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ApartmentState Enumeration

Specifies the apartment state of a Thread.

Namespace:  System.Threading
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[SerializableAttribute]
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public enum ApartmentState

Member nameDescription
MTAThe Thread will create and enter a multithreaded apartment.
STAThe Thread will create and enter a single-threaded apartment.
UnknownThe ApartmentState property has not been set.

An apartment is a logical container within a process for objects sharing the same thread access requirements. All objects in the same apartment can receive calls from any thread in the apartment. The .NET Framework does not use apartments, and managed objects are responsible for using all shared resources in a thread-safe manner themselves.

Because COM classes use apartments, the common language runtime needs to create and initialize an apartment when calling a COM object in a COM interop situation. A managed thread can create and enter a single-threaded apartment (STA) that allows only one thread, or a multithreaded apartment (MTA) that contains one or more threads. You can control the type of apartment created by setting the ApartmentState property of the thread to one of the values of the ApartmentState enumeration. Because a given thread can only initialize a COM apartment once, you cannot change the apartment type after the first call to the unmanaged code.

For more information, see Thread, Managed and Unmanaged Threading, and Advanced COM Interoperability.

The following code example demonstrates how to set the apartment state of a thread.

using System;
using System.Threading;

class ApartmentTest
{
    static void Main()
    {
        Thread newThread = 
            new Thread(new ThreadStart(ThreadMethod));
        newThread.SetApartmentState(ApartmentState.MTA);

        // The following line is ignored since  
        // ApartmentState can only be set once.
        newThread.SetApartmentState(ApartmentState.STA);

        Console.WriteLine("ThreadState: {0}, ApartmentState: {1}", 
            newThread.ThreadState, newThread.ApartmentState);

        newThread.Start();

        // Wait for newThread to start and go to sleep.
        Thread.Sleep(300);
        try
        {
            // This causes an exception since newThread is sleeping.
            newThread.SetApartmentState(ApartmentState.STA);
        }
        catch(ThreadStateException stateException)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("\n{0} caught:\n" +
                "Thread is not in the Unstarted or Running state.", 
                stateException.GetType().Name);
            Console.WriteLine("ThreadState: {0}, ApartmentState: {1}",
                newThread.ThreadState, newThread.GetApartmentState());
        }
    }

    static void ThreadMethod()
    {
        Thread.Sleep(1000);
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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