This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.

SerialPort.GetPortNames Method

Gets an array of serial port names for the current computer.

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

public static string[] GetPortNames()

Return Value

Type: System.String[]
An array of serial port names for the current computer.


The serial port names could not be queried.

The order of port names returned from GetPortNames is not specified.

Use the GetPortNames method to query the current computer for a list of valid serial port names. For example, you can use this method to determine whether COM1 and COM2 are valid serial ports for the current computer.

The port names are obtained from the system registry (for example, in Windows 98 environments this information resides in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DEVICEMAP\SERIALCOMM). If the registry contains stale or otherwise incorrect data then the GetPortNames method will return incorrect data.

The following code example uses the GetPortNames method to display serial port names to the console.

using System;
using System.IO.Ports;

namespace SerialPortExample
    class SerialPortExample
        public static void Main()
            // Get a list of serial port names.
            string[] ports = SerialPort.GetPortNames();

            Console.WriteLine("The following serial ports were found:");

            // Display each port name to the console. 
            foreach(string port in ports)



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, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0