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jQuery Idle Timer Plugin

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Fires a custom event when the user is "idle". Idle is defined by not...

  • moving the mouse
  • scrolling the mouse wheel
  • using the keyboard


There are two ways to instantiate. Either statically, or on an element. Element bound timers will only watch for events inside of them. You may just want page-level activity, in which case you may set up your timers on document, document.documentElement, and document.body. Instantiate returns jQuery for chaining.

$(function() {
    // binds to document - shorthand

    // binds to document - explicit
    $( document ).idleTimer();

    // bind to different element
    $( "#myTextArea" ).idleTimer();


You can configure the settings several ways

$(function() {
    // idleTimer() with all defaults
    $( document ).idleTimer( );

    // idleTimer() takes an optional numeric argument that defines just the idle timeout
    // timeout is in milliseconds
    $( document ).idleTimer( 10000 );

    // idleTimer() takes an optional object argument that defines any/all setting
    $( document ).idleTimer( {

    *   Here are the possible settings
    *   you can omit any or all of them

    // indicates if the user is idle
    idle [default:false] 

    // the timeout period
    timeout [default:30000] 

    // activity is any one of these events
    events [default:'mousemove keydown wheel DOMMouseScroll mousewheel mousedown touchstart touchmove MSPointerDown MSPointerMove']

    // If set, the use a localStorage key to sync activity across browser tabs/windows
    timerSyncId [default:null]


When a users state changes a custom events get triggered. There are several parameters passed to your handler for you to use.

$(function() {
    $( document ).on( "idle.idleTimer", function(event, elem, obj){
        // function you want to fire when the user goes idle

    $( document ).on( "active.idleTimer", function(event, elem, obj, triggerevent){
        // function you want to fire when the user becomes active again

    *   Here are the arguments
    // event
    // will be either idle.idleTimer or active.idleTimer
    // use event.stopPropagation(); to stop element from bubbling up to document

    // elem
    // is the element that the event was triggered on

    // obj
    // is a copy of the internal data used by idleTimer

    // triggerevent
    // is the initial event that triggered the element to become active
    // obviously for idle state this will be undefined


There are several methods to invoke

$(function() {
    // stop the timer, removes data, removes event bindings
    // to come back from this you will need to instantiate again
    // returns: jQuery
    $( document ).idleTimer("destroy");

    // save remaining time, and stops the timer
    // returns: jQuery
    $( document ).idleTimer("pause");

    // starts timer with remaining time
    // returns: jQuery
    $( document ).idleTimer("resume");

    // restore initial idle state, and restart the timer
    // returns: jQuery
    $( document ).idleTimer("reset");

    // get time left until idle, if idle return 0
    // returns: number
    $( document ).idleTimer("getRemainingTime");

    // get time elapsed (in ms) since the user went idle/active
    // if idle, how have you been idle, if active, how long have you been active
    // returns: number
    $( document ).idleTimer("getElapsedTime");

    // get time last active event fired
    // returns: number
    $( document ).idleTimer("getLastActiveTime");

    // you can also query if it's "idle" or "active"
    // returns: bool
    $( document ).idleTimer("isIdle");

Using multiple idle monitors

When using multiple idle monitors on the same element, a unique id needs be used for each one.


$(function() {
    // idleTimer() takes an optional string argument that allows using multiple timers on the same element
    $( document ).idleTimer( 10000, "someUniqueId" );
    // equivalent
    $.idleTimer(10000, document, "someUniqueId");


$(function() {
    var uniqueId = "someUniqueString";
    $( document ).idleTimer("pause", uniqueId); // same for other methods like destroy, reset, ...


$(function() {
    var uniqueId = "someUniqueString";
    $( document ).on( "idle.idleTimer" + uniqueId, function(event, elem, obj){ // same for the active event
        // function you want to fire for the idle timer with matching unique id on that element


jQuery 1.7 (tested with 1.11.0)

Intended Browser Support


  • =IE8

  • Firefox n-1
  • Chrome n-1
  • Safari n


  • iOS n-1
  • Android (version?)
  • Windows Phone IEMobile/10.0



Version History

Version Author Released Links
1.0.0 Todd Horst 03/10/2014 Change Log - Breaking Changes
0.9.3 Mike Sherov 08/04/2013

Author History


Please create a fiddle and submit a ticket