ConfigureAwait pushes the continuation to a pool thread

Why ConfigureAwait pro-actively pushes the await continuation to a pool thread here?

It doesn’t “push it to a thread pool thread” as much as say “don’t force myself to come back to the previous SynchronizationContext“.

If you don’t capture the existing context, then the continuation which handles the code after that await will just run on a thread pool thread instead, since there is no context to marshal back into.

Now, this is subtly different than “push to a thread pool”, since there isn’t a guarantee that it will run on a thread pool when you do ConfigureAwait(false). If you call:

await FooAsync().ConfigureAwait(false);

It is possible that FooAsync() will execute synchronously, in which case, you will never leave the current context. In that case, ConfigureAwait(false) has no real effect, since the state machine created by the await feature will short circuit and just run directly.

If you want to see this in action, make an async method like so:

static Task FooAsync(bool runSync)
   if (!runSync)
       await Task.Delay(100);

If you call this like:

await FooAsync(true).ConfigureAwait(false);

You’ll see that you stay on the main thread (provided that was the current context prior to the await), since there is no actual async code executing in the code path. The same call with FooAsync(false).ConfigureAwait(false); will cause it to jump to thread pool thread after execution, however.

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