact that the range of options and commands is far more varied than in other similar tools. Of course there are the usual options such as launching any given program at a particular time, or at system startup, but Z-Cron can do much more: play an alarm, create a system restore point, copy folders or files, download files, print something, send a screenshot via email, close down or restart your PC, turn on other computers across the network (via WOL), and the list goes on.

The core scheduler is strong, too. You don't just get to run your task at xx.xx o'clock every day; it can be launched every x minutes, on weekends, weekdays or your very specific choice of dates (the 9th and 23rd of every month, say). There's plenty of power here, although it can also be a little intimidating, to begin with: Z-Cron isn't difficult, but it's not aimed at beginners, either.

This is the free version of the program, but there is also a professional edition available that includes a number of extra features. Additional features include the ability to move as well as copying files, the option of running a scheduled task when a particular program is closed and even running Z-Con tasks on a network computer. But the freeware version of tool is already very powerful and a worthwhile replacement for Windows’ own task scheduler.


Extremely powerful, but you need to be willing to put the time into working out all of the possibilities.