Preventing UI Freeze in wxPython with Concurrent Futures

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to prevent UI freezing in wxPython by utilizing concurrent futures. By implementing concurrency techniques, you can keep your wxPython GUI responsive during long tasks, enhancing the overall user experience of your applications.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When developing applications with wxPython, encountering unresponsive or frozen user interfaces during lengthy operations is a common challenge. This issue not only impacts the responsiveness of the application but also hampers the user experience. Tasks such as file processing, network operations, or complex computations can lead to UI freezes.

To address this problem effectively, we leverage Python’s concurrent.futures module in conjunction with wxPython. By utilizing this approach, we can execute time-consuming tasks in separate threads or processes without blocking the main thread responsible for maintaining a responsive UI. This ensures that the application remains interactive and provides a seamless user experience even when handling intensive operations in the background.


import wx
import time
from concurrent.futures import ThreadPoolExecutor

class MyFrame(wx.Frame):
    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__(parent=None, title='Non-Blocking GUI')
        self.panel = wx.Panel(self)
        self.button = wx.Button(self.panel, label='Start Task', pos=(10, 10))
        self.button.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, self.on_button_click)

    def on_button_click(self,event):
        with ThreadPoolExecutor() as executor:
            future = executor.submit(self.long_running_task)

    def long_running_task(self):
        # Simulate a long task
        return "Task Completed"

    def task_complete(self,future):
        result = future.result()
        # Update UI or notify user that task is complete.

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app = wx.App(False)
    frame = MyFrame()

# Copyright PHD


In this solution:

  • We create a basic wxPython window containing a button using wx.Frame and wx.Button.
  • Upon clicking the button (on_button_click), instead of directly executing our long task (which could freeze the UI), we assign it to be run by ThreadPoolExecutor. This allows our long_running_task function to run in a separate thread.
  • The long_running_task() function represents any time-consuming operation. In this case, it simply delays for 5 seconds to simulate a lengthy process.
  • Once the task is finished (task_complete()), we retrieve its result and can then safely update our GUI or inform users that their requested action has been completed.

By employing this strategy, while our intensive operation runs concurrently in another thread provided by ThreadPoolExecutor, the main loop of WX Application continues running smoothly – ensuring an uninterrupted and responsive user interface.

    What is WX Application?

    WX Application refers to an application developed using wxWidgets, which facilitates creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) across various platforms.

    Can I use ProcessPoolExecutor instead of ThreadPoolExecutor?

    Yes! If your task is CPU-bound rather than I/O-bound, utilizing ProcessPoolExecutor which employs multiple processes can be beneficial.

    How do I install wxPython?

    You can effortlessly install wxPython via pip: pip install -U wxPython.

    Is concurrent.futures available in all Python versions?

    The concurrent.futures module was introduced in Python 3.2; hence it’s not inherently present in older versions.

    How many workers does ThreadPoolExecutor use by default?

    By default,ThreadPoolExecutor employs as many worker threads as there are CPUs on your machine.

    Can I cancel a submitted job?

    Yes; jobs submitted through executors can be canceled if they have not commenced execution yet.

    What happens if I don�t call Add_done_callback() method?

    Failing to attach any callback function using add_done_callback() will result in no notification upon completion of your asynchronous operation.

    Are there alternatives to concurrent.futures for managing async tasks?

    Alternatives include working directly with threading and multiprocessing modules; however,concurrent.futures simplifies asynchronous programming significantly.

    How do I handle exceptions raised by my asynchronous task?

    Exceptions raised during execution are re-raised when calling .result() unless handled within your callback function.


    Implementing concurrency techniques like threading with concurrent futures provides an efficient means to uphold responsiveness in WX-based applications during intensive computations or IO operations. This not only enhances user satisfaction but also optimally utilizes modern processor capabilities for improved performance.

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