Timer with Pause and Resume Support – Android/Java

The CountDownTimer implementation of Android may not be suitable for all cases as the onTick() method of the CountDownTimer runs on the main/UI thread.

The same could also be achieved using a TimerTask, but we do not have support for Pause/Resume operations when you’re using a Timer and a TimerTask.

The following implementation of a generic Timer runs on a separate thread and hence is most suitable for any operation that does not involve UI updates. It is basically a wrapper around a Runnable scheduled with a ScheduledExecutorService which is part of the java.util.concurrent package. The following is a gist of the core Runnable that handles the tick.

future = execService.scheduleWithFixedDelay(new Runnable() {
	public void run() {
		elapsedTime += Timer.this.interval;
		if (duration > 0) {
			if(elapsedTime >=duration){
}, 0, interval, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS);

For pause, we cancel the Future instance that we obtained when we scheduled the Runnable using the ExecutorService.


For resume, we just schedule the same Runnable again.

We leave the following methods as abstract, to force the classes extending the Timer class to override them.

*	This method is called periodically with the interval set as the delay between subsequent calls.
	protected abstract void onTick();

* This method is called once the timer has run for the specified duration. If the duration was set as infinity, then   * this method is never called.
	protected abstract void onFinish();

Following is an example implementation of a concrete class extending the abstract Timer:

public class ExampleTimer extends Timer{

	public ExampleTimer() {

	public ExampleTimer(long interval, long duration){
		super(interval, duration);

	protected void onTick() {
		System.out.println("onTick called!");

	protected void onFinish() {
		System.out.println("onFinish called!");


Following is a simple test showing the usage of the Timer.

//This creates a timer which will tick every second indefinitely.
Timer oneSecondInfiniteTimer = new ExampleTimer();

//This creates a timer which ticks every 2 seconds, and runs for 20 seconds.
Timer twoSecondTimer = new ExampleTimer(2000l, 20000l);

//Start the timer.

//Pause the timer.

//Resume the timer

The whole code is hosted in GitHub (https://github.com/c05mic/pause-resume-timer ) for your copy-pasting pleasure. 🙂

Contributions are welcome!


4 thoughts on “Timer with Pause and Resume Support – Android/Java

  1. Hi,
    Very good code. I have put textview inside ontick, but its not updating.
    protected void onTick() {
    System.out.println(“onTick called!”);
    long rT = getRemainingTime() / 1000;
    System.out.println(String.format(“%02d:%02d:%02d”, rT / 3600, (rT % 3600) / 60, (rT % 60)));
    ma.setTv(String.format(“%02d:%02d:%02d”, rT / 3600,(rT % 3600) / 60, (rT % 60)));

    • Hi, the whole point of writing this timer is to make the onTick run on a background thread. So, if you have to do any UI updates you’ll have to use handler to post to the UI/main thread.

  2. Thanks, but I think you should specify, that there are needs to use `runOnUiThread()` to do something from task. And it will be good, if you post your timer in mvn.

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