Tutorial :How can I make the progress bar update fast enough?


I'm using a progress bar to show the user how far along the process is. It has 17 steps, and it can take anywhere from ~5 seconds to two or three minutes depending on the weather (well, database)

I had no problem with this in XP, the progress bar went fine, but when testing it in vista I found that it is no longer the case.

For example: if it takes closer to 5 seconds, it might make it a 1/3 of the way through before disappearing because it's completed. Even though it's progress is at 17 of 17, it doesn't show it. I believe this is because of the animation Vista imposes on progress bars and the animation cannot finish fast enough.

Does anyone know how I can correct this?

Here is the code:

This is the part that updates the progress bar, waiting is the form that has the progress bar.

        int progress = 1;          //1 Cash Receipt Items          waiting.setProgress(progress, 18, progress, "Cash Receipt Items");          tblCashReceiptsApplyToTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblCashReceiptsApplyTo);          progress++;          //2 Cash Receipts          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Cash Receipts");          tblCashReceiptsTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblCashReceipts);          progress++;          //3 Checkbook Codes          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Checkbook Codes");          tblCheckbookCodeTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblCheckbookCode);          progress++;          //4 Checkbook Entries          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Checkbook Entries");          tblCheckbookEntryTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblCheckbookEntry);          progress++;          //5 Checkbooks          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Checkbooks");          tblCheckbookTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblCheckbook);          progress++;          //6 Companies          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Companies");          tblCompanyTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblCompany);          progress++;          //7 Expenses          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Expenses");          tblExpenseTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblExpense);          progress++;          //8 Incomes          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Incomes");          tblIncomeTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblIncome);          progress++;          //9 Properties          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Properties");          tblPropertyTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblProperty);          progress++;          //10 Rental Units          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Rental Units");          tblRentalUnitTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblRentalUnit);          progress++;          //11 Tenant Status Values          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Tenant Status Values");          tblTenantStatusTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblTenantStatus);          progress++;          //12 Tenants          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Tenants");          tblTenantTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblTenant);          progress++;          //13 Tenant Transaction Codes          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Tenant Transaction Codes");          tblTenantTransCodeTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblTenantTransCode);          progress++;          //14 Transactions          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Transactions");          tblTransactionTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblTransaction);          progress++;          //15 Vendors          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Vendors");          tblVendorTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblVendor);          progress++;          //16 Work Order Categories          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Work Order Categories");          tblWorkOrderCategoryTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblWorkOrderCategory);          progress++;          //17 Work Orders          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Work Orders");          tblWorkOrderTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.tblWorkOrder);          progress++;          //18 Stored procs          waiting.setProgress(progress, "Stored Procedures");          getAllCheckbookBalancesTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetAllCheckbookBalances);          getAllTenantBalancesTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetAllTenantBalances);          //getCheckbookBalanceTableAdapter1;          //getTenantBalanceTableAdapter1;          getTenantStatusID_CurrentTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetTenantStatusID_Current);          getTenantStatusID_FutureTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetTenantStatusID_Future);          getTenantStatusID_PastTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetTenantStatusID_Past);          selectVacantRentalUnitsByIDTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.SelectVacantRentalUnitsByID);          getRentBasedBalancesTableAdapter1.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetRentBasedBalances);          getAgingBalanceTableAdapter2.Fill(rentalEaseDataSet1.GetAgingBalance);              waiting.Close();  

Here is the waiting form:

public partial class PleaseWaitDialog : Form {      public PleaseWaitDialog() {          CheckForIllegalCrossThreadCalls = false;          InitializeComponent();      }        public void setProgress(int current, int max, int min, string loadItem) {          Debug.Assert(min <= max, "Minimum is bigger than the maximum!");          Debug.Assert(current >= min, "The current progress is less than the minimum progress!");          Debug.Assert(current <= max, "The progress is greater than the maximum progress!");            prgLoad.Minimum = min;          prgLoad.Maximum = max;          prgLoad.Value = current;          lblLoadItem.Text = loadItem;      }        public void setProgress(int current, string loadItem) {          this.setProgress(current, prgLoad.Maximum, prgLoad.Minimum, loadItem);      }  }  


Try invoking the call to the waiting.setProgess() method since waiting seems to live in another thread and this would be a classic cross thread call (which the compiler warns you about if you let him).

Since Control.Invoke is a bit clumsy to use I usually use an extension method that allows me to pass a lambda expression:

waiting.ThreadSafeInvoke(() => waiting.setProgress(...));  


// also see http://stackoverflow.com/questions/788828/invoke-from-different-thread  public static class ControlExtension  {      public static void ThreadSafeInvoke(this Control control, MethodInvoker method)      {          if (control != null)          {              if (control.InvokeRequired)              {                  control.Invoke(method);              }              else              {                  method.Invoke();              }          }      }  }  


Vista introduced an animation effect when updating the progress bar - it tries to smoothly scroll from the previous position to the newly-set position, which creates a nasty time lag in the update of the control. The lag is most noticeable when you jump a progress bar in large increments, say from 25% to 50% in one jump.

As another poster pointed out, you can disable the Vista theme for the progress bar and it will then mimic the behavior of XP progress bars.

I have found another workaround: if you set the progress bar backwards, it will immediately paint to this location. So, if you want to jump from 25% to 50%, you would use the (admittedly hackish) logic:

progressbar.Value = 50;  progressbar.Value = 49;  progressbar.Value = 50;  

I know, I know - it's a silly hack - but it does work!


The reason for this whole mess is the interpolating animation effect introduced by Vista and W7. It has aboslutely nothing to do with thread blocking issues. Calling setProgress() or setting the Value property driectly, triggers an animation effect to occur, which I will explain how to cheat:

I came up with a hack of setting the maximum according to a fixed value. The maximum property does not trigger the effect, thus you get to freely move the progress around with instant response.

Remember that the actual shown progress is given by: ProgressBar.Value / ProgressBar.Maximum. With this in mind, the example below will move the progress from 0 to 100, repensented by i:

ProgressBar works like this:    progress = value / maximum    therefore:  maximum = value / progress  

I added some scaling factors needed, should be self explanatory:

progressBar1.Maximum *= 100;  progressBar1.Value = progressBar1.Maximum / 100;  for (int i = 1; i < 100; i++)  {      progressBar1.Maximum = (int)((double)progressBar1.Value / (double)(i + 1) * 100);      Thread.Sleep(20);  }  


It sounds like you're doing everything on the UI thread and thus not releasing the message pump. Have you tried using smoething like BackgroundWorker and the ProgressChanged event? See MSDN for an example.

BackgroundWorker is ideal for loading external data - but note that you shouldn't do any data-binding etc until you get back to the UI thread (or just use Invoke/BeginInvoke to push work to the UI thread).


I use Mark Lansdown's excellent answer as an Extension method for the ProgressBar control.

public static void ValueFast(this ProgressBar progressBar, int value)  {      progressBar.Value = value;        if (value > 0)    // prevent ArgumentException error on value = 0      {          progressBar.Value = value - 1;          progressBar.Value = value;      }    }  

Or you can also do it this way which only sets the ProgressBar value property twice instead of three times:

public static void ValueFast(this ProgressBar progressBar, int value)  {      if (value < 100)    // prevent ArgumentException error on value = 100      {          progressBar.Value = value + 1;    // set the value +1      }        progressBar.Value = value;    // set the actual value    }  

Simply call it on any ProgressBar control using the extension method:


If you really wanted to you could also check the current Windows Environment and only do the hack section of code for Windows Vista+ since Windows XP's ProgressBar does not have the slow progress animation.


Expanding on the answer given by Silas Hansen, this one seems to give me perfect results every time.

protected void UpdateProgressBar(ProgressBar prb, Int64 value, Int64 max)  {      if (max < 1)          max = 1;      if (value > max)          value = max;      Int32 finalmax = 1;      Int32 finalvalue = 0;      if (value > 0)      {          if (max > 0x8000)          {              // to avoid overflow when max*max exceeds Int32.MaxValue.              // 0x8000 is a safe value a bit below the actual square root of Int32.MaxValue              Int64 progressDivideValue = 1;              while ((max / progressDivideValue) > 0x8000)                  progressDivideValue *= 0x10;              finalmax = (Int32)(max / progressDivideValue);              finalvalue = (Int32)(value / progressDivideValue);          }          else          {              // Upscale values to increase precision, since this is all integer division              // Again, this can never exceed 0x8000.              Int64 progressMultiplyValue = 1;              while ((max * progressMultiplyValue) < 0x800)                  progressMultiplyValue *= 0x10;              finalmax = (Int32)(max * progressMultiplyValue);              finalvalue = (Int32)(value * progressMultiplyValue);          }      }      if (finalvalue <= 0)      {          prb.Maximum = (Int32)Math.Min(Int32.MaxValue, max);          prb.Value = 0;      }      else      {          // hacky mess, but it works...          // Will pretty much empty the bar for a split second, but this is normally never visible.          prb.Maximum = finalmax * finalmax;          // Makes sure the value will DEcrease in the last operation, to ensure the animation is skipped.          prb.Value = Math.Min(prb.Maximum, (finalmax + 1));          // Sets the final values.          prb.Maximum = (finalmax * finalmax) / finalvalue;          prb.Value = finalmax;      }  }  


First. I'd never turn off the CheckForIllegalCrossThreadCalls option.

Second. Add a Refresh() after you update the progress. Just because you're doing work in a different thread doesn't mean your GUI thread is going to get around to updating.


I have the same problem. I have a form with multiple progress bars (top one is for example file x/n, bottom one is task y/m) The top progress bar does not update TIMELY while the bottom one does Programatically I update it, invalidate, explicit process message, refresh or sleep does not fix it. Funny thing is that bottom progress bar and other component (time elapsed text) updates fine. This is purely a Vista+theme problem (animations like previously suggested, XP or Vista with classic theme works fine. When displaying a message box after the top progress bar has travelled to 100 (programmatically, not visually) I first see the message box and then I see the progress completing

I found that SetWindowTheme(ProgressBar.Handle, ' ', ' '); as explained on Disabling progress bar animation on Vista Aero works (but I have old style progress bars now)


Did you try Application.DoEvents(); ?

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