The following procedure can be easily aborted using Evaluation > Abort Evaluation menu item:

Do[j + k, {j, 1, 10000}, {k, 1, 10000}]

But it is not possible if NotebookEvaluate was used:

nb = CreateDocument[ ExpressionCell[Defer[Plot[Sin[x], {x, 0, 2 Pi}]], "Input"]]
NotebookEvaluate[nb, InsertResults -> True];

Now run this again:


and try to abort. It does not work and the loop is on.

Anyone knows why? Is there any alternative to NotebookEvaluate?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I rephrased the question and made the example self contained. Feel free to revert my changes. p.s. +1, interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Jan 18, 2019 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba Thanks! Your rephrase seems great! $\endgroup$
    – Veteran
    Jan 18, 2019 at 10:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ WRI says it is a 'known issue' so I guess bugs applies. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Jan 18, 2019 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


I was able to find this workaround, I know not what it does.

In[1]:= Pause[3];(*abortable*)

Out[1]= $Aborted

In[2]:= Quiet@NotebookEvaluate@"abc";

In[3]:= Pause[3];(*unabortable*)

In[4]:= MathLink`LinkAddInterruptMessageHandler[$ParentLink]

In[5]:= Pause[3];(*Aborts are back!*)

Out[5]= $Aborted
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this strange but functioning workaround! $\endgroup$
    – Luca
    Mar 29, 2023 at 18:26

I found this clunky workaround:

file = NotebookOpen[filename];
FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken[file, "SelectAll"]]
FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken[file, "Evaluate"]]
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It should be noted that this workaround behaves very differently to NotebookEvaluate in a few aspects: NotebookEvaluate evaluates the notebook and waits until it is done, while your method simply enqueues it for evaluation. (Also, the line numbers are different) $\endgroup$
    – Lukas Lang
    May 10, 2019 at 8:01

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