A simple free stopwatch program

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A very simple and completely free stopwatch program for Windows.

Just download stopwatch.zip and unzip it somewhere on your computer. Create a shortcut on your desktop for convenient access. You can right-click on the window if you want to toggle the window's stay-on-top behavior, copy the time to the clipboard, or rename the window. If you want the stopwatch to immediately start running, add a command line argument of "start". If you want the window to start in stay-on-top mode, add a command line argument of "top". Pressing Ctrl-C will copy the elapsed time to the clipboard.

Tandem stopwatches in action
Two stopwatch programs in action.

StopWatch C# source code

What version of the .NET framework is required?
In theory, anything 2.0 or above should work (that is what I targeted in the Visual Studio project). The StopWatch is pretty simple and doesn't need any advanced .NET features. But Microsoft has done a good job making forward compatibility a pain. I now include a StopWatch.exe.config file along with StopWatch.exe. If you only have .NET 4.0, this should hopefully make it run. If you know of a better way, drop me an email...

On occasion I do consulting work and need to time how long I'm working for a client. So I figured a little stop watch like Windows program would be handy to have. After several hours searching the Internet, I found only programs which cost money, didn't allow the timer to continue after a pause, or had a user interface as complex as a nuclear reactor.

So after 20 minutes of highly complex and exhausting software development, I had created The World's Simplest Free Stopwatch. Enjoy!

Revision history:

Version 3.0 - May 21st, 2012
  • Added application config file so it runs on machines with only .NET 4.0 installed.
  • Added right-click menu that toggles stay-on-top window, copys time to clipboard, and renames window.
  • Added "top" command line parameter that causes window to startup as stay-on-top.
  • Made command line parameters work if user adds a dash or other symbols.
  • Converted to Visual Studio 2010.
Version 2.0
  • Changed to display only hundredths of a second, the spinning third decimal place was annoying me.
  • Added icons so it is easier to find in taskbar.
  • Converted to Visual Studio 2005.
  • Added "start" command line switch to automatically start when opened.
  • Ctrl-C will copy the elapsed time to the clipboard.