.NET Framework TryParse


Example

This method accepts a string as input, attempts to parse it into a DateTime, and returns a Boolean result indicating success or failure. If the call succeeds, the variable passed as the out parameter is populated with the parsed result.

If the parse fails, the variable passed as the out parameter is set to the default value, DateTime.MinValue.

TryParse(string, out DateTime)

DateTime parsedValue;

if (DateTime.TryParse("monkey", out parsedValue))
{
   Console.WriteLine("Apparently, 'monkey' is a date/time value. Who knew?");
}

This method attempts to parse the input string based on the system regional settings and known formats such as ISO 8601 and other common formats.

DateTime.TryParse("11/24/2015 14:28:42", out parsedValue); // true
DateTime.TryParse("2015-11-24 14:28:42", out parsedValue); // true
DateTime.TryParse("2015-11-24T14:28:42", out parsedValue); // true
DateTime.TryParse("Sat, 24 Nov 2015 14:28:42", out parsedValue); // true

Since this method does not accept culture info, it uses the system locale. This can lead to unexpected results.

// System set to en-US culture
bool result = DateTime.TryParse("24/11/2015", out parsedValue);
Console.WriteLine(result);

False

// System set to en-GB culture
bool result = DateTime.TryParse("11/24/2015", out parsedValue);
Console.WriteLine(result);

False

// System set to en-GB culture
bool result = DateTime.TryParse("10/11/2015", out parsedValue);
Console.WriteLine(result);

True

Note that if you are in the US, you might be surprised that the parsed result is November 10, not October 11.

TryParse(string, IFormatProvider, DateTimeStyles, out DateTime)

if (DateTime.TryParse(" monkey ", new CultureInfo("en-GB"),
    DateTimeStyles.AllowLeadingWhite | DateTimeStyles.AllowTrailingWhite, out parsedValue)
{
    Console.WriteLine("Apparently, ' monkey ' is a date/time value. Who knew?");
}

Unlike its sibling method, this overload allows a specific culture and style(s) to be specified. Passing null for the IFormatProvider parameter uses the system culture.

Exceptions

Note that it is possible for this method to throw an exception under certain conditions. These relate to the parameters introduced for this overload: IFormatProvider and DateTimeStyles.

  • NotSupportedException: IFormatProvider specifies a neutral culture
  • ArgumentException: DateTimeStyles is not a valid option, or contains incompatible flags such as AssumeLocal and AssumeUniversal.