MinValue Field
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DateTime.MinValue Field


Represents the smallest possible value of DateTime. This field is read-only.

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

public static readonly DateTime MinValue

Field Value

Type: System.DateTime

The value of this constant is equivalent to 00:00:00.0000000 UTC, January 1, 0001, in the Gregorian calendar.

MinValue defines the date and time that is assigned to an uninitialized DateTime variable. The following example illustrates this.

// Define an uninitialized date.
DateTime date1 = new DateTime();
if (date1.Equals(DateTime.MinValue))
   Console.WriteLine("  (Equals Date.MinValue)");
// The example displays the following output:
//    1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM  (Equals Date.MinValue)

The MinValue and MaxValue properties can be used to ensure that a value lies within the supported range before passing it to a DateTime constructor. The code in the Example section illustrates this usage.

The following example instantiates a DateTime object by passing its constructor an Int64 value that represents a number of ticks. Before invoking the constructor, the example ensures that this value is greater than or equal to DateTime.MinValue.Ticks and less than or equal to DateTime.MaxValue.Ticks. If not, it throws an ArgumentOutOfRangeException.

// Attempt to assign an out-of-range value to a DateTime constructor.
long numberOfTicks = Int64.MaxValue;
DateTime validDate;

// Validate the value.
if (numberOfTicks >= DateTime.MinValue.Ticks &&
    numberOfTicks <= DateTime.MaxValue.Ticks) 
   validDate = new DateTime(numberOfTicks);
else if (numberOfTicks < DateTime.MinValue.Ticks) 
   Console.WriteLine("{0:N0} is less than {1:N0} ticks.", 
   Console.WriteLine("{0:N0} is greater than {1:N0} ticks.", 
// The example displays the following output:
//   9,223,372,036,854,775,807 is greater than 3,155,378,975,999,999,999 ticks.

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 4.5
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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