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Updated: April 17, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

Pauses the command processor for the specified number of seconds.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.

timeout/t <TimeoutInSeconds> [/nobreak] 



/t <TimeoutInSeconds>

Specifies the decimal number of seconds (between -1 and 99999) to wait before the command processor continues processing. The value -1 causes the computer to wait indefinitely for a keystroke.


Specifies to ignore user key strokes.


Displays help at the command prompt.

  • The timeout command is typically used in batch files.

  • A user keystroke resumes the command processor execution immediately, even if the timeout period has not expired.

  • When used in conjunction with the sleep command, timeout is similar to the pause command.


To pause the command processor for ten seconds, type:

timeout /t 10

To pause the command processor for 100 seconds and ignore any keystroke, type:

timeout /t 100 /nobreak

To pause the command processor indefinitely until a key is pressed, type:

timeout /t -1