Often it is required to retry some logic in the program, for example, when making flaky network or web request which is not reliable. Things may fail a few times, but that doesn’t mean there was a problem, and if your program throws an error and flow of control proceeds to the next line you may see unexpected results. I think it is wise to build some sort of a retry logic to handle such scenarios that make sure some commands are run more than once. So in this blog post, we will discuss a simple function I’ve created to implement retry logic.

Let’s keep a few things in our minds before writing a retry logic:

    1. We have to iterate the same piece of the program.
      I’ll use some sort of loop for that, like for, while, or do..while.
    2. When some program fails it may throw some error.
      Try..catch block can be employed to catch such errors
    3. Errors can be a Terminating or Non-Terminating but Try..Catch block will work only with the Terminating errors.
      The automatic variable $ErrorActionPreference needs to be set as Stop to make sure errors thrown by the target code are all Terminating errors.
    4. Put the retry logic in a function that accepts as[scriptsblock] input and supports custom success and failure messages.
      No Specific reason to use [ScriptBlocks], I could have used command input as strings or files.
    5. All intermediate steps and retries must go to Verbose stream so that it can be enabled or disabled using the -Verbose switch.
      It is not necessary to output the retry logic in action, and you can suppress any output and run the logic in the background.
    6. Add the Error message in the verbose output.
      For this, we can access the value of $_.exception.message in the catch block
    7. The output of the commands defined in the script block must return to the console unless explicitly suppressed in Scriptblock by the user.



Try testing connectivity to the website that doesn’t exist, which will throw host not found error. Any error is caught by the Retry-Command cmdlet will attempt to execute connectivity test 3 times. By default 3 retry attempts are made at every 30 seconds and you have to explicitly define the Verbose switch to see the retry logic in action.

We can even customize the number of retry attempts and timeout time in seconds using the parameters: -RetryCount and -TimeoutInSecs respectively.

Retry Logic in PowerShell

In some scenarios, you may want the retry logic to be triggered when you don’t get the desired output. Such use cases can implement the retry logic of the Retry-Command function, by throwing an error throw() in your script block that will be executed.

Retry Logic in PowerShell

You can even define some conditional statements and throw() custom errors or use the Write-Error cmdlet to throw an error and trigger the retry.

Retry Logic in PowerShell

The function is also capable of handling scriptblocks as input through the pipeline.

Optical Character Recognition

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