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ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration Method (String)

Opens the specified client configuration file as a Configuration object.

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

public static Configuration OpenExeConfiguration(
	string exePath


Type: System.String

The path of the executable (exe) file.


A configuration file could not be loaded.

Client applications use a global configuration that applies to all users, separate configurations that apply to individual users, and configurations that apply to roaming users. The userLevel value determines the location of the configuration file being opened. It indicates whether it has no user level (the configuration file is in the same directory as the application) or has a per-user level (the configuration file is in an application settings path determined by the user level type.).

The following code example shows how to use the OpenExeConfiguration method.

    // Get the application configuration file. 
    // This function uses the  
    // OpenExeConfiguration(string)method  
    // to get the application configuration file.  
    // It also creates a custom ConsoleSection and  
    // sets its ConsoleEment BackgroundColor and 
    // ForegroundColor properties to black and white 
    // respectively. Then it uses these properties to 
    // set the console colors.   
    public static void GetAppConfiguration()

      // Get the application path needed to obtain 
      // the application configuration file.
      string applicationName =
           string applicationName =
          Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()[0]+ ".exe";

      string exePath = System.IO.Path.Combine(
          Environment.CurrentDirectory, applicationName);

      // Get the configuration file. The file name has 
      // this format appname.exe.config.
      System.Configuration.Configuration config =


        // Create a custom configuration section 
        // having the same name that is used in the  
        // roaming configuration file. 
        // This is because the configuration section  
        // can be overridden by lower-level  
        // configuration files.  
        // See the GetRoamingConfiguration() function in  
        // this example.
        string sectionName = "consoleSection";
        ConsoleSection customSection = new ConsoleSection();

        if (config.Sections[sectionName] == null)
          // Create a custom section if it does  
          // not exist yet. 

          // Store console settings.
          customSection.ConsoleElement.BackgroundColor =
          customSection.ConsoleElement.ForegroundColor =

          // Add configuration information to the 
          // configuration file.
          config.Sections.Add(sectionName, customSection);
          // Force a reload of the changed section. 
          // This makes the new values available for reading.
        // Set console properties using values 
        // stored in the configuration file.
        customSection =
        Console.BackgroundColor =
        Console.ForegroundColor =
        // Apply the changes.
      catch (ConfigurationErrorsException e)
        Console.WriteLine("[Error exception: {0}]",

      // Display feedback.
      Console.WriteLine("Using OpenExeConfiguration(string).");
      // Display the current configuration file path.
      Console.WriteLine("Configuration file is: {0}", 

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

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