OrElse Operator (Visual Basic)

Performs short-circuiting inclusive logical disjunction on two expressions.


result = expression1 OrElse expression2  


Required. Any Boolean expression.

Required. Any Boolean expression.

Required. Any Boolean expression.


A logical operation is said to be short-circuiting if the compiled code can bypass the evaluation of one expression depending on the result of another expression. If the result of the first expression evaluated determines the final result of the operation, there is no need to evaluate the second expression, because it cannot change the final result. Short-circuiting can improve performance if the bypassed expression is complex, or if it involves procedure calls.

If either or both expressions evaluate to True, result is True. The following table illustrates how result is determined.

If expression1 is And expression2 is The value of result is
True (not evaluated) True
False True True
False False False

Data Types

The OrElse operator is defined only for the Boolean Data Type. Visual Basic converts each operand as necessary to Boolean and performs the operation entirely in Boolean. If you assign the result to a numeric type, Visual Basic converts it from Boolean to that type. This could produce unexpected behavior. For example, 5 OrElse 12 results in –1 when converted to Integer.


The Or Operator and the IsTrue Operator can be overloaded, which means that a class or structure can redefine their behavior when an operand has the type of that class or structure. Overloading the Or and IsTrue operators affects the behavior of the OrElse operator. If your code uses OrElse on a class or structure that overloads Or and IsTrue, be sure you understand their redefined behavior. For more information, see Operator Procedures.


The following example uses the OrElse operator to perform logical disjunction on two expressions. The result is a Boolean value that represents whether either of the two expressions is true. If the first expression is True, the second is not evaluated.

Dim a As Integer = 10
Dim b As Integer = 8
Dim c As Integer = 6
Dim firstCheck, secondCheck, thirdCheck As Boolean
firstCheck = a > b OrElse b > c
secondCheck = b > a OrElse b > c
thirdCheck = b > a OrElse c > b

The preceding example produces results of True, True, and False respectively. In the calculation of firstCheck, the second expression is not evaluated because the first is already True. However, the second expression is evaluated in the calculation of secondCheck.


The following example shows an If...Then statement containing two procedure calls. If the first call returns True, the second procedure is not called. This could produce unexpected results if the second procedure performs important tasks that should always be performed when this section of the code runs.

If testFunction(5) = True OrElse otherFunction(4) = True Then
    ' If testFunction(5) is True, otherFunction(4) is not called.
    ' Insert code to be executed.
End If

See Also

Logical/Bitwise Operators (Visual Basic)
Operator Precedence in Visual Basic
Operators Listed by Functionality
Or Operator
IsTrue Operator
Logical and Bitwise Operators in Visual Basic