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ProcessStartInfo Class

Specifies a set of values used when starting a process.

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

public ref class ProcessStartInfo sealed
public final class ProcessStartInfo
public final class ProcessStartInfo


The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this class has the following Resources property value: SharedState | SelfAffectingProcessMgmt. 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.

ProcessStartInfo is used in conjunction with the Process component. When you start a process using the Process class, you have access to process information in addition to that available when attaching to a running process.

You can use the ProcessStartInfo class for greater control over the process you start. You must at least set the FileName property, either manually or using the constructor. The file name is any application or document. Here a document is defined to be any file type that has an open or default action associated with it. You can view registered file types and their associated applications for your computer using the Folder Options dialog available through the operating system. The Advanced button leads to a dialog that shows whether there is an open action associated with a specific registered file type.

In addition, you can set other properties that define actions to take with that file. You can specify a value specific to the type of the FileName property for the Verb property. For example, you can specify "print" for a document type. Additionally, you can specify Arguments property values to be command line arguments to pass to the file's open procedure. For example, if you specify a text editor application in the FileName property, you can use the Arguments property to specify a text file to be opened by the editor.

Standard input is usually the keyboard, and standard output and standard error are usually the monitor screen. However, you can use the RedirectStandardInput, RedirectStandardOutput and RedirectStandardError properties to cause the process to get input from or return output to a file or other device. If you use the StandardInput, StandardOutput, or StandardError properties on the Process component, you must first set the corresponding value on the ProcessStartInfo property. Otherwise, the system throws an exception when you read or write to the stream.

Set UseShellExecute to specify whether to start the process using the operating system shell.

You can change the value of any ProcessStartInfo property up to the time that the process starts. After you start the process, changing these values has no effect.


This class contains a link demand at the class level that applies to all members. A SecurityException is thrown when the immediate caller does not have full-trust permission. For details about security demands, see Link Demands.

#using <System.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Diagnostics;
using namespace System::ComponentModel;

/// <summary>
/// Opens the Internet Explorer application.
/// </summary>
void OpenApplication( String^ myFavoritesPath )
   // Start Internet Explorer. Defaults to the home page.
   Process::Start( "IExplore.exe" );
   // Display the contents of the favorites folder in the browser.
   Process::Start( myFavoritesPath );

/// <summary>
/// Opens urls and .html documents using Internet Explorer.
/// </summary>
void OpenWithArguments()
   // url's are not considered documents. They can only be opened
   // by passing them as arguments.
   Process::Start( "IExplore.exe", "" );
   // Start a Web page using a browser associated with .html and .asp files.
   Process::Start( "IExplore.exe", "C:\\myPath\\myFile.htm" );
   Process::Start( "IExplore.exe", "C:\\myPath\\myFile.asp" );

/// <summary>
/// Uses the ProcessStartInfo class to start new processes, both in a minimized 
/// mode.
/// </summary>
void OpenWithStartInfo()
   ProcessStartInfo^ startInfo = gcnew ProcessStartInfo( "IExplore.exe" );
   startInfo->WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle::Minimized;
   Process::Start( startInfo );
   startInfo->Arguments = "";
   Process::Start( startInfo );

int main()
   // Get the path that stores favorite links.
   String^ myFavoritesPath = Environment::GetFolderPath( Environment::SpecialFolder::Favorites );
   OpenApplication( myFavoritesPath );


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 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 .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0