DispatcherTimer class

Applies to Windows and Windows Phone

Provides a timer that is integrated into the Dispatcher queue, which is processed at a specified interval of time and at a specified priority.




public class DispatcherTimer




The DispatcherTimer class has these types of members:


The DispatcherTimer class has these constructors.

DispatcherTimer Initializes a new instance of the DispatcherTimer class.



The DispatcherTimer class has these events.

Tick Occurs when the timer interval has elapsed.



The DispatcherTimer class has these methods. It also inherits methods from the Object class.

Start Starts the DispatcherTimer.
Stop Stops the DispatcherTimer.



The DispatcherTimer class has these properties.

PropertyAccess typeDescription


Read/writeGets or sets the amount of time between timer ticks.


Read-onlyGets a value that indicates whether the timer is running.



The DispatcherTimer can be used to run code on the same thread that produces the UI thread. Code running on this thread has the privilege to create and modify objects that can only be created and modified on the UI thread. To specify that code should run on the UI thread, set the Interval property and then call the Start method. The Tick event fires after the time specified in Interval has elapsed. Tick continues firing at the same Interval until the Stop method is called, the app terminates, or the app is suspended (fires Suspending).

One scenario for DispatcherTimer is to check properties on sensors where changes to the sensor values are not purely event-driven, or the events don't give you the granularity you want. You can see this in the Accelerometer sample.

Other scenarios for DispatcherTimer include checking for state changes that don't have related events, or for periodic UI updates that can't use a storyboarded animation or a two-way binding.

Tip  If you're migrating Microsoft Silverlight or Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) code, the DispatcherTimer and the related Dispatcher was in a separate System.Windows.Threading namespace. There is no Windows.UI.Xaml.Threading namespace in the Windows Runtime, so this class is in Windows.UI.Xaml.

If you aren't doing anything with the UI thread in your Tick handlers and just need a timer, you could also use ThreadPoolTimer instead. Also, for techniques like ThreadPoolTimer or a Microsoft .NET Framework Task, you aren't totally isolated from the UI thread. You could still assign to the UI thread asynchronously using CoreDispatcher.RunAsync.


This example code implements a simple console-style timer that writes data to a TextBlock named TimerLog (XAML that defines TimerLog is not shown). The Interval value is set to 1, and the log displays the actual elapsed time for each Tick.

        DispatcherTimer dispatcherTimer;
        DateTimeOffset startTime;
        DateTimeOffset lastTime;
        DateTimeOffset stopTime;
        int timesTicked = 1;
        int timesToTick = 10;

        public void DispatcherTimerSetup()
            dispatcherTimer = new DispatcherTimer();
            dispatcherTimer.Tick += dispatcherTimer_Tick;
            dispatcherTimer.Interval = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 1);
            //IsEnabled defaults to false
            TimerLog.Text += "dispatcherTimer.IsEnabled = " + dispatcherTimer.IsEnabled + "\n";
            startTime = DateTimeOffset.Now;
            lastTime = startTime;
            TimerLog.Text += "Calling dispatcherTimer.Start()\n";
            //IsEnabled should now be true after calling start
            TimerLog.Text += "dispatcherTimer.IsEnabled = " + dispatcherTimer.IsEnabled + "\n";

        void dispatcherTimer_Tick(object sender, object e)
            DateTimeOffset time = DateTimeOffset.Now;
            TimeSpan span = time - lastTime;
            lastTime = time;
            //Time since last tick should be very very close to Interval
            TimerLog.Text += timesTicked + "\t time since last tick: " + span.ToString() + "\n";
            if (timesTicked > timesToTick)
                stopTime = time;
                TimerLog.Text += "Calling dispatcherTimer.Stop()\n";
                //IsEnabled should now be false after calling stop
                TimerLog.Text += "dispatcherTimer.IsEnabled = " + dispatcherTimer.IsEnabled + "\n";
                span = stopTime - startTime;
                TimerLog.Text += "Total Time Start-Stop: " + span.ToString() + "\n";
        private void Page_Loaded_1(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)

This is a similar example in C++/CX. TimeSpan and EventHandler<TEventArgs> both come from the Windows.Foundation namespace when you're programming with C++/CX.

// .cpp definition, .h not shown
void MainPage::StartTimerAndRegisterHandler() {
    auto timer = ref new Windows::UI::Xaml::DispatcherTimer();
    TimeSpan ts;
    ts.Duration = 500;
    timer->Interval = ts;
    auto registrationtoken = timer->Tick += ref new EventHandler<Object^>(this,&MainPage::OnTick);
void MainPage::OnTick(Object^ sender, Object^ e) {
    // do something on each tick here ...


Minimum supported client

Windows 8 [Windows Store apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2012 [Windows Store apps only]

Minimum supported phone

Windows Phone 8.1 [Windows Runtime apps only]


Windows::UI::Xaml [C++]



See also




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