ReadChar Method

BinaryReader.ReadChar Method ()


Reads the next character from the current stream and advances the current position of the stream in accordance with the Encoding used and the specific character being read from the stream.

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

public virtual char ReadChar()

Return Value

Type: System.Char

A character read from the current stream.

Exception Condition

The end of the stream is reached.


The stream is closed.


An I/O error occurs.


A surrogate character was read.

If the ReadChar method attempts to read a surrogate character in the stream an exception will be raised and the position in the stream will advance. The position is restored to the original location before ReadChar was called if the stream is seekable; however, if the stream is unseekable, the position will not be corrected. If surrogate characters can be expected in the stream, use the ReadChars method instead.

Because of data formatting conflicts, using this method with the following encodings is not recommended:

  • UTF-7

  • ISO-2022-JP


For a list of common I/O tasks, see Common I/O Tasks.

The following code example shows how to read and write data using memory as a backing store.

using System;
using System.IO;

class BinaryRW
    static void Main()
        int i = 0;
        char[] invalidPathChars = Path.InvalidPathChars;
        MemoryStream memStream = new MemoryStream();
        BinaryWriter binWriter = new BinaryWriter(memStream);

        // Write to memory.
        binWriter.Write("Invalid file path characters are: ");
        for(i = 0; i < invalidPathChars.Length; i++)

        // Create the reader using the same MemoryStream 
        // as used with the writer.
        BinaryReader binReader = new BinaryReader(memStream);

        // Set Position to the beginning of the stream.
        memStream.Position = 0;

        // Read the data from memory and write it to the console.
        char[] memoryData = 
            new char[memStream.Length - memStream.Position];
        for(i = 0; i < memoryData.Length; i++)
            memoryData[i] = binReader.ReadChar();

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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