BackgroundWorker Class

Executes an operation on a separate thread.

System.Object
  System.MarshalByRefObject
    System.ComponentModel.Component
      System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker

Namespace:  System.ComponentModel
Assembly:  System (in System.dll)

'Declaration
<HostProtectionAttribute(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, SharedState := True)> _
Public Class BackgroundWorker _
	Inherits Component

The BackgroundWorker type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodBackgroundWorkerInitializes a new instance of the BackgroundWorker class.
Top

  NameDescription
Public propertyCancellationPendingGets a value indicating whether the application has requested cancellation of a background operation.
Protected propertyCanRaiseEventsGets a value indicating whether the component can raise an event. (Inherited from Component.)
Public propertyContainerGets the IContainer that contains the Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Protected propertyDesignModeGets a value that indicates whether the Component is currently in design mode. (Inherited from Component.)
Protected propertyEventsGets the list of event handlers that are attached to this Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Public propertyIsBusyGets a value indicating whether the BackgroundWorker is running an asynchronous operation.
Public propertySiteGets or sets the ISite of the Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Public propertyWorkerReportsProgressGets or sets a value indicating whether the BackgroundWorker can report progress updates.
Public propertyWorkerSupportsCancellationGets or sets a value indicating whether the BackgroundWorker supports asynchronous cancellation.
Top

  NameDescription
Public methodCancelAsyncRequests cancellation of a pending background operation.
Public methodCreateObjRefCreates an object that contains all the relevant information required to generate a proxy used to communicate with a remote object. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Public methodDisposeReleases all resources used by the Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Protected methodDispose(Boolean)Releases the unmanaged resources used by the Component and optionally releases the managed resources. (Inherited from Component.)
Public methodEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified Object is equal to the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodFinalizeReleases unmanaged resources and performs other cleanup operations before the Component is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Component.)
Public methodGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetLifetimeServiceRetrieves the current lifetime service object that controls the lifetime policy for this instance. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodGetServiceReturns an object that represents a service provided by the Component or by its Container. (Inherited from Component.)
Public methodGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodInitializeLifetimeServiceObtains a lifetime service object to control the lifetime policy for this instance. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodMemberwiseCloneCreates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodMemberwiseClone(Boolean)Creates a shallow copy of the current MarshalByRefObject object. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodOnDoWorkRaises the DoWork event.
Protected methodOnProgressChangedRaises the ProgressChanged event.
Protected methodOnRunWorkerCompletedRaises the RunWorkerCompleted event.
Public methodReportProgress(Int32)Raises the ProgressChanged event.
Public methodReportProgress(Int32, Object)Raises the ProgressChanged event.
Public methodRunWorkerAsyncStarts execution of a background operation.
Public methodRunWorkerAsync(Object)Starts execution of a background operation.
Public methodToStringReturns a String containing the name of the Component, if any. This method should not be overridden. (Inherited from Component.)
Top

  NameDescription
Public eventDisposedOccurs when the component is disposed by a call to the Dispose method. (Inherited from Component.)
Public eventDoWorkOccurs when RunWorkerAsync is called.
Public eventProgressChangedOccurs when ReportProgress is called.
Public eventRunWorkerCompletedOccurs when the background operation has completed, has been canceled, or has raised an exception.
Top

The BackgroundWorker class allows you to run an operation on a separate, dedicated thread. Time-consuming operations like downloads and database transactions can cause your user interface (UI) to seem as though it has stopped responding while they are running. When you want a responsive UI and you are faced with long delays associated with such operations, the BackgroundWorker class provides a convenient solution.

To execute a time-consuming operation in the background, create a BackgroundWorker and listen for events that report the progress of your operation and signal when your operation is finished. You can create the BackgroundWorker programmatically or you can drag it onto your form from the Components tab of the Toolbox. If you create the BackgroundWorker in the Windows Forms Designer, it will appear in the Component Tray, and its properties will be displayed in the Properties window.

To set up for a background operation, add an event handler for the DoWork event. Call your time-consuming operation in this event handler. To start the operation, call RunWorkerAsync. To receive notifications of progress updates, handle the ProgressChanged event. To receive a notification when the operation is completed, handle the RunWorkerCompleted event.

NoteNote

You must be careful not to manipulate any user-interface objects in your DoWork event handler. Instead, communicate to the user interface through the ProgressChanged and RunWorkerCompleted events.

BackgroundWorker events are not marshaled across AppDomain boundaries. Do not use a BackgroundWorker component to perform multithreaded operations in more than one AppDomain.

If your background operation requires a parameter, call RunWorkerAsync with your parameter. Inside the DoWork event handler, you can extract the parameter from the DoWorkEventArgs.Argument property.

For more information about BackgroundWorker, see How to: Run an Operation in the Background.

NoteNote

The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this type or member has the following Resources property value: SharedState. The HostProtectionAttribute does not affect desktop applications (which are typically started by double-clicking an icon, typing a command, or entering a URL in a browser). For more information, see the HostProtectionAttribute class or SQL Server Programming and Host Protection Attributes.

The following code example demonstrates the basics of the BackgroundWorker class for executing a time-consuming operation asynchronously. The following illustration shows an example of the output.

BackgroundWorker simple example

To try this code, create a Windows Forms application. Add a Label control named resultLabel and add two Button controls named startAsyncButton and cancelAsyncButton. Create Click event handlers for both buttons. From the Components tab of the Toolbox, add a BackgroundWorker component named backgroundWorker1. Create DoWork, ProgressChanged, and RunWorkerCompleted event handlers for the BackgroundWorker. In the code for the form, replace the existing code with the following code.


Imports System.ComponentModel

Public Class Form1

    Public Sub New()
        InitializeComponent()
        backgroundWorker1.WorkerReportsProgress = True
        backgroundWorker1.WorkerSupportsCancellation = True
    End Sub

    Private Sub startAsyncButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles startAsyncButton.Click
        If backgroundWorker1.IsBusy <> True Then
            ' Start the asynchronous operation.
            backgroundWorker1.RunWorkerAsync()
        End If
    End Sub

    Private Sub cancelAsyncButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles cancelAsyncButton.Click
        If backgroundWorker1.WorkerSupportsCancellation = True Then
            ' Cancel the asynchronous operation.
            backgroundWorker1.CancelAsync()
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This event handler is where the time-consuming work is done.
    Private Sub backgroundWorker1_DoWork(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As DoWorkEventArgs) Handles backgroundWorker1.DoWork
        Dim worker As BackgroundWorker = CType(sender, BackgroundWorker)
        Dim i As Integer

        For i = 1 To 10
            If (worker.CancellationPending = True) Then
                e.Cancel = True
                Exit For
            Else
                ' Perform a time consuming operation and report progress.
                System.Threading.Thread.Sleep(500)
                worker.ReportProgress(i * 10)
            End If
        Next
    End Sub

    ' This event handler updates the progress.
    Private Sub backgroundWorker1_ProgressChanged(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As ProgressChangedEventArgs) Handles backgroundWorker1.ProgressChanged
        resultLabel.Text = (e.ProgressPercentage.ToString() + "%")
    End Sub

    ' This event handler deals with the results of the background operation.
    Private Sub backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs) Handles backgroundWorker1.RunWorkerCompleted
        If e.Cancelled = True Then
            resultLabel.Text = "Canceled!"
        ElseIf e.Error IsNot Nothing Then
            resultLabel.Text = "Error: " & e.Error.Message
        Else
            resultLabel.Text = "Done!"
        End If
    End Sub
End Class


The following code example demonstrates the use of the BackgroundWorker class for executing a time-consuming operation asynchronously. The following illustration shows an example of the output.

BackgroundWorker Fibonacci example

The operation computes the selected Fibonacci number, reports progress updates as the calculation proceeds, and permits a pending calculation to be canceled.


Imports System
Imports System.Collections
Imports System.ComponentModel
Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Threading
Imports System.Windows.Forms

Public Class FibonacciForm
    Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form

    Private numberToCompute As Integer = 0
    Private highestPercentageReached As Integer = 0

    Private numericUpDown1 As System.Windows.Forms.NumericUpDown
    Private WithEvents startAsyncButton As System.Windows.Forms.Button
    Private WithEvents cancelAsyncButton As System.Windows.Forms.Button
    Private progressBar1 As System.Windows.Forms.ProgressBar
    Private resultLabel As System.Windows.Forms.Label
    Private WithEvents backgroundWorker1 As System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker


    Public Sub New()
        InitializeComponent()
    End Sub 'New

    Private Sub startAsyncButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
    Handles startAsyncButton.Click

        ' Reset the text in the result label.
        resultLabel.Text = [String].Empty

        ' Disable the UpDown control until 
        ' the asynchronous operation is done.
        Me.numericUpDown1.Enabled = False

        ' Disable the Start button until 
        ' the asynchronous operation is done.
        Me.startAsyncButton.Enabled = False

        ' Enable the Cancel button while 
        ' the asynchronous operation runs.
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.Enabled = True

        ' Get the value from the UpDown control.
        numberToCompute = CInt(numericUpDown1.Value)

        ' Reset the variable for percentage tracking.
        highestPercentageReached = 0


        ' Start the asynchronous operation.
        backgroundWorker1.RunWorkerAsync(numberToCompute)
    End Sub 

    Private Sub cancelAsyncButton_Click( _
    ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
    Handles cancelAsyncButton.Click

        ' Cancel the asynchronous operation.
        Me.backgroundWorker1.CancelAsync()

        ' Disable the Cancel button.
        cancelAsyncButton.Enabled = False

    End Sub 'cancelAsyncButton_Click

    ' This event handler is where the actual work is done.
    Private Sub backgroundWorker1_DoWork( _
    ByVal sender As Object, _
    ByVal e As DoWorkEventArgs) _
    Handles backgroundWorker1.DoWork

        ' Get the BackgroundWorker object that raised this event.
        Dim worker As BackgroundWorker = _
            CType(sender, BackgroundWorker)

        ' Assign the result of the computation
        ' to the Result property of the DoWorkEventArgs
        ' object. This is will be available to the 
        ' RunWorkerCompleted eventhandler.
        e.Result = ComputeFibonacci(e.Argument, worker, e)
    End Sub 'backgroundWorker1_DoWork

    ' This event handler deals with the results of the
    ' background operation.
    Private Sub backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted( _
    ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs) _
    Handles backgroundWorker1.RunWorkerCompleted

        ' First, handle the case where an exception was thrown.
        If (e.Error IsNot Nothing) Then
            MessageBox.Show(e.Error.Message)
        ElseIf e.Cancelled Then
            ' Next, handle the case where the user canceled the 
            ' operation.
            ' Note that due to a race condition in 
            ' the DoWork event handler, the Cancelled
            ' flag may not have been set, even though
            ' CancelAsync was called.
            resultLabel.Text = "Canceled"
        Else
            ' Finally, handle the case where the operation succeeded.
            resultLabel.Text = e.Result.ToString()
        End If

        ' Enable the UpDown control.
        Me.numericUpDown1.Enabled = True

        ' Enable the Start button.
        startAsyncButton.Enabled = True

        ' Disable the Cancel button.
        cancelAsyncButton.Enabled = False
    End Sub 'backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted

    ' This event handler updates the progress bar.
    Private Sub backgroundWorker1_ProgressChanged( _
    ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As ProgressChangedEventArgs) _
    Handles backgroundWorker1.ProgressChanged

        Me.progressBar1.Value = e.ProgressPercentage

    End Sub

    ' This is the method that does the actual work. For this
    ' example, it computes a Fibonacci number and
    ' reports progress as it does its work.
    Function ComputeFibonacci( _
        ByVal n As Integer, _
        ByVal worker As BackgroundWorker, _
        ByVal e As DoWorkEventArgs) As Long

        ' The parameter n must be >= 0 and <= 91.
        ' Fib(n), with n > 91, overflows a long.
        If n < 0 OrElse n > 91 Then
            Throw New ArgumentException( _
                "value must be >= 0 and <= 91", "n")
        End If

        Dim result As Long = 0

        ' Abort the operation if the user has canceled.
        ' Note that a call to CancelAsync may have set 
        ' CancellationPending to true just after the
        ' last invocation of this method exits, so this 
        ' code will not have the opportunity to set the 
        ' DoWorkEventArgs.Cancel flag to true. This means
        ' that RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs.Cancelled will
        ' not be set to true in your RunWorkerCompleted
        ' event handler. This is a race condition.
        If worker.CancellationPending Then
            e.Cancel = True
        Else
            If n < 2 Then
                result = 1
            Else
                result = ComputeFibonacci(n - 1, worker, e) + _
                         ComputeFibonacci(n - 2, worker, e)
            End If

            ' Report progress as a percentage of the total task.
            Dim percentComplete As Integer = _
                CSng(n) / CSng(numberToCompute) * 100
            If percentComplete > highestPercentageReached Then
                highestPercentageReached = percentComplete
                worker.ReportProgress(percentComplete)
            End If

        End If

        Return result

    End Function


    Private Sub InitializeComponent()
        Me.numericUpDown1 = New System.Windows.Forms.NumericUpDown
        Me.startAsyncButton = New System.Windows.Forms.Button
        Me.cancelAsyncButton = New System.Windows.Forms.Button
        Me.resultLabel = New System.Windows.Forms.Label
        Me.progressBar1 = New System.Windows.Forms.ProgressBar
        Me.backgroundWorker1 = New System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker
        CType(Me.numericUpDown1, System.ComponentModel.ISupportInitialize).BeginInit()
        Me.SuspendLayout()
        '
        'numericUpDown1
        '
        Me.numericUpDown1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(16, 16)
        Me.numericUpDown1.Maximum = New Decimal(New Integer() {91, 0, 0, 0})
        Me.numericUpDown1.Minimum = New Decimal(New Integer() {1, 0, 0, 0})
        Me.numericUpDown1.Name = "numericUpDown1"
        Me.numericUpDown1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(80, 20)
        Me.numericUpDown1.TabIndex = 0
        Me.numericUpDown1.Value = New Decimal(New Integer() {1, 0, 0, 0})
        '
        'startAsyncButton
        '
        Me.startAsyncButton.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(16, 72)
        Me.startAsyncButton.Name = "startAsyncButton"
        Me.startAsyncButton.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(120, 23)
        Me.startAsyncButton.TabIndex = 1
        Me.startAsyncButton.Text = "Start Async"
        '
        'cancelAsyncButton
        '
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.Enabled = False
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(153, 72)
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.Name = "cancelAsyncButton"
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(119, 23)
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.TabIndex = 2
        Me.cancelAsyncButton.Text = "Cancel Async"
        '
        'resultLabel
        '
        Me.resultLabel.BorderStyle = System.Windows.Forms.BorderStyle.Fixed3D
        Me.resultLabel.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(112, 16)
        Me.resultLabel.Name = "resultLabel"
        Me.resultLabel.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(160, 23)
        Me.resultLabel.TabIndex = 3
        Me.resultLabel.Text = "(no result)"
        Me.resultLabel.TextAlign = System.Drawing.ContentAlignment.MiddleCenter
        '
        'progressBar1
        '
        Me.progressBar1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(18, 48)
        Me.progressBar1.Name = "progressBar1"
        Me.progressBar1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(256, 8)
        Me.progressBar1.TabIndex = 4
        '
        'backgroundWorker1
        '
        Me.backgroundWorker1.WorkerReportsProgress = True
        Me.backgroundWorker1.WorkerSupportsCancellation = True
        '
        'FibonacciForm
        '
        Me.ClientSize = New System.Drawing.Size(292, 118)
        Me.Controls.Add(Me.progressBar1)
        Me.Controls.Add(Me.resultLabel)
        Me.Controls.Add(Me.cancelAsyncButton)
        Me.Controls.Add(Me.startAsyncButton)
        Me.Controls.Add(Me.numericUpDown1)
        Me.Name = "FibonacciForm"
        Me.Text = "Fibonacci Calculator"
        CType(Me.numericUpDown1, System.ComponentModel.ISupportInitialize).EndInit()
        Me.ResumeLayout(False)

    End Sub 'InitializeComponent

    <STAThread()> _
    Shared Sub Main()
        Application.Run(New FibonacciForm)
    End Sub 'Main
End Class 'FibonacciForm 



.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.
Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft