ReadAllText Method (String, Encoding)
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File.ReadAllText Method (String, Encoding)


Opens a file, reads all lines of the file with the specified encoding, and then closes the file.

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

Public Shared Function ReadAllText (
	path As String,
	encoding As Encoding
) As String


Type: System.String

The file to open for reading.

Type: System.Text.Encoding

The encoding applied to the contents of the file.

Return Value

Type: System.String

A string containing all lines of the file.

Exception Condition

path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters as defined by InvalidPathChars.


path is null.


The specified path, file name, or both exceed the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must be less than 248 characters, and file names must be less than 260 characters.


The specified path is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).


An I/O error occurred while opening the file.


path specified a file that is read-only.


This operation is not supported on the current platform.


path specified a directory.


The caller does not have the required permission.


The file specified in path was not found.


path is in an invalid format.


The caller does not have the required permission.

This method opens a file, reads each line of the file, and then adds each line as an element of a string. It then closes the file. A line is defined as a sequence of characters followed by a carriage return ('\r'), a line feed ('\n'), or a carriage return immediately followed by a line feed. The resulting string does not contain the terminating carriage return and/or line feed.

This method attempts to automatically detect the encoding of a file based on the presence of byte order marks. Encoding formats UTF-8 and UTF-32 (both big-endian and little-endian) can be detected.

The file handle is guaranteed to be closed by this method, even if exceptions are raised.

To use the encoding settings as configured for your operating system, specify the Encoding.Default property for the encoding parameter.

The following code example demonstrates the use of the ReadAllText method to display the contents of a file. In this example a file is created, if it doesn't already exist, and text is added to it.

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Text

Public Class Test
    Public Shared Sub Main()
        Dim path As String = "c:\temp\MyTest.txt"
        Dim sw As StreamWriter

        ' This text is added only once to the file.
        If File.Exists(path) = False Then

            ' Create a file to write to.
            Dim createText As String = "Hello and Welcome" + Environment.NewLine
            File.WriteAllText(path, createText, Encoding.UTF8)
        End If

        ' This text is always added, making the file longer over time
        ' if it is not deleted.
        Dim appendText As String = "This is extra text" + Environment.NewLine
        File.AppendAllText(path, appendText, Encoding.UTF8)

        ' Open the file to read from.
        Dim readText As String = File.ReadAllText(path)
    End Sub
End Class


for access to read from a file or directory. Associated enumeration: FileIOPermissionAccess.Read

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
Available since 4.0
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