ReadElementContentAsDateTime Method

XmlReader.ReadElementContentAsDateTime Method

Reads the current element and returns the contents as a DateTime object.

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

public virtual DateTime ReadElementContentAsDateTime()

Return Value

Type: System.DateTime
The element content as a DateTime object.


The XmlReader is not positioned on an element.


The current element contains child elements.


The element content cannot be converted to a DateTime object.


The method is called with null arguments.

This method reads the start tag, the contents of the element, and moves the reader past the end element tag. It expands entities and ignores processing instructions and comments. The element can only contain simple content. That is, it cannot have child elements.

If the content is typed xsd:dateTime, the reader returns an unboxed DateTime object. If the content is not typed xsd:dateTime, the reader attempts to convert it to a DateTime object according to the rules defined by the W3C XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes recommendation.


You cannot rely on the DateTime.Year value when the content is typed as xsd:gMonthDay. XmlReader always sets the DateTime.Year value to 1904 in this case.

For more information, see Reading Typed Data.

The following example uses the ReadElementContentAsDateTime method to read the content of the date element.

  using (XmlReader reader = XmlReader.Create("dataFile.xml")) {
       DateTime date = reader.ReadElementContentAsDateTime();
       // If the current culture is "en-US",
       // this writes "Wednesday, January 8, 2003".

The example uses the dataFile.xml file as input.

     <?some pi?>
      text value of the element.

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, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

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