Sometimes, when you make Android applications, you need to create a countdown. It can be useful in a board game for example if the player have a defined time to play. A lot of solutions exist to create a countdown in Java. Some are more complex than other. On Android, the SDK offers to developers an easy way to create a countdown timer : a dedicated class named CountDownTimer.

1/ Create the CountDown Timer

Here, we consider a countdown of 60 seconds. So, we need to use the following code to create the CountDownTimer instance :

CountDownTimer countDownTimer = new CountDownTimer(60 * 1000, 1000) {
   public void onTick(long millisUntilFinished) {
      mTextField.setText("Seconds remaining: " + millisUntilFinished / 1000);

   public void onFinish() {
      mTextField.setText("Done !");

The second parameter lets you to define at which interval you must be notified during the countdown. You can update your User Interface in that method.

2/ Manage your CountDown Timer

Once you have created your CountDownTimer object, you have to manage it. First, you can start it :


If you want to cancel your countdown timer before its end, you have just to call its cancel() method :



3/ Conclusion

Powerful and easy to use, the CountDownTimer class is the ideal solution to create countdown timer on Android.