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WeakReference.Target Property

Gets or sets the object (the target) referenced by the current WeakReference object.

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

public virtual Object Target { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Object
null if the object referenced by the current WeakReference object has been garbage collected; otherwise, a reference to the object referenced by the current WeakReference object.


The reference to the target object is invalid. This exception can be thrown while setting this property if the value is a null reference or if the object has been finalized during the set operation.

After setting this property to the target object, make sure that there are no other strong references to the object; otherwise, it will not be collected.

The following example tries to obtain an object from a cache of objects with weak references. If the object was reclaimed for garbage collection, a new object is generated. This example is part of a larger example provided for the WeakReference class.

// Obtain an instance of a data
// object from the cache of
// of weak reference objects.
Data d = _cache[index].Target as Data;
if (d == null)
    // Object was reclaimed, so generate a new one.
    Console.WriteLine("Regenerate object at {0}: Yes", index.ToString());
    d = new Data(index);
    // Object was obtained with the weak reference.
    Console.WriteLine("Regenerate object at {0}: No", index.ToString());

return d;

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.