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List<T>.Capacity Property

Gets or sets the total number of elements the internal data structure can hold without resizing.

Namespace:  System.Collections.Generic
Assemblies:   mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
  System.Collections (in System.Collections.dll)

public int Capacity { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Int32
The number of elements that the List<T> can contain before resizing is required.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentOutOfRangeException

Capacity is set to a value that is less than Count.

OutOfMemoryException

There is not enough memory available on the system.

Capacity is the number of elements that the List<T> can store before resizing is required, whereas Count is the number of elements that are actually in the List<T>.

Capacity is always greater than or equal to Count. If Count exceeds Capacity while adding elements, the capacity is increased by automatically reallocating the internal array before copying the old elements and adding the new elements.

If the capacity is significantly larger than the count and you want to reduce the memory used by the List<T>, you can decrease capacity by calling the TrimExcess method or by setting the Capacity property explicitly to a lower value. When the value of Capacity is set explicitly, the internal array is also reallocated to accommodate the specified capacity, and all the elements are copied.

Retrieving the value of this property is an O(1) operation; setting the property is an O(n) operation, where n is the new capacity.

The following example demonstrates how to check the capacity and count of a List<T> that contains a simple business object, and illustrates using the TrimExcess method to remove extra capacity.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
// Simple business object. A PartId is used to identify a part  
// but the part name be different for the same Id. 
public class Part : IEquatable<Part>
{
    public string PartName { get; set; }
    public int PartId { get; set; }
    public override string ToString()
    {
        return "ID: " + PartId + "   Name: " + PartName;
    }
    public override bool Equals(object obj)
    {
        if (obj == null) return false;
        Part objAsPart = obj as Part;
        if (objAsPart == null) return false;
        else return Equals(objAsPart);
    }
    public override int GetHashCode()
    {
        return base.GetHashCode();
    }
    public bool Equals(Part other)
    {
        if (other == null) return false;
        return (this.PartId.Equals(other.PartId));
    }
    // Should also override == and != operators.

}
public class Example
{

    public static void Main()
    {
        List<Part> parts = new List<Part>();

        Console.WriteLine("\nCapacity: {0}", parts.Capacity);

        parts.Add(new Part() { PartName = "crank arm", PartId = 1234 });
        parts.Add(new Part() { PartName = "chain ring", PartId = 1334 });
        parts.Add(new Part() { PartName = "seat", PartId = 1434 });
        parts.Add(new Part() { PartName = "cassette", PartId = 1534 });
        parts.Add(new Part() { PartName = "shift lever", PartId = 1634 }); ;

        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach (Part aPart in parts)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(aPart);
        }

        Console.WriteLine("\nCapacity: {0}", parts.Capacity);
        Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", parts.Count);

        parts.TrimExcess();
        Console.WriteLine("\nTrimExcess()");
        Console.WriteLine("Capacity: {0}", parts.Capacity);
        Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", parts.Count);

        parts.Clear();
        Console.WriteLine("\nClear()");
        Console.WriteLine("Capacity: {0}", parts.Capacity);
        Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", parts.Count);
    }
    /*
     This code example produces the following output. 
            Capacity: 0

            ID: 1234   Name: crank arm
            ID: 1334   Name: chain ring
            ID: 1434   Name: seat
            ID: 1534   Name: cassette
            ID: 1634   Name: shift lever

            Capacity: 8
            Count: 5

            TrimExcess()
            Capacity: 5
            Count: 5

            Clear()
            Capacity: 5
            Count: 0
     */
}

The following example shows the Capacity property at several points in the life of a list. The default constructor is used to create a list of strings with a capacity of 0, and the Capacity property is displayed to demonstrate this. After the Add method has been used to add several items, the items are listed, and then the Capacity property is displayed again, along with the Count property, to show that the capacity has been increased as needed.

The Capacity property is displayed again after the TrimExcess method is used to reduce the capacity to match the count. Finally, the Clear method is used to remove all items from the list, and the Capacity and Count properties are displayed again.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

public class Example
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        List<string> dinosaurs = new List<string>();

        Console.WriteLine("\nCapacity: {0}", dinosaurs.Capacity);

        dinosaurs.Add("Tyrannosaurus");
        dinosaurs.Add("Amargasaurus");
        dinosaurs.Add("Mamenchisaurus");
        dinosaurs.Add("Deinonychus");
        dinosaurs.Add("Compsognathus");
        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach(string dinosaur in dinosaurs)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(dinosaur);
        }

        Console.WriteLine("\nCapacity: {0}", dinosaurs.Capacity);
        Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", dinosaurs.Count);

        Console.WriteLine("\nContains(\"Deinonychus\"): {0}",
            dinosaurs.Contains("Deinonychus"));

        Console.WriteLine("\nInsert(2, \"Compsognathus\")");
        dinosaurs.Insert(2, "Compsognathus");

        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach(string dinosaur in dinosaurs)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(dinosaur);
        }

        // Shows accessing the list using the Item property.
        Console.WriteLine("\ndinosaurs[3]: {0}", dinosaurs[3]);

        Console.WriteLine("\nRemove(\"Compsognathus\")");
        dinosaurs.Remove("Compsognathus");

        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach(string dinosaur in dinosaurs)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(dinosaur);
        }

        dinosaurs.TrimExcess();
        Console.WriteLine("\nTrimExcess()");
        Console.WriteLine("Capacity: {0}", dinosaurs.Capacity);
        Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", dinosaurs.Count);

        dinosaurs.Clear();
        Console.WriteLine("\nClear()");
        Console.WriteLine("Capacity: {0}", dinosaurs.Capacity);
        Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", dinosaurs.Count);
    }
}

/* This code example produces the following output:

Capacity: 0

Tyrannosaurus
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Deinonychus
Compsognathus

Capacity: 8
Count: 5

Contains("Deinonychus"): True

Insert(2, "Compsognathus")

Tyrannosaurus
Amargasaurus
Compsognathus
Mamenchisaurus
Deinonychus
Compsognathus

dinosaurs[3]: Mamenchisaurus

Remove("Compsognathus")

Tyrannosaurus
Amargasaurus
Mamenchisaurus
Deinonychus
Compsognathus

TrimExcess()
Capacity: 5
Count: 5

Clear()
Capacity: 5
Count: 0
 */

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.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

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8

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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