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Environment.GetCommandLineArgs Method

Returns a string array containing the command-line arguments for the current process.

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

public static string[] GetCommandLineArgs()

Return Value

Type: System.String[]
An array of string where each element contains a command-line argument. The first element is the executable file name, and the following zero or more elements contain the remaining command-line arguments.


The system does not support command-line arguments.

The first element in the array contains the file name of the executing program. If the file name is not available, the first element is equal to String.Empty. The remaining elements contain any additional tokens entered on the command line.

The program file name can, but is not required to, include path information.

Command line arguments are delimited by spaces. You can use double quotation marks (") to include spaces within an argument. The single quotation mark ('), however, does not provide this functionality.

If a double quotation mark follows two or an even number of backslashes, each proceeding backslash pair is replaced with one backslash and the double quotation mark is removed. If a double quotation mark follows an odd number of backslashes, including just one, each preceding pair is replaced with one backslash and the remaining backslash is removed; however, in this case the double quotation mark is not removed.

The following table shows how command line arguments can be delimited, and assumes MyApp as the current executing application.

Input at the command line

Resulting command line arguments

MyApp alpha beta

MyApp, alpha, beta

MyApp "alpha with spaces" "beta with spaces"

MyApp, alpha with spaces, beta with spaces

MyApp 'alpha with spaces' beta

MyApp, 'alpha, with, spaces', beta

MyApp \\\alpha \\\\"beta

MyApp, \\\alpha, \\beta

MyApp \\\\\"alpha \"beta

MyApp, \\"alpha, "beta

To obtain the command line as a single string, use the CommandLine property.

Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Platform Note: The name of the executable file does not include the path.

Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition Platform Note: The name of the executable file includes the path. Long file names (non-8dot3 names) can be shortened to their 8dot3 representation.

The following example shows displays the application's command line arguments.

// Sample for the Environment.GetCommandLineArgs method 
using System;

class Sample 
    public static void Main() 
//  Invoke this sample with an arbitrary set of command line arguments.
    String[] arguments = Environment.GetCommandLineArgs();
    Console.WriteLine("GetCommandLineArgs: {0}", String.Join(", ", arguments));
This example produces the following results:

C:\>GetCommandLineArgs ARBITRARY TEXT

GetCommandLineArgs: GetCommandLineArgs, ARBITRARY, TEXT

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, 1.1, 1.0