.NET Framework Guide


This .NET Framework content set includes information for .NET Framework versions 4.5 through 4.8. To download the .NET Framework, see Installing the .NET Framework. For a list of new features and changes in the NET Framework, see What's New in the .NET Framework. For a list of supported platforms, see .NET Framework System Requirements. For documentation about older versions of the .NET Framework, see .NET previous versions documentation.

The .NET Framework is a development platform for building apps for web, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Server, and Microsoft Azure. It consists of the common language runtime (CLR) and the .NET Framework class library, which includes a broad range of functionality and support for many industry standards.

The .NET Framework provides many services, including memory management, type and memory safety, security, networking, and application deployment. It provides easy-to-use data structures and APIs that abstract the lower-level Windows operating system. You can use different programming languages with the .NET Framework, including C#, F#, and Visual Basic.

For a general introduction to the .NET Framework for both users and developers, see Getting Started. For an introduction to the architecture and key features of the .NET Framework, see the overview.

The .NET Framework can be used with Docker and with Windows Containers.


The .NET Framework comes with Windows, enabling you to run .NET Framework applications. You may need a later version of the .NET Framework than the one that comes with your Windows version. For more information, see Install the .NET Framework on Windows.

See Repair the .NET Framework to learn how to repair your .NET Framework installation if you're experiencing errors when installing the .NET Framework.

For more detailed information on downloading the .NET Framework, see Install the .NET Framework for developers.

In this section

  • What's New
    Describes key new features and changes in the latest versions of the .NET Framework. Includes lists of obsolete types and members, and provides a guide for migrating your applications from the previous version of the .NET Framework.

  • Get Started
    Provides a comprehensive overview of the .NET Framework and links to additional resources.

  • Installation Guide
    Provides resources and guidance about .NET Framework installation and troubleshooting.

  • Migration Guide
    Provides resources and a list of changes you need to consider if you're migrating your application to a new version of the .NET Framework.

  • Development Guide
    Provides a guide to all key technology areas and tasks for application development, including creating, configuring, debugging, securing, and deploying your application, and information about dynamic programming, interoperability, extensibility, memory management, and threading.

  • Tools
    Describes the tools that help you develop, configure, and deploy applications by using .NET Framework technologies.

  • Additional class libraries and APIs
    Provides documentation for private .NET Framework APIs used by Microsoft tools.

See also