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DateTime.ToFileTime Method

Converts the value of the current DateTime object to a Windows file time.

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

public long ToFileTime()

Return Value

Type: System.Int64
The value of the current DateTime object expressed as a Windows file time.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentOutOfRangeException

The resulting file time would represent a date and time before 12:00 midnight January 1, 1601 C.E. UTC.

A Windows file time is a 64-bit value that represents the number of 100-nanosecond intervals that have elapsed since 12:00 midnight, January 1, 1601 A.D. (C.E.) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Windows uses a file time to record when an application creates, accesses, or writes to a file.

The ToFileTime method uses the Kind property to determine whether the current DateTime object is a local time, a UTC time, or an unspecified kind of time which is treated as a local time.

Notes to Callers

Ordinarily, the FromFileTime method restores a DateTime value that was saved by the ToFileTime method. However, the two values may differ under the following conditions:

  • If the serialization and deserialization of the DateTime value occur in different time zones. For example, if a DateTime value with a time of 12:30 P.M. in the U.S. Eastern Time zone is serialized, and then deserialized in the U.S. Pacific Time zone, the original value of 12:30 P.M. is adjusted to 9:30 A.M. to reflect the difference between the two time zones.

  • If the DateTime value that is serialized represents an invalid time in the local time zone. In this case, the ToFileTime method adjusts the restored DateTime value so that it represents a valid time in the local time zone.

    For example, the transition from standard time to daylight saving time occurs in the U.S. Pacific Time zone on March 14, 2010, at 2:00 A.M., when the time advances by one hour, to 3:00 A.M. This hour interval is an invalid time, that is, a time interval that does not exist in this time zone. The following example shows that when a time that falls within this range is converted to a long integer value by the ToFileTime method and is then restored by the FromFileTime method, the original value is adjusted to become a valid time. You can determine whether a particular date and time value may be subject to modification by passing it to the TimeZoneInfo.IsInvalidTime method, as the example illustrates.

    using System;
    
    public class Example
    {
       public static void Main()
       {
          DateTime date1 = new DateTime(2010, 3, 14, 2, 30, 00);
          Console.WriteLine("Invalid Time: {0}", 
                            TimeZoneInfo.Local.IsInvalidTime(date1));
          long ft = date1.ToFileTime();
          DateTime date2 = DateTime.FromFileTime(ft);
          Console.WriteLine("{0} -> {1}", date1, date2); 
       }
    }
    // The example displays the following output: 
    //       Invalid Time: True 
    //       3/14/2010 2:30:00 AM -> 3/14/2010 3:30:00 AM
    

The following example demonstrates the ToFileTime method.

		static void Main(string[] args)
		{
			System.Console.WriteLine("Enter the file path:");
			string filePath = System.Console.ReadLine();

			if (System.IO.File.Exists(filePath)) {
				System.DateTime fileCreationDateTime = 
					System.IO.File.GetCreationTime(filePath);

				long fileCreationFileTime = fileCreationDateTime.ToFileTime();

				System.Console.WriteLine("{0} in file time is {1}.",
										 fileCreationDateTime,
										 fileCreationFileTime);
			} 
			else {
				System.Console.WriteLine("{0} is an invalid file", filePath);
			}
		}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.2, 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

.NET for Windows Store apps

Supported in: Windows 8

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Silverlight 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, 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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