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XElement Explicit Conversion (XElement to DateTime)

Cast the value of this XElement to a DateTime.

This API is not CLS-compliant. 

Namespace:  System.Xml.Linq
Assembly:  System.Xml.Linq (in System.Xml.Linq.dll)

public static explicit operator DateTime (
	XElement element


Type: System.Xml.Linq.XElement
The XElement to cast to DateTime.

Return Value

Type: System.DateTime
A DateTime that contains the content of this XElement.


The element does not contain a valid DateTime value.


The element parameter is null.

The value space of an attribute or element that contains date and time content is closely related to the dates and times described in ISO 8601. When creating an attribute or element that contains date and time content, the attribute or element values are formatted per the W3C specification. See the W3C specification for more details.

Behavior is lax when casting to a DateTime from an attribute or element. Even if the attribute or element value is not formatted exactly per the W3C specification, the value is appropriately converted to a DateTime.

This conversion operator uses CultureInfo.InvariantCulture to convert from a DateTime.

The following example creates an element with date and time content. It then casts it to DateTime to retrieve the value.

// Behavior is strict when formatting an XML element or attribute from a DateTime,
// but behavior is lax when casting to a DateTime from an element or attribute.
XElement root = new XElement("Root", new DateTime(2006, 10, 6, 12, 30, 0));

// Cast from a strictly formatted XML element.
DateTime dt = (DateTime)root;
Console.WriteLine("dt={0}", dt);

// If root is formatted in some different way:
XElement dtElement = new XElement("OrderDate", "October 6, 2006");
DateTime orderDate = (DateTime)dtElement;
Console.WriteLine("orderDate={0:d}", orderDate);

This example produces the following output:

dt=10/6/2006 12:30:00 PM
<OrderDate>October 6, 2006</OrderDate>

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, 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.