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DateTime.MinValue Field

Represents the smallest possible value of DateTime. This field is read-only.

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

public static readonly DateTime MinValue

The value of this constant is equivalent to 00:00:00.0000000, January 1, 0001.

MinValue defines the date and time that is assigned to an uninitialized DateTime variable. The following example illustrates this.

// Define an uninitialized date.
DateTime date1 = new DateTime();
Console.Write(date1);
if (date1.Equals(DateTime.MinValue))
   Console.WriteLine("  (Equals Date.MinValue)");
// The example displays the following output: 
//    1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM  (Equals Date.MinValue)

The MinValue and MaxValue properties can be used to ensure that a value lies within the supported range before passing it to a DateTime constructor. The code in the Example section illustrates this usage.

The following example instantiates a DateTime object by passing its constructor an Int64 value that represents a number of ticks. Before invoking the constructor, the example ensures that this value is greater than or equal to DateTime.MinValue.Ticks and less than or equal to DateTime.MaxValue.Ticks. If not, it throws an ArgumentOutOfRangeException.

// Attempt to assign an out-of-range value to a DateTime constructor. 
long numberOfTicks = Int64.MaxValue;
DateTime validDate;

// Validate the value. 
if (numberOfTicks >= DateTime.MinValue.Ticks &&
    numberOfTicks <= DateTime.MaxValue.Ticks) 
   validDate = new DateTime(numberOfTicks);
else if (numberOfTicks < DateTime.MinValue.Ticks) 
   Console.WriteLine("{0:N0} is less than {1:N0} ticks.", 
                     numberOfTicks, 
                     DateTime.MinValue.Ticks);      
else
   Console.WriteLine("{0:N0} is greater than {1:N0} ticks.", 
                     numberOfTicks,
                     DateTime.MaxValue.Ticks);
// The example displays the following output: 
//   9,223,372,036,854,775,807 is greater than 3,155,378,975,999,999,999 ticks.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 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

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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