Create the Background Task class
run code in the background by writing classes that implement the IBackgroundTask interface. This code will
run when a specific event is triggered by using, for example, SystemTrigger or MaintenanceTrigger.
following steps show you how to write a new class that implements the IBackgroundTask interface. Before getting
started, create a new project in your solution for background tasks. Add a new
empty class for your background task and import the Windows.ApplicationModel.Background
- Create a
new project for background tasks and add it to your solution. To do this,
right-click on your solution and select Add->New Project. Then select
the Windows Runtime Component project type, name the project, and click
- Reference the background
tasks project from your Windows Store app or Windows Phone app
For a C# app, in your app project, right click on References and select Add New
Solution, select Projects and then select the name of
your background task project and click Ok.
- Create a new class that
implements the IBackgroundTask interface. The Run method is a required entry
point that will be called when the specified event is triggered; this
method is required in every background task.
background task class itself - and all other classes in the background
task project - need to be public classes that are sealed.
The following sample code shows a very basic starting point for a
background task class:
public sealed class
ExampleBackgroundTask : IBackgroundTask
- If you run any asynchronous
code in your background task, then your background task needs to use a
deferral. If you don't use a deferral, then the background task process
can terminate unexpectedly if the Run method completes before your
asynchronous method call has completed.
Request the deferral in the Run method before calling the
asynchronous method. Save the deferral to a global variable so it can be
accessed from the asynchronous method. Declare the deferral complete after
the asynchronous code completes.
The following sample code gets the deferral, saves it, and releases
it when the asynchronous code is complete:
public async void Run(IBackgroundTaskInstance taskInstance)
_deferral = taskInstance.GetDeferral();
// TODO: Insert code to
start one or more asynchronous methods using the
// await keyword, for example:
C#, your background task's asynchronous methods can be called using the async/await keywords. In C++, a similar
result can be achieved by using a task chain.
For more information on asynchronous patterns, see Asynchronous programming. For additional examples of
how to use deferrals to keep a background task from stopping early, see
the background task sample.
following steps are completed in one of your app classes (for example,
Note You can also create a function
dedicated to registering background tasks - see How
to register a background task. In that case, instead of using the next 3
steps, you can simply construct the trigger and provide it to the registration
function along with the task name, task entry point, and (optionally) a
Register the background task to run
- Find out if
the background task is already registered by iterating through the BackgroundTaskRegistration.AllTasks property. This step is
important; if your app doesn't check for existing background task
registrations, it could easily register the task multiple times, causing
issues with performance and maxing out the task's available CPU time
before work can complete.
The following example iterates on the AllTasks property and sets a
flag variable to true if the task is already registered:
var taskRegistered = false;
var exampleTaskName = "ExampleBackgroundTask";
foreach (var task in
if (task.Value.Name ==
taskRegistered = true;
- If the background task is not
already registered, use BackgroundTaskBuilder to create an instance of
your background task. The task entry point should be the name of your
background task class prefixed by the namespace.
The background task trigger controls when the background task will
run. For a list of possible triggers, see SystemTrigger.
For example, this code creates a new background task and sets it to
run when the TimeZoneChanged trigger is fired:
var builder = new BackgroundTaskBuilder();
builder.Name = exampleTaskName;
builder.TaskEntryPoint = "Tasks.ExampleBackgroundTask";
- You can add a condition to
control when your task will run after the trigger event occurs (optional).
For example, if you don't want the task to run until the user is present,
use the condition UserPresent. For a list of possible conditions, see SystemConditionType.
The following sample code assigns a condition requiring the user to
- Register the background task
by calling the Register method on the BackgroundTaskBuilder object. Store the BackgroundTaskRegistration result so it can be used in
the next step.
The following code registers the background task and stores the
BackgroundTaskRegistration task = builder.Register();
On Windows Phone, you must call RequestAccessAsync before attempting to
register any background task. On Windows, this call is only required for the
set of background tasks that require your app to be on the lock screen to run,
but on the phone you must call this method once before registering any background
To ensure that your Windows Phone app continues to run properly after you
release an update, you must call RemoveAccess and then call RequestAccessAsync when your app launches
after being updated. For more information, see Guidelines
for background tasks (Windows Runtime apps).
Starting in Windows 8.1, background task registration parameters are
validated at the time of registration. An error is returned if any of the
registration parameters are invalid. Your app must be able to handle scenarios
where background task registration fails - for example, use a conditional
statement to check for registration errors and then retry failed registration
using different parameter values.
Handle background task completion using event handlers
should register a method with the BackgroundTaskCompletedEventHandler, so
that your app can get results from the background task. When the app is
launched or resumed, the OnCompleted method will be called if the background
task has completed since the last time the app was in the foreground. (The
OnCompleted method will be called immediately if the background task completes
while your app is currently in the foreground.)
- Write an
OnCompleted method to handle the completion of background tasks. For
example, the background task result might cause a UI update. The method
footprint shown here is required for the OnCompleted event handler method,
even though this example does not use the args parameter.
The following sample code recognizes background task completion and
calls an example UI update method that takes a message string.
private void OnCompleted(IBackgroundTaskRegistration task,
var settings =
var key =
var message =
updates should be performed asynchronously, to avoid holding up the UI
thread. For an example, see the UpdateUI method in the background task sample.
- Go back to where you
registered the background task. After that line of code, add a new BackgroundTaskCompletedEventHandler object. Provide your
OnCompleted method as the parameter for the BackgroundTaskCompletedEventHandler constructor.
The following sample code adds a BackgroundTaskCompletedEventHandler to the BackgroundTaskRegistration:
task.Completed += new
Declare that your app uses background tasks in the app
your app can run background tasks, you must declare each background task in the
- Open the app manifest (the
file named "package.appmanifest") and go to the Extensions
element. Add an Extension element, with category set to
"windows.backgroundTasks", for each background task class used
in your app.
You must list each type of trigger used with your background task. If
your app attempts to register a background task with a trigger that isn't
listed in the manifest, the registration will fail.
The following Extensions sample element registers the background task
created in this topic:
should now understand the basics of how to write a background task class, how
to register the background task from within your app, and how to make your app
recognize when the background task is complete. You should also understand how
to update the application manifest so that Windows 8 will let your app
register the background task.
Note Download the background task sample
to see similar code examples in the context of a complete and robust Windows
Store app that uses background tasks.
following related topics for API reference, background task conceptual
guidance, and more detailed instructions for writing apps that use background
How to run a background task on a timer (XAML)
to schedule a one-time background task, or run a periodic background task
associated with your lock screen-enabled app. If the user places your app on
the lock screen, your app can register a background task that runs up to every
15 minutes on Windows and every 30 minutes on Windows Phone. For example, a
background task can be used to provide periodic tile or badge updates.
What you need to know
- This example assumes that you
have a background task that needs to run periodically, or at a specific
time, to support your app. On Windows, a background task will only run
using a TimeTrigger if you have requested that
your app be placed on the lock screen with a call to RequestAccessAsync and the user accepts the
prompt. On Windows Phone, you must call RequestAccessAsync, but there is no user
prompt. For more information see Displaying tiles on the lock
- This topic assumes you have
already created a background task class, including the Run method that is
used as the background task entry point. To get started quickly building a
background task, see Quickstart: Create and
register a background task. For more in-depth information on conditions and
triggers, see Support your app with
Step 1: Create a time trigger
- Create a new TimeTrigger. The second parameter, OneShot, specifies whether the
background task will run once or keep running periodically. If OneShot is set to true, the first
parameter (FreshnessTime) specifies the number of minutes to wait before
scheduling the background task. If OneShot is set to false, FreshnessTime specifies the frequency by
which the background task will run.
Windows has a built-in timer that runs background tasks in 15-minute
intervals. Note that on Windows Phone, the interval is 30 minutes.
- If FreshnessTime is set to 15 minutes and OneShot is true, the task will run
once starting between 0 and 15 minutes from the time it is registered.
- If FreshnessTime is set to 15 minutes and OneShot is false, the task will run
every 15 minutes starting between 0 and 15 minutes from the time it is
Note If FreshnessTime is set to less than 15 minutes, an exception
is thrown when attempting to register the background task.
For example, this trigger will cause a background task to run once
TimeTrigger hourlyTrigger = new TimeTrigger(60, false);
Step 2: (Optional) Add a condition
- If necessary, create a
background task condition to control when the task runs. A condition
prevents the background task from running until the condition is met - for
more information, see How to set conditions for
running a background task.
In this example the condition is set to UserPresent so that, once triggered, the
task only runs once the user is active. For a list of possible conditions,
SystemCondition userCondition = new
Step 3: Request lock screen access
- Before trying to register the
TimeTrigger background task, request
permission from the user to be added to the lock screen by calling RequestAccessAsync.
On Windows, the following code presents a dialog box to the user
requesting that your app be added to the lock screen. On phone, this just
requests for the system to grant your app the ability to run background
app is allowed to ask for lock screen access only once. The user can
choose only one of the two options, so their preference will have been
stated. Further calls to RequestAccessAsync will be ignored.
Step 4: Register the background task
- Register the background task
by calling your background task registration function. For more
information on registering background tasks, see How to register a background
The following code registers the background task:
string entryPoint = “Tasks.ExampleBackgroundTaskClass”;
string taskName = “Example
hourly background task”;
BackgroundTaskRegistration task = RegisterBackgroundTask(entryPoint,
taskName, hourlyTrigger, userCondition);
Starting in Windows 8.1, background task registration parameters
are validated at the time of registration. An error is returned if any of
the registration parameters are invalid. Your app must be able to handle
scenarios where background task registration fails - for example, use a
conditional statement to check for registration errors and then retry
failed registration using different parameter values.
Note On Windows, background tasks
will only register with a time trigger if the user has added your app to the
lock screen (or provided permission when your app requests access) - see Displaying
tiles on the lock screen. Background tasks can be associated with triggers
that don't require the app to be on the lock screen. For guidance on these
types of background task triggers, see Supporting
your app with background tasks.