This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.

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 object should also be set to null.

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;

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