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Windows 7: System Maintenance Troubleshooter - Turn On or Off

System Maintenance Troubleshooter - Turn On or Off

How to Turn the "System Maintenance Troubleshooter" On or Off in Windows 7
Published by Brink
28 May 2011
Published by

How to Turn the "System Maintenance Troubleshooter" On or Off in Windows 7

information   Information
The System Maintenance Troubleshooter automatically performs common maintenance tasks below weekly in Windows 7. It either fixes any found problems automatically, or reports the problems through Action Center.

What it fixes:

  • Broken shortcuts - Broken shortcuts are invalid references to programs and other resources. For example, a desktop shortcut for a USB device may be regarded as broken if the USB device is not connected when the System Maintenance troubleshooter performs its maintenance. When there are more than 4 broken shortcuts on the desktop, then all broken shortcuts on the desktop are removed.
  • Troubleshooting history is taking up disk space - Frees up disk space by removing troubleshooting history logs older than 1 month.
  • System time is incorrectly set - Sets the correct system time and synchronize system clock with the time server. When the system time is set incorrectly, features that rely on time measurement such as Product Activation, malware scanners, browser certificates, etc... might not work correctly.
  • Unused desktop icons - Icons and shortcuts on the desktop that have been unused in 3 months are removed.
  • Disk volume errors - Frees up disk space by repairing hard disk volume errors such as bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files and directory errors. These problems can cause the file system to report incorrect volume details and occupy excessive disk space.
  • Error reports are taking up disk space - Frees up disk space by removing error reports and logs older than 1 month.

This tutorial will show you how to change the troubleshooting settings for Computer Maintenance to turn the System Maintenance Troubleshooter on or off.

If turned off, System Maintenance Troubleshooter will no longer automatically perform the tasks above. You will still be able to manually run System Maintenance Troubleshooter though.
warning   Warning
You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do this tutorial.

EXAMPLE: System Maintenance Troubleshooter
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Here's How:
1. Open the troubleshooting Change Settings (click on link) window.
2. To Turn On System Maintenance Troubleshooter
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Under Computer Maintenance, select (dot) On (Recommended), and click on OK.

B) Go to step 4.
3. To Turn Off System Maintenance Troubleshooter
A) Under Computer Maintenance, select (dot) Off, and click on OK.
NOTE: You may need to refresh the desktop after step 4 to hopefully restore any shortcuts that were hidden/removed by the System Maintenance Troubleshooter.
4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

5. When finished, close the Troubleshooting window.
That's it,

27 Aug 2013   #1

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Any idea why these shortcuts are considered broken?

GPO workaround:

Computer Configuration
Administrative Templates
Troubleshooting and Diagnostics
Scheduled Maintenance

Double click on the policy named Configure Scheduled Maintenance Behavior
Set that policy to Enabled
Change the Execution Level to Troubleshoot Only.
Okay your way out of gpedit.

That is it :-)

In the GPO workaround video, this setting is shown around the 11 second mark. Then I cause the scheduled task to run. No shortcuts are deleted :-)

The next part of the video just turns the GPO workaround off and runs the scheduled task again to show that the shortcuts do go away if the GPO workaround is not present. Sorry if the video is confusing.

For reasons that I don't understand, some computers may require a reboot to get the GPO workaround to take hold. (You might also try using the gpudate command.) But, as you can see in the GPO workaround video, the results were immediate for me and my testing. The testing was done inside a virtual machine that was not a member of a domain. Perhaps that has something to do with the restart issue.

Those with W7 starter, home basic or home premium are just out of luck. The GPO work around does not work. You can manually add/change the same registry the same way that gpedit does, but those OS versions will ignore these particular policy related registry settings. Also, it does no good to add gpedit to these OS versions - since that only aids in changing the registry. Gpedit does nothing to change the way those OS versions ignore these particular policy related registry settings.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hmm, I'm not sure why it considered them broken.

You might also see how creating a shortcut for them using their GUID (CLSID) number works.

CLSID Key List for Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2013   #3

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Those types of shortcuts did not get deleted... but unfortunately, the shortcuts in the videos where just a simple illustration. At my office, the shortcuts being deleted by that scheduled task all point to a file server. The links are not broken nor old and this "fix" does not fix it.

I'll probably just use the GPO workaround, but I find it odd that this annoyance has not been patched in an OS this old. From the number of forum/blogs/articles posted about it, I would say that lots of hours have been spent on this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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