Amazon Simple Queue Service
Developer Guide

Amazon SQS Delay Queues

Delay queues let you postpone the delivery of new messages to a queue for a number of seconds. If you create a delay queue, any messages that you send to the queue remain invisible to consumers for the duration of the delay period. The minimum delay for a queue is 0 seconds. The maximum is 15 minutes. For information about configuring delay queues using the AWS Management Console or the AWS SDK for Java (and the SetQueueAttributes action), see Configuring an Amazon SQS Delay Queue.


For standard queues, the per-queue delay setting is not retroactive—changing the setting doesn't affect the delay of messages already in the queue.

For FIFO queues, the per-queue delay setting is retroactive—changing the setting affects the delay of messages already in the queue.

Delay queues are similar to visibility timeouts because both features make messages unavailable to consumers for a specific period of time. The difference between the two is that, for delay queues, a message is hidden when it is first added to queue, whereas for visibility timeouts a message is hidden only after it is consumed from the queue. The following diagram illustrates the relationship between delay queues and visibility timeouts.

To set delay seconds on individual messages, rather than on an entire queue, use message timers to allow Amazon SQS to use the message timer's DelaySeconds value instead of the delay queue's DelaySeconds value.