Java – When does Java’s Thread.sleep throw InterruptedException


When does Java's Thread.sleep throw InterruptedException? Is it safe to ignore it? I am not doing any multithreading. I just want to wait for a few seconds before retrying some operation.

Best Solution

You should generally NOT ignore the exception. Take a look at the following paper:

Don't swallow interrupts

Sometimes throwing InterruptedException is not an option, such as when a task defined by Runnable calls an interruptible method. In this case, you can't rethrow InterruptedException, but you also do not want to do nothing. When a blocking method detects interruption and throws InterruptedException, it clears the interrupted status. If you catch InterruptedException but cannot rethrow it, you should preserve evidence that the interruption occurred so that code higher up on the call stack can learn of the interruption and respond to it if it wants to. This task is accomplished by calling interrupt() to "reinterrupt" the current thread, as shown in Listing 3. At the very least, whenever you catch InterruptedException and don't rethrow it, reinterrupt the current thread before returning.

public class TaskRunner implements Runnable {
    private BlockingQueue<Task> queue;

    public TaskRunner(BlockingQueue<Task> queue) { 
        this.queue = queue; 

    public void run() { 
        try {
             while (true) {
                 Task task = queue.take(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS);
         catch (InterruptedException e) { 
             // Restore the interrupted status

See the entire paper here: