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DateTime.TryParse Method (String, DateTime%)

Updated: October 2011

Converts the specified string representation of a date and time to its DateTime equivalent and returns a value that indicates whether the conversion succeeded.

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

public static bool TryParse(
	string s,
	out DateTime result


Type: System.String

A string containing a date and time to convert.

Type: System.DateTime%

When this method returns, contains the DateTime value equivalent to the date and time contained in s, if the conversion succeeded, or DateTime.MinValue if the conversion failed. The conversion fails if the s parameter is null, is an empty string (""), or does not contain a valid string representation of a date and time. This parameter is passed uninitialized.

Return Value

Type: System.Boolean
true if the s parameter was converted successfully; otherwise, false.


The date is in Japanese Emperor Year (Wareki) format and the year is out of range.

The DateTime.TryParse(String, DateTime) method is similar to the DateTime.Parse(String) method, except that the TryParse(String, DateTime) method does not throw an exception if the conversion fails.

The string s is parsed using formatting information in the current DateTimeFormatInfo object, which is supplied implicitly by the current thread culture. The s parameter must contain the representation of a date and time in one of the formats returned by the DateTimeFormatInfo.GetAllDateTimePatterns() method of the current culture.

This method tries to ignore unrecognized data, if possible, and fills in missing month, day, and year information with the current date. If s contains only a date and no time, this method assumes the time is 12:00 midnight. Any leading, inner, or trailing white space character in s is ignored. The date and time can be bracketed with a pair of leading and trailing NUMBER SIGN characters ('#', U+0023), and can be trailed with one or more NULL characters (U+0000).

Because the DateTime.TryParse(String, DateTime) method tries to parse the string representation of a date and time using the formatting rules of the current culture, trying to parse a particular string across different cultures can either fail or return different results. If a specific date and time format will be parsed across different locales, use the DateTime.TryParse(String, IFormatProvider, DateTimeStyles, DateTime) method or one of the overloads of the TryParseExact method and provide a format specifier.

If s contains no time zone information, result contains a DateTime value whose Kind property is DateTimeKind.Unspecified when the method returns. If the string to be parsed contains time zone information, result contains a DateTime value whose Kind property is DateTimeKind.Local when the method returns.

Notes to Callers:

Formatting is influenced by properties of the current DateTimeFormatInfo object, which by default are derived from the Regional and Language Options item in Control Panel. The TryParse method can unexpectedly fail and return False if the current DateTimeFormatInfo.DateSeparator and DateTimeFormatInfo.TimeSeparator properties are set to the same value.

The following example passes a number of date and time strings to the DateTime.TryParse(String, DateTime) method.

string[] dateStrings = {"05/01/2009 14:57:32.8", "2009-05-01 14:57:32.8", 
                        "5/01/2008 14:57:32.80 -07:00", 
                        "1 May 2008 2:57:32.8 PM", "16-05-2009 1:00:32 PM", 
                        "Fri, 15 May 2009 20:10:57 GMT" };
DateTime dateValue;

Console.WriteLine("Attempting to parse strings using {0} culture.", 
foreach (string dateString in dateStrings)
   if (DateTime.TryParse(dateString, out dateValue)) 
      Console.WriteLine("  Converted '{0}' to {1} ({2}).", dateString, 
                        dateValue, dateValue.Kind);
      Console.WriteLine("  Unable to parse '{0}'.", dateString);
// The example displays the following output: 
//    Attempting to parse strings using en-US culture. 
//       Converted '05/01/2009 14:57:32.8' to 5/1/2009 2:57:32 PM (Unspecified). 
//       Converted '2009-05-01 14:57:32.8' to 5/1/2009 2:57:32 PM (Unspecified). 
//       Converted '2009-05-01T14:57:32.8375298-04:00' to 5/1/2009 11:57:32 AM (Local). 
//       Converted '5/01/2008 14:57:32.80 -07:00' to 5/1/2008 2:57:32 PM (Local). 
//       Converted '1 May 2008 2:57:32.8 PM' to 5/1/2008 2:57:32 PM (Unspecified). 
//       Unable to parse '16-05-2009 1:00:32 PM'. 
//       Converted 'Fri, 15 May 2009 20:10:57 GMT' to 5/15/2009 1:10:57 PM (Local).

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

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




October 2011

Added exception information.

Content bug fix.

July 2008

Added remarks and an example.

Information enhancement.