setTimeout Method

Internet Development Index

Evaluates an expression after a specified number of milliseconds has elapsed.


iTimerID = window.setTimeout(vCode, iMilliSeconds [, sLanguage])


vCode Required. Variant that specifies the function pointer or string that indicates the code to be executed when the specified interval has elapsed.
iMilliSeconds Required. Integer that specifies the number of milliseconds.
sLanguage Optional. String that specifies one of the following values:
JScriptLanguage is JScript.
VBScriptLanguage is VBScript.
JavaScriptLanguage is JavaScript.

Return Value

Integer. Returns an identifier that cancels the evaluation with the clearTimeout method.


In versions earlier than Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5, the first argument of setTimeout must be a string. Evaluation of the string is deferred until the specified interval elapses.

As of Internet Explorer 5, the first argument of setTimeout can be a string or a function pointer.

The specified expression or function is evaluated once. For repeated evaluation, use the setInterval method.

When you use the setTimeout method with Introduction to DHTML Behaviors, the value of vCode should be a function pointer to call a function within the HTML Component (HTC) file or a string to call a function in the primary document.


The following example uses the setTimeout method to evaluate a simple expression after one second has elapsed.

window.setTimeout("alert('Hello, world')", 1000);

The following example uses the setTimeout method to evaluate a slightly more complex expression after one second has elapsed.

var sMsg = "Hello, world";
window.setTimeout("alert(" + sMsg + ")", 1000);

This example uses the setTimeout method to hide a input type=button object after three seconds. If the user clicks the Count Down button and then counts to three, the Now You See Me button disappears.

function fnHide(oToHide){
window.setTimeout("fnHide2(" + + ")", 3000);
function fnHide2(sID){
var o = eval(sID);"none";
<INPUT TYPE=button VALUE="Count Down"
ID="oHideButton" onclick="fnHide(this)">

This example uses a function pointer to pass the data. In this case, the data is stored in a global variable because it cannot be passed directly. In the preceding example, the ID of the button is passed as a parameter to the function invoked by the setTimeout method. This is possible only when a string is passed as the first argument.

var g_oToHide = null;
function fnHide(oToHide){
g_oToHide = oToHide;
window.setTimeout(fnHide2, 3000);
function fnHide2(sID){
if (g_oToHide) {"none";
<INPUT TYPE=button VALUE="Now you see me ..." ID="oHideButton"
This feature requires Microsoft® Internet Explorer 3.0 or later. Click the following icon to install the latest version. Then reload this page to view the sample.

Standards Information

There is no public standard that applies to this method.

Applies To


See Also