Waiting for Long Operations

A GUI application behaviour is often unstable and your script needs waiting until a new window appears or an existing window is closed/hidden. pywinauto can wait for a dialog initialization implicitly (with the default timeout). There are few methods/functions that could help you to make your code easier and more reliable.

Application methods

This method is useful for multi-threaded interfaces that allow a lazy initialization in another thread while GUI is responsive and all controls already exist and ready to use. So waiting for a specific window existence/state is useless. In such case the CPU usage for the whole process indicates that a task calculation is not finished yet.


app.wait_cpu_usage_lower(threshold=5) # wait until CPU usage is lower than 5%

WindowSpecification methods

These methods are available to all controls.

There is an example containing long waits: install script for 7zip 9.20 x64.

A WindowSpecification object isn’t necessarily related to an existing window/control. It’s just a description namely a couple of criteria to search the window. The wait method (if no any exception is raised) can guarantee that the target control exists or even visible, enabled and/or active.

Functions in timings module

There are also low-level methods useful for any Python code.

Decorators pywinauto.timings.always_wait_until() and pywinauto.timings.always_wait_until_passes() can also be used if every function call should have timing control.

# call ensure_text_changed(ctrl) every 2 sec until it's passed or timeout (4 sec) is expired

@always_wait_until_passes(4, 2)
def ensure_text_changed(ctrl):
    if previous_text == ctrl.window_text():
        raise ValueError('The ctrl text remains the same while change is expected')

Identify controls

The methods to help you to find a needed control.

How To`s