WebClient.DownloadString Method (String)

Downloads the requested resource as a String. The resource to download is specified as a String containing the URI.

Namespace: System.Net
Assembly: System (in system.dll)

public string DownloadString (
	string address
public String DownloadString (
	String address
public function DownloadString (
	address : String
) : String
Not applicable.



A String containing the URI to download.

Return Value

A String containing the requested resource.

Exception typeCondition


The URI formed by combining BaseAddress and address is invalid.


An error occurred while downloading the resource.


The method has been called simultaneously on multiple threads.

This method retrieves the specified resource. After it downloads the resource, the method uses the encoding specified in the Encoding property to convert the resource to a String. This method blocks while downloading the resource. To download a resource and continue executing while waiting for the server's response, use one of the DownloadStringAsync methods.

If the BaseAddress property is not an empty string ("") and address does not contain an absolute URI, address must be a relative URI that is combined with BaseAddress to form the absolute URI of the requested data. If the QueryString property is not an empty string, it is appended to address.

This method uses the RETR command to download an FTP resource. For an HTTP resource, the GET method is used.


This member outputs trace information when you enable network tracing in your application. For more information, see Network Tracing.

The following code example demonstrates calling this method.

public static void DownloadString (string address)
    WebClient client = new WebClient ();
    string reply = client.DownloadString (address);

    Console.WriteLine (reply);

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0