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
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkSTAThe Thread will create and enter a single-threaded apartment.
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkMTAThe Thread will create and enter a multithreaded apartment.
Supported by the .NET Compact FrameworkUnknownThe 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);
    }
}

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

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

.NET Framework

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0
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