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MD5CryptoServiceProvider Class

Updated: February 2009

Computes the MD5 hash value for the input data using the implementation provided by the cryptographic service provider (CSP). This class cannot be inherited.

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

public sealed class MD5CryptoServiceProvider : MD5

Hash functions map binary strings of an arbitrary length to small binary strings of a fixed length. A cryptographic hash function has the property that it is computationally infeasible to find two distinct inputs that hash to the same value; that is, hashes of two sets of data should match if the corresponding data also matches. Small changes to the data result in large, unpredictable changes in the hash.

The hash size for the MD5CryptoServiceProvider class is 128 bits.

The ComputeHash methods of the MD5CryptoServiceProvider class return the hash as an array of 16 bytes. Note that some MD5 implementations produce a 32-character, hexadecimal-formatted hash. To interoperate with such implementations, format the return value of the ComputeHash methods as a hexadecimal value.


Newer hash functions, such as the Secure Hash Algorithms SHA-256 and SHA-512, are available. Consider using the SHA256CryptoServiceProvider class or the SHA512CryptoServiceProvider class instead of the MD5CryptoServiceProvider class.

The following code example computes the MD5 hash value for data and returns it.

byte[] MD5hash (byte[] data)
    // This is one implementation of the abstract class MD5.
    MD5 md5 = new MD5CryptoServiceProvider();

    byte[] result = md5.ComputeHash(data);

    return result;

The following code example computes the MD5 hash value of a string and returns the hash as a 32-character, hexadecimal-formatted string. The hash string created by this code example is compatible with any MD5 hash function (on any platform) that creates a 32-character, hexadecimal-formatted hash string.

using System;
using System.Security.Cryptography;
using System.Text;

class Example
    // Hash an input string and return the hash as 
    // a 32 character hexadecimal string. 
    static string getMd5Hash(string input)
        // Create a new instance of the MD5CryptoServiceProvider object.
        MD5CryptoServiceProvider md5Hasher = new MD5CryptoServiceProvider();

        // Convert the input string to a byte array and compute the hash.
        byte[] data = md5Hasher.ComputeHash(Encoding.Default.GetBytes(input));

        // Create a new Stringbuilder to collect the bytes 
        // and create a string.
        StringBuilder sBuilder = new StringBuilder();

        // Loop through each byte of the hashed data  
        // and format each one as a hexadecimal string. 
        for (int i = 0; i < data.Length; i++)

        // Return the hexadecimal string. 
        return sBuilder.ToString();

    // Verify a hash against a string. 
    static bool verifyMd5Hash(string input, string hash)
        // Hash the input.
        string hashOfInput = getMd5Hash(input);

        // Create a StringComparer an compare the hashes.
        StringComparer comparer = StringComparer.OrdinalIgnoreCase;

        if (0 == comparer.Compare(hashOfInput, hash))
            return true;
            return false;

    static void Main()
        string source = "Hello World!";

        string hash = getMd5Hash(source);

        Console.WriteLine("The MD5 hash of " + source + " is: " + hash + ".");

        Console.WriteLine("Verifying the hash...");

        if (verifyMd5Hash(source, hash))
            Console.WriteLine("The hashes are the same.");
            Console.WriteLine("The hashes are not same.");

// This code example produces the following output: 
// The MD5 hash of Hello World! is: ed076287532e86365e841e92bfc50d8c. 
// Verifying the hash... 
// The hashes are the same.


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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




February 2009

Added note about newer hash functions SHA-256 and SHA-512.

Information enhancement.