Timer Class

Provides a mechanism for executing a method at specified intervals. This class cannot be inherited.

Namespace:  System.Threading
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
[HostProtectionAttribute(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, Synchronization = true, 
	ExternalThreading = true)]
public sealed class Timer : MarshalByRefObject, 
	IDisposable

NoteNote:

The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this type or member has the following Resources property value: Synchronization | ExternalThreading. 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.

NoteNote:

The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this class has the following Resources property value: Synchronization | ExternalThreading. 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.

Use a TimerCallback delegate to specify the method you want the Timer to execute. The timer delegate is specified when the timer is constructed, and cannot be changed. The method does not execute on the thread that created the timer; it executes on a ThreadPool thread supplied by the system.

When you create a timer, you can specify an amount of time to wait before the first execution of the method (due time), and an amount of time to wait between subsequent executions (period). You can change these values, or disable the timer, using the Change method.

NoteNote:

As long as you are using a Timer, you must keep a reference to it. As with any managed object, a Timer is subject to garbage collection when there are no references to it. The fact that a Timer is still active does not prevent it from being collected.

When a timer is no longer needed, use the Dispose method to free the resources held by the timer. Note that callbacks can occur after the Dispose() method overload has been called, because the timer queues callbacks for execution by thread pool threads. You can use the Dispose(WaitHandle) method overload to wait until all callbacks have completed.

The callback method executed by the timer should be reentrant, because it is called on ThreadPool threads. The callback can be executed simultaneously on two thread pool threads if the timer interval is less than the time required to execute the callback, or if all thread pool threads are in use and the callback is queued multiple times.

NoteNote:

System.Threading.Timer is a simple, lightweight timer that uses callback methods and is served by thread pool threads. It is not recommended for use with Windows Forms, because its callbacks do not occur on the user interface thread. System.Windows.Forms.Timer is a better choice for use with Windows Forms. For server-based timer functionality, you might consider using System.Timers.Timer, which raises events and has additional features.

The following code example demonstrates the features of the Timer class.

using System;
using System.Threading;

class TimerExample
{
    static void Main()
    {
        // Create an event to signal the timeout count threshold in the 
        // timer callback.
        AutoResetEvent autoEvent     = new AutoResetEvent(false);

        StatusChecker  statusChecker = new StatusChecker(10);

        // Create an inferred delegate that invokes methods for the timer.
        TimerCallback tcb = statusChecker.CheckStatus;

        // Create a timer that signals the delegate to invoke  
        // CheckStatus after one second, and every 1/4 second  
        // thereafter.
        Console.WriteLine("{0} Creating timer.\n", 
            DateTime.Now.ToString("h:mm:ss.fff"));
        Timer stateTimer = new Timer(tcb, autoEvent, 1000, 250);

        // When autoEvent signals, change the period to every 
        // 1/2 second.
        autoEvent.WaitOne(5000, false);
        stateTimer.Change(0, 500);
        Console.WriteLine("\nChanging period.\n");

        // When autoEvent signals the second time, dispose of  
        // the timer.
        autoEvent.WaitOne(5000, false);
        stateTimer.Dispose();
        Console.WriteLine("\nDestroying timer.");
    }
}

class StatusChecker
{
    private int invokeCount;
    private int  maxCount;

    public StatusChecker(int count)
    {
        invokeCount  = 0;
        maxCount = count;
    }

    // This method is called by the timer delegate. 
    public void CheckStatus(Object stateInfo)
    {
        AutoResetEvent autoEvent = (AutoResetEvent)stateInfo;
        Console.WriteLine("{0} Checking status {1,2}.", 
            DateTime.Now.ToString("h:mm:ss.fff"), 
            (++invokeCount).ToString());

        if(invokeCount == maxCount)
        {
            // Reset the counter and signal Main.
            invokeCount  = 0;
            autoEvent.Set();
        }
    }
}

This type is thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0
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