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Attribute.GetCustomAttributes Method (MemberInfo, Boolean)

Retrieves an array of the custom attributes applied to a member of a type. Parameters specify the member, the type of the custom attribute to search for, and whether to search ancestors of the member.

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

public static Attribute[] GetCustomAttributes(
	MemberInfo element,
	bool inherit


Type: System.Reflection.MemberInfo
An object derived from the MemberInfo class that describes a constructor, event, field, method, or property member of a class.
Type: System.Boolean
If true, specifies to also search the ancestors of element for custom attributes.

Return Value

Type: System.Attribute[]
An Attribute array that contains the custom attributes applied to element, or an empty array if no such custom attributes exist.


element is null.


element is not a constructor, method, property, event, type, or field.


A custom attribute type cannot be loaded.

The return value contains the custom attributes for ancestors of element if inherit is true.


Starting with the .NET Framework version 2.0, this method returns security attributes on methods, constructors, and types if the attributes are stored in the new metadata format. Assemblies compiled with version 2.0 or later use the new format. Dynamic assemblies and assemblies compiled with earlier versions of the .NET Framework use the old XML format. See Emitting Declarative Security Attributes.

The following code example demonstrates the use of GetCustomAttributes, taking a MemberInfo as a parameter.

using System;
using System.Reflection;
using System.Security;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace CustAttrs4CS

    // Define an enumeration of Win32 unmanaged types
    public enum UnmanagedType

    // Define the Unmanaged attribute.
    public class UnmanagedAttribute : Attribute
        // Storage for the UnmanagedType value.
        protected UnmanagedType thisType;

        // Set the unmanaged type in the constructor.
        public UnmanagedAttribute(UnmanagedType type)
            thisType = type;

        // Define a property to get and set the UnmanagedType value.
        public UnmanagedType Win32Type
            get { return thisType; }
            set { thisType = Win32Type; }

    // Create a class for an imported Win32 unmanaged function.
    public class Win32 {
        [DllImport("user32.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)]
        public static extern int MessageBox(int hWnd, String text,
            String caption, uint type);

    public class AClass {
        // Add some attributes to Win32CallMethod.
        [Obsolete("This method is obsolete. Use managed MsgBox instead.")]
        public void Win32CallMethod()
            Win32.MessageBox(0, "This is an unmanaged call.", "Caution!", 0);

    class DemoClass {
        static void Main(string[] args)
            // Get the AClass type to access its metadata.
            Type clsType = typeof(AClass);
            // Get the type information for Win32CallMethod.
            MethodInfo mInfo = clsType.GetMethod("Win32CallMethod");
            if (mInfo != null)
                // Iterate through all the attributes of the method.
                foreach(Attribute attr in
                    Attribute.GetCustomAttributes(mInfo)) {
                    // Check for the Obsolete attribute.
                    if (attr.GetType() == typeof(ObsoleteAttribute))
                        Console.WriteLine("Method {0} is obsolete. " +
                            "The message is:",
                        Console.WriteLine("  \"{0}\"",

                    // Check for the Unmanaged attribute.
                    else if (attr.GetType() == typeof(UnmanagedAttribute))
                            "This method calls unmanaged code.");
                            String.Format("The Unmanaged attribute type is {0}.",
                        AClass myCls = new AClass();


This code example produces the following results.

First, the compilation yields the warning, "...This method is
obsolete. Use managed MsgBox instead."
Second, execution yields a message box with a title of "Caution!"
and message text of "This is an unmanaged call."
Third, the following text is displayed in the console window:

Method Win32CallMethod is obsolete. The message is:
  "This method is obsolete. Use managed MsgBox instead."
This method calls unmanaged code.
The Unmanaged attribute type is User.


.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

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

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.