2 Ways to Measure the Code Execution Time in Google Colab

Last updated on November 2, 2021 Pennywise Loading... Post a comment

This short and straight-to-the-point article shows you two different ways to measure the execution time of a piece of Python code in Google Colab.

Using %timeit

The %timeit magic function (function with a prefix is a percent symbol %) is useful for timing code with very short execution time. It runs a statement multiple times to calculate an ensemble average execution time. You may get results in µs (microsecond) or ns (nanosecond).


import numpy as np
x = np.random.rand(100, 100)
%timeit np.matmul(x, x)


The slowest run took 38.18 times longer than the fastest. This could mean that an intermediate result is being cached.
10000 loops, best of 5: 126 µs per loop


Using autotime extension

This approach is convenient if you want to see the execution time of every cell in a Google Colab notebook.

1. Installing ipython-autotime:

!pip install ipython-autotime

2. Loading the autotime extension (you only need to do this once):

%load_ext autotime



We’ve gone through a couple of different methods to benchmark the execution time of a piece of code or a cell in Google Colab. If you’d like to explore more about Python programming, take a look at the following articles:

You can also check out our Machine Learning category page or Python category page for more tutorials and examples.

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