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How to Use PowerShell to Detect Logins and Alert Through Email

The Windows Task Scheduler can automatically send email at a specific time or in response to a specific event, but its integrated email feature won’t work very well for most users.

We have already shown you how to do this using a third party tool, but who really wants to do that when you can do it with tools built right into Windows?

Enter PowerShell + Task Scheduler

The first thing we need to do is set up a scheduled task, to do so press the Win + R keyboard combination to bring up a run box then type “control schedtasks” and press enter.

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When the Task Scheduler opens click on the Create Task… link.

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On the General pane, provide a name and description for the task. You should also select the Run whether user is logged on or not option.

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Then switch over to the Triggers tab and add a new trigger. The trigger should be set to fire at log on, which can be selected from the drop down.

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Finally, you will want to switch over to the actions tab and add a new action. From there, you will want to choose to start a new program, and the program we want this trigger to start is “powershell”. You will then need to paste the following into the arguments text box.

-Command “Send-MailMessage -From “someone@gmail.com” -To “someone@gmail.com” -Body “Someone Just Logged In” -Subject “LOGIN”  -SmtpServer “smtp.gmail.com” -Port 587 -Credential $(New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential (someone@gmail.com, $(ConvertTo-SecureString “PASSWORD” -AsPlainText -Force))) –UseSsl”

Note that you will need to change all occurrences of someone@gmail.com to the username of a real GMail account and PASSWORD to the password for that account. Alternatively, you can opt to use your own SMTP server.

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On the Conditions tab, uncheck Start the task only if the computer is on AC power option, or you won’t get emails if your computer is a laptop and it’s unplugged.

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Click the OK button and save your task. You should now receive email notifications whenever someone logs into your computer.

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Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 04/8/13

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