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IDisposable Interface

Defines a method to release allocated resources.

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

'Declaration
<ComVisibleAttribute(True)> _
Public Interface IDisposable

The IDisposable type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryDisposePerforms application-defined tasks associated with freeing, releasing, or resetting unmanaged resources.
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The primary use of this interface is to release unmanaged resources. The garbage collector automatically releases the memory allocated to a managed object when that object is no longer used. However, it is not possible to predict when garbage collection will occur. Furthermore, the garbage collector has no knowledge of unmanaged resources such as window handles, or open files and streams.

Use the Dispose method of this interface to explicitly release unmanaged resources in conjunction with the garbage collector. The consumer of an object can call this method when the object is no longer needed.

It is a version-breaking change to add the IDisposable interface to an existing class, because it changes the semantics of the class.

Important noteImportant

C++ programmers should read Destructors and Finalizers in Visual C++. In the .NET Framework version, the C++ compiler provides support for implementing deterministic disposal of resources and does not allow direct implementation of the Dispose method.

For a detailed discussion about how this interface and the Object.Finalize method are used, see the Garbage Collection and Implementing a Dispose Method topics.

Calling the IDisposable Interface

When calling a class that implements the IDisposable interface, use the try/finally pattern to make sure that unmanaged resources are disposed of even if an exception interrupts your application.

For more information about the try/finally pattern, see Try...Catch...Finally Statement (Visual Basic), try-finally (C# Reference), or try-finally Statement (C).

Note that you can use the using statement (Using in Visual Basic) instead of the try/finally pattern. For more information, see the Using Statement (Visual Basic) documentation or the using Statement (C# Reference) documentation. 

The following example demonstrates how to create a resource class that implements the IDisposable interface.


Imports System
Imports System.ComponentModel

' The following example demonstrates how to create
' a resource class that implements the IDisposable interface
' and the IDisposable.Dispose method.
Public Class DisposeExample

   ' A class that implements IDisposable.
   ' By implementing IDisposable, you are announcing that 
   ' instances of this type allocate scarce resources.
   Public Class MyResource
      Implements IDisposable
      ' Pointer to an external unmanaged resource.
      Private handle As IntPtr
      ' Other managed resource this class uses.
      Private component As component
      ' Track whether Dispose has been called.
      Private disposed As Boolean = False

      ' The class constructor.
      Public Sub New(ByVal handle As IntPtr)
         Me.handle = handle
      End Sub

      ' Implement IDisposable.
      ' Do not make this method virtual.
      ' A derived class should not be able to override this method.
      Public Overloads Sub Dispose() Implements IDisposable.Dispose
         Dispose(True)
         ' This object will be cleaned up by the Dispose method.
         ' Therefore, you should call GC.SupressFinalize to
         ' take this object off the finalization queue 
         ' and prevent finalization code for this object
         ' from executing a second time.
         GC.SuppressFinalize(Me)
      End Sub

      ' Dispose(bool disposing) executes in two distinct scenarios.
      ' If disposing equals true, the method has been called directly
      ' or indirectly by a user's code. Managed and unmanaged resources
      ' can be disposed.
      ' If disposing equals false, the method has been called by the 
      ' runtime from inside the finalizer and you should not reference 
      ' other objects. Only unmanaged resources can be disposed.
      Protected Overridable Overloads Sub Dispose(ByVal disposing As Boolean)
         ' Check to see if Dispose has already been called.
         If Not Me.disposed Then
            ' If disposing equals true, dispose all managed 
            ' and unmanaged resources.
            If disposing Then
               ' Dispose managed resources.
               component.Dispose()
            End If

            ' Call the appropriate methods to clean up 
            ' unmanaged resources here.
            ' If disposing is false, 
            ' only the following code is executed.
            CloseHandle(handle)
            handle = IntPtr.Zero

            ' Note disposing has been done.
            disposed = True

         End If
      End Sub

      ' Use interop to call the method necessary  
      ' to clean up the unmanaged resource.
      <System.Runtime.InteropServices.DllImport("Kernel32")> _
      Private Shared Function CloseHandle(ByVal handle As IntPtr) As [Boolean]
      End Function

      ' This finalizer will run only if the Dispose method 
      ' does not get called.
      ' It gives your base class the opportunity to finalize.
      ' Do not provide finalize methods in types derived from this class.
      Protected Overrides Sub Finalize()
         ' Do not re-create Dispose clean-up code here.
         ' Calling Dispose(false) is optimal in terms of
         ' readability and maintainability.
         Dispose(False)
         MyBase.Finalize()
      End Sub
   End Class

   Public Shared Sub Main()
      ' Insert code here to create
      ' and use the MyResource object.
   End Sub

End Class


.NET Framework

Supported in: 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

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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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