Win32Exception Class

Throws an exception for a Win32 error code.

Namespace: System.ComponentModel
Assembly: System (in system.dll)

public class Win32Exception : ExternalException, ISerializable
/** @attribute SerializableAttribute() */ 
public class Win32Exception extends ExternalException implements ISerializable
public class Win32Exception extends ExternalException implements ISerializable
Not applicable.

Win32 error codes are translated from their numeric representations into a system message when they are displayed. Use NativeErrorCode to access the numeric representation of the error code associated with this exception. For more information about the error codes, see "Win32 Error Codes" in the Platform SDK documentation at


The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this class has the following Resources property value: SharedState. The HostProtectionAttribute does not affect desktop applications (which are typically started by double-clicking an icon, typing a command, or entering a URL in a browser). For more information, see the HostProtectionAttribute class or SQL Server Programming and Host Protection Attributes.

The following code example shows how to catch a Win32 exception and interpret its content. The example attempts to start a nonexistent executable, which results in a Win32 exception. Upon catching the exception, the example fetches the respective error message, code, and origin of the exception.

try {
System.Diagnostics.Process myProc = new System.Diagnostics.Process();
myProc.StartInfo.FileName = "c:\nonexist.exe";  //Attempting to start a non-existing executable
myProc.Start();    //Start the application and assign it to the process component.    
  catch(Win32Exception w) {
Exception e=w.GetBaseException();

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0