Sleep or Pause to PowerShell Script

Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Arnav Sharma

Adding sleep or a pause to a PowerShell script can be a great way to improve the efficiency of your workflow. By adding pauses, you can give yourself extra time to read the output of a command, wait for a process to finish executing, or take a break from running scripts.

You can also use sleep or pauses when you need an action to occur after some time has passed – like automatically restarting a service after its been idle for some time. This can be very useful for many scenarios, such as providing an adequate amount of delay between two commands or even allowing the user to wait until certain conditions are met before proceeding with further instructions (this can be added anywhere in your script). The PowerShell Sleep command is practical and easy to implement in PowerShell scripts. In addition, Start-Sleep is also designed to provide a more consistent level of accuracy than other timer functions in PowerShell.

What is the Start-Sleep command in PowerShell?

All you need is the Start-Sleep cmdlet, which takes an argument that indicates the amount of sleep time (in seconds or ms) that the script should pause/ sleep / suspend before continuing the script execution. This allows you to easily customize how long you want your script to sleep and when it should be triggered.

The syntax for using Start-Sleep in your script will depend on the version of PowerShell you are running. Generally, it requires two parameters – one defining how many milliseconds should be waited before continuing and another specifying whether CPU cycles should still be used while waiting. It is important to note that if no value is declared for either parameter, then a default value will automatically be applied (generally 1000 milliseconds).

Sleep command in PowerShell, examples:

Use the start-sleep command as shown below.

This will add s pause in the PowerShell script for 5 seconds. Similarly, a value of 30 will pause the script for 30 seconds

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

Or in Milliseconds:

Start-Sleep -Milliseconds 100

Or use -s and -m for seconds and milliseconds, and additionally use alias.

I hope this helps to pause your script for a few seconds; though there are different ways to pause but this is the easiest way around and pause the script. This may not give visual feedback, but for that, you will need to modify your script a bit or perhaps use a different command if you want a progress bar or a percentage.


Q: What is a PowerShell script?

A: A PowerShell script is a collection of commands and data stored in a script file, typically with a .ps1 file extension.

Q: How can I pause a PowerShell script?

A: You can pause a PowerShell script in several ways, such as using the Start-Sleep cmdlet, the Progress Bar, or accepting user input.

Q: Can I use the Start-Sleep cmdlet to pause a PowerShell script?

A: Yes, you can use the Start-Sleep cmdlet to pause a PowerShell script for a specified amount of time. For example, “Start-Sleep -Milliseconds 5000” will pause the script for 5 seconds.

Q: How can I add a progress bar to my sleep command in PowerShell?

A: You can use the “Write-Progress” cmdlet along with the Start-Sleep cmdlet to add a progress bar to your sleep command.

Q: What is the difference between Start-Sleep cmdlet and “timeout” command?

A: The Start-Sleep cmdlet is a PowerShell command used to pause execution for a specified amount of time. The “timeout” command is a Windows command line tool that waits for a specified amount of time or until a user presses any key.

Q: How can I pause a PowerShell script for a specified amount of time?

A: To pause a PowerShell script for a specified amount of time, you can use the Start-Sleep cmdlet and specify the number of seconds or milliseconds to pause.

Q: What if I need to pause my PowerShell script for an indefinite amount of time?

A: You can use the “nobreak” parameter with the Start-Sleep cmdlet to pause the script indefinitely until interrupted by a user or a command to complete.

Q: Can I add a progress bar to my script in PowerShell?

A: Yes, you can add a progress bar to your script in PowerShell by using the “Write-Progress -Activity” cmdlet.

Q: How can I pause a PowerShell script with a progress bar?

A: You can use the Start-Sleep cmdlet along with the Write-Progress cmdlet to pause a PowerShell script with a progress bar. The progress bar will continue to update during the specified sleep time.

Q: What if I want to pause the script, but still display progress?

A: You can use a loop to display progress while pausing the script with the Start-Sleep cmdlet. The loop can be set to a specific number of seconds or until a user presses a key.


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