AutoIt is a BASIC-like scripting language which has a low learning curve, and is used to automate repetitive tasks in Windows. It can be used to automate the installation of software, create GUIs – and though not attempted by many, even to create simple games. Most typically though it is used by system administrators, for easier systems management, monitoring, and maintenance.
AutoIt scripts can be compiled into stand-alone executable files, which can be executed on computers not having the AutoIt interpreter installed.
If you are interested in learning AutoIt, you should check out the AutoIt Tutorials here on Brugbart, as they cover many useful subjects when it comes to automation.
AutoIt can also be used professionally, to automate the installation procedure of different applications - often this would be server applications such as MySQL, Apache, or nginx. But in practice, nearly everything can be automated with AutoIt.
Disk management tasks, such as creating and deleting files and folders, is very easy with AutoIt - combined with GUI capabilities, you can quickly create programs to help you with every-day activities. This could be anything from backing-up files and folders, to cleaning up log files, and other tedious tasks.
Since you can also perform HTTP Requests with AutoIt, the possibilities to create tools that can interact with popular APIs and websites are many. I.e. Google Scraper Tool
Uses in Gaming
Autoit Is also used in the world of gaming, typically gamers would use it to automate parts of the gameplay, or even make the computer play the game while they are away from their keyboards - this will typically allow them to gain an advantage over their fellow players, since they can let the computer continue to play the game.
Some programmers might not be interested in the game itself, and may find it more fun to figure out a way to automate the game, and keep one step ahead of Anti-cheating mechanisms in the games they are automating.
Though the official forums have strict rules on what can be discussed - understandable enough - but many whom have learned about the scripting language, are coming from the gaming world, exactly because of the automation capabilities of AutoIt.
Malware and AutoIt
Malware developed in AutoIt, can be anything from silly prank-ware to viruses and key-loggers. Antivirus software will sometimes mark harmless AutoIt scripts – typically the compiled compressed EXE files produced by the compiler.
Due to its low learning curve, and how fast you can create working scripts, malware developers might view AutoIt as an attractive scripting language to learn. But in itself AutoIt is just another harmless scripting language - and as with most other tools, someone will always try to abuse it.