How do you add a timer to a C# console application

Use the System.Threading.Timer class.

System.Windows.Forms.Timer is designed primarily for use in a single thread usually the Windows Forms UI thread.

There is also a System.Timers class added early on in the development of the .NET framework. However it is generally recommended to use the System.Threading.Timer class instead as this is just a wrapper around System.Threading.Timer anyway.

It is also recommended to always use a static (shared in VB.NET) System.Threading.Timer if you are developing a Windows Service and require a timer to run periodically. This will avoid possibly premature garbage collection of your timer object.

Here’s an example of a timer in a console application:

using System; 
using System.Threading; 
public static class Program 
    public static void Main() 
       Console.WriteLine("Main thread: starting a timer"); 
       Timer t = new Timer(ComputeBoundOp, 5, 0, 2000); 
       Console.WriteLine("Main thread: Doing other work here...");
       Thread.Sleep(10000); // Simulating other work (10 seconds)
       t.Dispose(); // Cancel the timer now
    // This method's signature must match the TimerCallback delegate
    private static void ComputeBoundOp(Object state) 
       // This method is executed by a thread pool thread 
       Console.WriteLine("In ComputeBoundOp: state={0}", state); 
       Thread.Sleep(1000); // Simulates other work (1 second)
       // When this method returns, the thread goes back 
       // to the pool and waits for another task 

From the book CLR Via C# by Jeff Richter. By the way this book describes the rationale behind the 3 types of timers in Chapter 23, highly recommended.


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