Batch file SLEEP Command

Posted On 2007-04-05 by FortyPoundHead
Tags: General Tip Tutorial Windows Windows XP
Views: 2522

Most operating systems provide a command in batch files to sleep, or wait, a certain number of seconds. This is great in that batch files can display text, allowing you time to read before continuing. Or, batch files may wait a few seconds in order to connect to other resources.

While Windows XP does not come with such a command, there are tricks to emulate it, such as a ''ping'' command trick to emulate the sleep command. However, if you wish, the Windows 2003 Resource Kit provides a ''sleep'' command requiring no extra tricks. The Resource Kit is a large download, but besides the ''sleep'' command, the Windows 2003 Resource Kit also provides tools to remap keys, query the Active Directory, display the last ''n'' lines of a text file (a tail command), and more. To download and install the Resource Kit:

1. Go to the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 download section at
downloads/tools/default.mspx. Or, if that link does not work, visit and search for "Windows 2003". Once there, choose the "Downloads -> Tools" link.

2. Select the link "Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools".

3. Click the "Download" link. Choose to register or not, depending on your choice, and follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the product. The default install directory is "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\".

Once the Windows 2003 Resource Kit is installed, you may need to reboot your machine for the directory "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\" to be added to your path.

Now that the sleep command is available, to see the online help, enter the following DOS command:

C:\>sleep /?

Or, just issue the command:

C:\>sleep N

Replace N with the number of seconds for batch file to ''sleep''. For example, a batch file can wait 5 seconds before continuing by issuing this command:

C:\>sleep 5

If you need to wait just a few milliseconds, issue this command:

C:\>sleep -m N

So, to sleep half a second:

C:\>sleep -m 500

Although this command supports a ''precise'' millisecond sleep, I would not recommend it for real-time processing!

About the Author

FortyPoundHead has posted a total of 1974 articles.

Comments On This Post

No comments on this post yet!

Do you have a thought relating to this post? You can post your comment here. If you have an unrelated question, you can use the Q&A section to ask it.

Or you can drop a note to the administrators if you're not sure where you should post.

Your IP address is:

Before you can post, you need to prove you are human. If you log in, this test goes away.

Code Links