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Thread Class

Creates and controls a thread, sets its priority, and gets its status.

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

public sealed class Thread : CriticalFinalizerObject, 

A process can create one or more threads to execute a portion of the program code associated with the process. Use a ThreadStart delegate or the ParameterizedThreadStart delegate to specify the program code executed by a thread. The ParameterizedThreadStart delegate allows you to pass data to the thread procedure.

For the duration of its existence, a thread is always in one or more of the states defined by ThreadState. A scheduling priority level, as defined by ThreadPriority, can be requested for a thread, but is not guaranteed to be honored by the operating system.

GetHashCode provides identification for managed threads. For the lifetime of your thread, it will not collide with the value from any other thread, regardless of the application domain from which you obtain the value.


An operating-system ThreadId has no fixed relationship to a managed thread, because an unmanaged host can control the relationship between managed and unmanaged threads. Specifically, a sophisticated host can use the CLR Hosting API to schedule many managed threads against the same operating system thread, or to move a managed thread between different operating system threads.

It is not necessary to retain a reference to a Thread object once you have started the thread. The thread continues to execute until the thread procedure is complete.

The following code example demonstrates simple threading functionality.

using System;
using System.Threading;

// Simple threading scenario:  Start a static method running 
// on a second thread. 
public class ThreadExample {
    // The ThreadProc method is called when the thread starts. 
    // It loops ten times, writing to the console and yielding  
    // the rest of its time slice each time, and then ends. 
    public static void ThreadProc() {
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
            Console.WriteLine("ThreadProc: {0}", i);
            // Yield the rest of the time slice.

    public static void Main() {
        Console.WriteLine("Main thread: Start a second thread.");
        // The constructor for the Thread class requires a ThreadStart  
        // delegate that represents the method to be executed on the  
        // thread.  C# simplifies the creation of this delegate.
        Thread t = new Thread(new ThreadStart(ThreadProc));

        // Start ThreadProc.  Note that on a uniprocessor, the new  
        // thread does not get any processor time until the main thread  
        // is preempted or yields.  Uncomment the Thread.Sleep that  
        // follows t.Start() to see the difference.

        for (int i = 0; i < 4; i++) {
            Console.WriteLine("Main thread: Do some work.");

        Console.WriteLine("Main thread: Call Join(), to wait until ThreadProc ends.");
        Console.WriteLine("Main thread: ThreadProc.Join has returned.  Press Enter to end program.");

This code produces output similar to the following:

 [VB, C++, C#]
 Main thread: Start a second thread.
 Main thread: Do some work.
 ThreadProc: 0
 Main thread: Do some work.
 ThreadProc: 1
 Main thread: Do some work.
 ThreadProc: 2
 Main thread: Do some work.
 ThreadProc: 3
 Main thread: Call Join(), to wait until ThreadProc ends.
 ThreadProc: 4
 ThreadProc: 5
 ThreadProc: 6
 ThreadProc: 7
 ThreadProc: 8
 ThreadProc: 9
 Main thread: ThreadProc.Join has returned.  Press Enter to end program.

This type is thread safe.

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, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0