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ProcessStartInfo Class

Specifies a set of values that are used when you start a process.


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

[HostProtectionAttribute(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, SharedState = true, SelfAffectingProcessMgmt = true)]
[PermissionSetAttribute(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, Name = "FullTrust")]
public sealed class ProcessStartInfo

The ProcessStartInfo type exposes the following members.

Public methodProcessStartInfo()Initializes a new instance of the ProcessStartInfo class without specifying a file name with which to start the process.
Public methodProcessStartInfo(String)Initializes a new instance of the ProcessStartInfo class and specifies a file name such as an application or document with which to start the process.
Public methodProcessStartInfo(String, String)Initializes a new instance of the ProcessStartInfo class, specifies an application file name with which to start the process, and specifies a set of command-line arguments to pass to the application.

Public propertyArgumentsGets or sets the set of command-line arguments to use when starting the application.
Public propertyCreateNoWindowGets or sets a value indicating whether to start the process in a new window.
Public propertyDomainGets or sets a value that identifies the domain to use when starting the process.
Public propertyEnvironmentVariablesGets search paths for files, directories for temporary files, application-specific options, and other similar information.
Public propertyErrorDialogGets or sets a value indicating whether an error dialog box is displayed to the user if the process cannot be started.
Public propertyErrorDialogParentHandleGets or sets the window handle to use when an error dialog box is shown for a process that cannot be started.
Public propertyFileNameGets or sets the application or document to start.
Public propertyLoadUserProfileGets or sets a value that indicates whether the Windows user profile is to be loaded from the registry.
Public propertyPasswordGets or sets a secure string that contains the user password to use when starting the process.
Public propertyRedirectStandardErrorGets or sets a value that indicates whether the error output of an application is written to the Process.StandardError stream.
Public propertyRedirectStandardInputGets or sets a value indicating whether the input for an application is read from the Process.StandardInput stream.
Public propertyRedirectStandardOutputGets or sets a value that indicates whether the output of an application is written to the Process.StandardOutput stream.
Public propertyStandardErrorEncodingGets or sets the preferred encoding for error output.
Public propertyStandardOutputEncodingGets or sets the preferred encoding for standard output.
Public propertyUserNameGets or sets the user name to be used when starting the process.
Public propertyUseShellExecuteGets or sets a value indicating whether to use the operating system shell to start the process.
Public propertyVerbGets or sets the verb to use when opening the application or document specified by the FileName property.
Public propertyVerbsGets the set of verbs associated with the type of file specified by the FileName property.
Public propertyWindowStyleGets or sets the window state to use when the process is started.
Public propertyWorkingDirectoryWhen the UseShellExecute property is false, gets or sets the working directory for the process to be started. When UseShellExecute is true, gets or sets the directory that contains the process to be started.

Public methodEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified Object is equal to the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodFinalizeAllows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodMemberwiseCloneCreates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodToStringReturns a string that represents the current object. (Inherited from Object.)

ProcessStartInfo is used together with the Process component. When you start a process using the Process class, you have access to process information in addition to that available when attaching to a running process.

You can use the ProcessStartInfo class for better control over the process you start. You must at least set the FileName property, either manually or using the constructor. The file name is any application or document. Here a document is defined to be any file type that has an open or default action associated with it. You can view registered file types and their associated applications for your computer by using the Folder Options dialog box, which is available through the operating system. The Advanced button leads to a dialog box that shows whether there is an open action associated with a specific registered file type.

In addition, you can set other properties that define actions to take with that file. You can specify a value specific to the type of the FileName property for the Verb property. For example, you can specify "print" for a document type. Additionally, you can specify Arguments property values to be command-line arguments to pass to the file's open procedure. For example, if you specify a text editor application in the FileName property, you can use the Arguments property to specify a text file to be opened by the editor.

Standard input is usually the keyboard, and standard output and standard error are usually the monitor screen. However, you can use the RedirectStandardInput, RedirectStandardOutput, and RedirectStandardError properties to cause the process to get input from or return output to a file or other device. If you use the StandardInput, StandardOutput, or StandardError properties on the Process component, you must first set the corresponding value on the ProcessStartInfo property. Otherwise, the system throws an exception when you read or write to the stream.

Set UseShellExecute to specify whether to start the process by using the operating system shell.

You can change the value of any ProcessStartInfo property up to the time that the process starts. After you start the process, changing these values has no effect.


This class contains a link demand at the class level that applies to all members. A SecurityException is thrown when the immediate caller does not have full-trust permission. For details about security demands, see Link Demands.


The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this type or member has the following Resources property value: SharedState | SelfAffectingProcessMgmt. The HostProtectionAttribute does not affect desktop applications (which are typically started by double-clicking an icon, typing a command, or entering a URL in a browser). For more information, see the HostProtectionAttribute class or SQL Server Programming and Host Protection Attributes.

The following code example demonstrates how to use the ProcessStartInfo class to start Internet Explorer, providing the destination URLs as ProcessStartInfo arguments.

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.ComponentModel;

namespace MyProcessSample
    class MyProcess
        // Opens the Internet Explorer application.
        void OpenApplication(string myFavoritesPath)
            // Start Internet Explorer. Defaults to the home page.

            // Display the contents of the favorites folder in the browser.

        // Opens urls and .html documents using Internet Explorer.
        void OpenWithArguments()
            // url's are not considered documents. They can only be opened
            // by passing them as arguments.
            Process.Start("IExplore.exe", "");

            // Start a Web page using a browser associated with .html and .asp files.
            Process.Start("IExplore.exe", "C:\\myPath\\myFile.htm");
            Process.Start("IExplore.exe", "C:\\myPath\\myFile.asp");

        // Uses the ProcessStartInfo class to start new processes,
        // both in a minimized mode.
        void OpenWithStartInfo()
            ProcessStartInfo startInfo = new ProcessStartInfo("IExplore.exe");
            startInfo.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Minimized;


            startInfo.Arguments = "";


        static void Main()
            // Get the path that stores favorite links.
            string myFavoritesPath =

            MyProcess myProcess = new MyProcess();


.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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