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Microsoft KB Archive/175500

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Knowledge Base

How to set time-out period for script

Article ID: 175500

Article Last Modified on 12/3/2007


  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 128-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0
  • Windows Internet Explorer 7

This article was previously published under Q175500


Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry

Because some scripts may take an excessive amount of time to run, Internet Explorer prompts the user to decide whether they would like to continue running the slow script. Some tests and benchmarks may use scripts that take a long time to run and may want to increase the amount of time before the message box appears. In Internet Explorer, the script time-out value can be changed on specific client machines by modifying a registry entry.


There are situations when a Web page contains script that takes an unusually long time to run. If you are scripting an ActiveX control on a Web page to transfer a very large file or do a large database query, this will often cause a significantly long delay. Internet Explorer 3.02 detects the long delay and prompts the user with a dialog box reading the following:

This page contains a script which is taking an unusually long time to finish. To end this script now, click Cancel.

The equivalent message box for Internet Explorer versions 4.0, 5.0, 6, and 7 reads:

A script on this page is causing Internet Explorer to run slowly. If it continues to run, your computer may become unresponsive. Do you want to abort the script?"

This mechanism allows the user to stop misbehaved script that runs into an endless loop or otherwise is performing slowly.

In Internet Explorer 3.02, this message box can appear on machines running Windows 95. The version 3.02 browser is specifically looking to see if the script thread has pumped any windows messages in the last five seconds. There is no way to override this time-out period for Internet Explorer 3.02. If you are using an ActiveX control with long blocking operations, that ActiveX control should either employ an event mechanism and return control to the caller or call PeekMessage every five seconds to reset the time-out.

As of Internet Explorer 4.0, 5.0, 6, and 7, the time-out is no longer a fixed value based on Windows messages. Internet Explorer now tracks the total number of executed script statements for the current page with the script engine and throws up the time-out dialog box when that value hits a threshold amount.

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

To change this time-out value in Internet Explorer 4.0, 5.0, 6, or 7, follow these steps:

  1. Using a Registry Editor such as Regedt32.exe, open this key:


    Note If the Styles key is not present, create a new key that is called Styles.
  2. Create a new DWORD value called "MaxScriptStatements" under this key and set the value to the desired number of script statements.

By default the key doesn't exist. If the key has not been added, Internet Explorer 4 defaults to 5,000,000 statements executed as the trigger for the time-out dialog box.

Because the Internet Explorer 4.0, 5.0, 6, and 7 time-out is based on the number of script statements executed, the time-out dialog box will not display during ActiveX control or database-access delays. Endless loops in script will still be detected.

Keywords: kbhowto kbscript kbfaq kbcode KB175500