Yawar Murtaza Yawar Murtaza - 1 year ago 143
C# Question

Why would I bother to use Task.ConfigureAwait(continueOnCapturedContext: false);

Consider the following code of windows forms:

private async void UpdateUIControlClicked(object sender, EventArgs e)
this.txtUIControl.Text = "I will be updated after 2nd await - i hope!";
await Task.Delay(5000).ConfigureAwait(continueOnCapturedContext: false);
this.txtUIControl.Text = "I am updated now.";

Here the exception is thrown at the 3rd line because after await the code is executed on non-UI thread.
Where ConfigureAwait(false) is useful?

Answer Source

Stephen Cleary has a really good series on this you can find here but I copied the specific piece to your question http://blog.stephencleary.com/2012/02/async-and-await.html

Most of the time, you don’t need to sync back to the “main” context. Most async methods will be designed with composition in mind: they await other operations, and each one represents an asynchronous operation itself (which can be composed by others). In this case, you want to tell the awaiter to not capture the current context by calling ConfigureAwait and passing false, e.g.:

private async Task DownloadFileAsync(string fileName)
  // Use HttpClient or whatever to download the file contents.
  var fileContents = await DownloadFileContentsAsync(fileName).ConfigureAwait(false);

  // Note that because of the ConfigureAwait(false), we are not on the original context here.
  // Instead, we're running on the thread pool.

  // Write the file contents out to a disk file.
  await WriteToDiskAsync(fileName, fileContents).ConfigureAwait(false);

  // The second call to ConfigureAwait(false) is not *required*, but it is Good Practice.

// WinForms example (it works exactly the same for WPF).
private async void DownloadFileButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
  // Since we asynchronously wait, the UI thread is not blocked by the file download.
  await DownloadFileAsync(fileNameTextBox.Text);

  // Since we resume on the UI context, we can directly access UI elements.
  resultTextBox.Text = "File downloaded!";

The important thing to note with this example is that each “level” of async method calls has its own context. DownloadFileButton_Click started in the UI context, and called DownloadFileAsync. DownloadFileAsync also started in the UI context, but then stepped out of its context by calling ConfigureAwait(false). The rest of DownloadFileAsync runs in the thread pool context. However, when DownloadFileAsync completes and DownloadFileButton_Click resumes, it does resume in the UI context.

A good rule of thumb is to use ConfigureAwait(false) unless you know you do need the context.

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