Difference between parse and tryparse

In C#, both Parse and TryParse are methods used for converting string representations of data to their corresponding data types. However, they differ in their behavior when handling invalid or malformed input strings. Let's explore the differences between Parse and TryParse in detail:


The Parse method is available for most primitive data types and some other common types in C#. It attempts to convert a string to the specified data type and throws an exception if the conversion fails. If the input string is not in the correct format or cannot be converted to the desired data type, a FormatException is thrown.

string numberString = "123"; int parsedNumber = int.Parse(numberString); Console.WriteLine(parsedNumber); // Output: 123

In the above example, the int.Parse method is used to convert the string "123" to an integer value. Since the input string can be successfully converted, the parsed number is printed correctly.

However, if the input string cannot be parsed, a FormatException will be thrown, as shown in the following example:

string invalidNumberString = "abc"; int invalidNumber = int.Parse(invalidNumberString); // Throws FormatException

Attempting to parse the string "abc" as an integer will result in a FormatException being thrown because the input string cannot be converted to a valid integer.


The TryParse method follows a different approach compared to Parse. It attempts to convert a string to the specified data type, but instead of throwing an exception on failure, it returns a Boolean value indicating whether the conversion was successful. If the conversion succeeds, the converted value is stored in an output parameter.

string numberString = "456"; bool success = int.TryParse(numberString, out int parsedNumber); if (success) { Console.WriteLine(parsedNumber); // Output: 456 } else { Console.WriteLine("Invalid input"); // This line will not be executed }

In the above example, int.TryParse is used to convert the string "456" to an integer. The method returns true, indicating successful conversion, and the parsed number is printed.

If the conversion fails, the method returns false, and the output parameter (parsedNumber in this case) is set to the default value of the target data type (0 for int). This allows you to handle failed conversions without throwing exceptions.

string invalidNumberString = "xyz"; bool success = int.TryParse(invalidNumberString, out int invalidNumber); if (success) { Console.WriteLine(invalidNumber); // This line will not be executed } else { Console.WriteLine("Invalid input"); // Output: Invalid input }

In this example, the string "xyz" cannot be parsed as an integer. Therefore, int.TryParse returns false, and the invalidNumber output parameter remains at its default value. The code then executes the appropriate error-handling logic.


The TryParse method is useful when dealing with user input or situations where you want to handle conversion failures without exceptions. It provides a safer and more controlled approach for converting strings to other data types.