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Restricting the idle timeout period

You can set a maximum timeout period for any codespaces owned by your organization.

To manage timeout constraints for an organization's codespaces, you must be an owner of the organization.

GitHub Codespaces is available for organizations using GitHub Team or GitHub Enterprise Cloud. GitHub Codespaces is also available as a limited beta release for individual users on GitHub Free and GitHub Pro plans. For more information, see "GitHub's products."


By default, codespaces time out after 30 minutes of inactivity. When a codespace times out it is stopped and will no longer incur charges for compute usage.

The personal settings of a GitHub user allow them to define their own timeout period for codespaces they create. This may be longer than the default 30-minute period. For more information, see "Setting your timeout period for GitHub Codespaces."

As an organization owner, you may want to configure constraints on the maximum idle timeout period for codespaces created for repositories owned by your organization. This can help you to limit costs associated with codespaces that are left to timeout after long periods of inactivity. You can set a maximum timeout for the codespaces for all repositories owned by your organization, or for the codespaces of specific repositories.

Note: Maximum idle timeout constraints only apply to codespaces that are owned by your organization.

For more information about pricing for GitHub Codespaces compute usage, see "About billing for GitHub Codespaces."

Behavior when you set a maximum idle timeout constraint

If someone sets the default idle timeout to 90 minutes in their personal settings and they then start a codespace for a repository with a maximum idle timeout constraint of 60 minutes, the codespace will time out after 60 minutes of inactivity. When codespace creation completes, a message explaining this will be displayed:

Idle timeout for this codespace is set to 60 minutes in compliance with your organization’s policy.

Setting organization-wide and repository-specific policies

When you create a policy, you choose whether it applies to all repositories in your organization, or only to specified repositories. If you create an organization-wide policy with a timeout constraint, then the timeout constraints in any policies that are targeted at specific repositories must fall within the restriction configured for the entire organization. The shortest timeout period - in an organization-wide policy, a policy targeted at specified repositories, or in someone's personal settings - is applied.

If you add an organization-wide policy with a timeout constraint, you should set the timeout to the longest acceptable period. You can then add separate policies that set the maximum timeout to a shorter period for specific repositories in your organization.

Adding a policy to set a maximum idle timeout period

  1. In the top right corner of, click your profile photo, then click Your organizations. Your organizations in the profile menu

  2. Next to the organization, click Settings. The settings button

  3. In the "Code, planning, and automation" section of the sidebar, select Codespaces then click Policies.

  4. On the "Codespace policies" page, click Create Policy.

  5. Enter a name for your new policy.

  6. Click Add constraint and choose Maximum idle timeout.

    Add a constraint for idle timeout

  7. Click to edit the constraint.

    Edit the timeout constraint

  8. Enter the maximum number of minutes codespaces can remain inactive before they time out, then click Save.

    Set the maximum timeout in minutes

  9. In the "Change policy target" area, click the dropdown button.

  10. Choose either All repositories or Selected repositories to determine which repositories this policy will apply to.

  11. If you chose Selected repositories:

    1. Click .

      Edit the settings for the policy

    2. Select the repositories you want this policy to apply to.

    3. At the bottom of the repository list, click Select repositories.

      Select repositories for this policy

  12. If you want to add another constraint to the policy, click Add constraint and choose another constraint. For information about other constraints, see "Restricting access to machine types," "Restricting the visibility of forwarded ports," and "Restricting the retention period for codespaces."

  13. After you've finished adding constraints to your policy, click Save.

The policy will be applied to all new codespaces that are created, and to existing codespaces the next time they are started.

Editing a policy

You can edit an existing policy. For example, you may want to add or remove constraints to or from a policy.

  1. Display the "Codespace policies" page. For more information, see "Adding a policy to set a maximum idle timeout period."
  2. Click the name of the policy you want to edit.
  3. Make the required changes then click Save.

Deleting a policy

  1. Display the "Codespace policies" page. For more information, see "Adding a policy to set a maximum idle timeout period."

  2. Click the delete button to the right of the policy you want to delete.

    The delete button for a policy