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Stream::Read Method

When overridden in a derived class, reads a sequence of bytes from the current stream and advances the position within the stream by the number of bytes read.

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

virtual int Read(
	[InAttribute] [OutAttribute] array<unsigned char>^ buffer, 
	int offset, 
	int count
) abstract


Type: array<System::Byte>

An array of bytes. When this method returns, the buffer contains the specified byte array with the values between offset and (offset + count - 1) replaced by the bytes read from the current source.

Type: System::Int32

The zero-based byte offset in buffer at which to begin storing the data read from the current stream.

Type: System::Int32

The maximum number of bytes to be read from the current stream.

Return Value

Type: System::Int32
The total number of bytes read into the buffer. This can be less than the number of bytes requested if that many bytes are not currently available, or zero (0) if the end of the stream has been reached.


The sum of offset and count is larger than the buffer length.


buffer is nullptr.


offset or count is negative.


An I/O error occurs.


The stream does not support reading.


Methods were called after the stream was closed.

Use the CanRead property to determine whether the current instance supports reading. Use the ReadAsync method to read asynchronously from the current stream.

Implementations of this method read a maximum of count bytes from the current stream and store them in buffer beginning at offset. The current position within the stream is advanced by the number of bytes read; however, if an exception occurs, the current position within the stream remains unchanged. Implementations return the number of bytes read. The implementation will block until at least one byte of data can be read, in the event that no data is available. Readreturns 0 only when there is no more data in the stream and no more is expected (such as a closed socket or end of file). An implementation is free to return fewer bytes than requested even if the end of the stream has not been reached.

Use BinaryReader for reading primitive data types.

The following example shows how to use Read to read a block of data.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::IO;

public ref class Block
    static void Main()
        Stream^ s = gcnew MemoryStream();
        for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++)
        s->Position = 0;

        // Now read s into a byte buffer. 
        array<Byte>^ bytes = gcnew array<Byte>(s->Length);
        int numBytesToRead = (int) s->Length;
        int numBytesRead = 0;
        while (numBytesToRead > 0)
            // Read may return anything from 0 to 10. 
            int n = s->Read(bytes, numBytesRead, 10);
            // The end of the file is reached. 
            if (n == 0)
            numBytesRead += n;
            numBytesToRead -= n;
        // numBytesToRead should be 0 now, and numBytesRead should 
        // equal 100.
        Console::WriteLine("number of bytes read: {0:d}", numBytesRead);

int main()

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8
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