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How to cancel a delayed perform() call

Swift version: 5.6

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

You can make a method call run after a number of seconds have elapsed using perform(_:withObject:afterDelay:), like this:

perform(#selector(yourMethodHere), with: nil, afterDelay: 1)

However, what if you change your mind, and decide you don't want yourMethodHere() to be called? As long as you act before that timer expires, you have two options: cancel that specific delayed call, or cancel all delayed calls.

To cancel that specific method call, you need to use the method cancelPreviousPerformRequests(withTarget:) on NSObject. Provide it with a target (where the method was going to be called), as well as the same selector and object you used when calling perform(), and it will cancel that delayed call.

For example:

// set up a delayed call…
perform(#selector(yourMethodHere), with: nil, afterDelay: 1)

// …then immediately cancel it
NSObject.cancelPreviousPerformRequests(withTarget: self, selector: #selector(yourMethodHere), object: nil)

Being able to filter the cancellation by both selector and object means you can be very specific: "cancel the printing call for this filename."

If you've made a number of delayed calls and want to cancel them all – very helpful if you're about to leave a view controller, for example, and want to abandon any queued work – you can use this method call instead:

NSObject.cancelPreviousPerformRequests(withTarget: self)

That will cancel every call that was queued up on self, regardless of which selectors and objects were used.

If you're making delayed calls on a specific object, just use that object in place of self. For example:

myObj.perform(#selector(yourMethodHere), with: nil, afterDelay: 1)
NSObject.cancelPreviousPerformRequests(withTarget: myObj, selector: #selector(yourMethodHere), object: nil)
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Available from iOS 4.0

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