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Cleanup tasks upon function completion



cleanupObj = onCleanup(cleanupFun) creates an object that, when destroyed, executes the function cleanupFun. MATLAB® implicitly clears all local variables at the termination of a function, whether by normal completion, or a forced exit, such as an error, or Ctrl+C.

If you reference or pass cleanupObj outside your function, then cleanupFun does not run when that function terminates. Instead, it runs whenever MATLAB destroys the object.


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Save the following code in action.m and type action in the Command Window.

function action
disp('Display Figure')
f = figure;
cleanup = onCleanup(@()myCleanupFun(f));

function myCleanupFun(f)
disp('Close Figure')
Display Figure
Close Figure

Pass your own script to the onCleanup object so that it executes when MATLAB destroys the cleanup object.

Save the following code in cleanup.m.

disp('You are now in the temporary folder')

Save the following code in youraction.m and type youraction in the Command Window.

function youraction
cleanup = onCleanup(@cleanup);
disp('Execute Code')
Execute Code
You are now in the temporary folder

Input Arguments

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Cleanup task, specified as a handle to a function.

You can declare any number of onCleanup objects in a program file. However, if the cleanup tasks depend on the order of execution, then you should define only one object that calls a script or function, containing the relevant cleanup commands.

You should use an anonymous function handle to call your cleanup task. This allows you to pass arguments to your cleanup function.

Example: @()fclose('file.m')

Example: @user_script

Data Types: function_handle


  • Avoid using nested functions during cleanup. MATLAB can clear variables used in nested functions before the cleanup function tries to read from them.

  • If your program contains multiple cleanup objects, MATLAB does not guarantee the order that it destroys these objects. If the order of your cleanup functions matters, define one onCleanup object for all the tasks.

  • If you save an onCleanup object, MATLAB displays a warning and does not save the cleanupFun cleanup task.

Extended Capabilities

Version History

Introduced in R2008a