Exception.ToString Method

Microsoft Silverlight will reach end of support after October 2021. Learn more.

Creates and returns a string representation of the current exception.

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


<SecuritySafeCriticalAttribute> _
Public Overrides Function ToString As String
public override string ToString()

Return Value

Type: System.String
A string representation of the current exception.


ToString returns a representation of the current exception that is intended to be understood by humans. Where the exception contains culture-sensitive data, the string representation returned by ToString is required to take into account the current system culture. Although there are no exact requirements for the format of the returned string, it should attempt to reflect the value of the object as perceived by the user.

The default implementation of ToString obtains the name of the class that threw the current exception, the message, the result of calling ToString on the inner exception. If any of these members is nulla null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic), its value is not included in the returned string.

If there is no error message or if it is an empty string (""), then no error message is returned. The name of the inner exception and the stack trace are returned only if they are not nulla null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).

This method overrides Object.ToString.


The following example causes an exception and displays the result of calling ToString on that exception.

Public Class [MyClass]
End Class '[MyClass]

Public Class Example

   Public Shared Sub Demo(ByVal outputBlock As System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock)
      Dim my As New [MyClass]()
      Dim s As String = "sometext"
         Dim i As Integer = s.CompareTo(my)
      Catch e As Exception
         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("Error: {0}", e.ToString()) & vbCrLf
      End Try
   End Sub 'Main
End Class 'ArgExceptionExample
using System;

public class MyClass { }
public class Example
   public static void Demo(System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock outputBlock)
      MyClass my = new MyClass();
      string s = "sometext";
         int i = s.CompareTo(my);
      catch (Exception e)
         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("Error: {0}", e.ToString()) + "\n";

This code has the following output:

Error: System.ArgumentException: Object must be of type String. at System.String.CompareTo(Object value) at ArgExceptionExample.Main()

Version Information


Supported in: 5, 4, 3

Silverlight for Windows Phone

Supported in: Windows Phone OS 7.1, Windows Phone OS 7.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: Xbox 360, Windows Phone OS 7.0


For a list of the operating systems and browsers that are supported by Silverlight, see Supported Operating Systems and Browsers.

See Also