16 Aralık 2019, Pazartesi
Ana Sayfa / Programlama / C# / c# What is a NullReferenceException

c# What is a NullReferenceException

You are trying to use something that is null (or Nothing in VB.NET). This means you either set it to null, or you never set it to anything at all.

Like anything else, null gets passed around. If it is null in method “A”, it could be that method “B” passed a null to method “A”.

null can have different meanings:

  1. Object variables which are uninitialized and hence point to nothing. In this case, if you access properties or methods of such objects, it causes a NullReferenceException.
  2. The developer is using null intentionally to indicate there is no meaningful value available. Note that C# has the concept of nullable datatypes for variables (like database tables can have nullable fields) – you can assign null to them to indicate there is no value stored in it, for example int? a = null; where the question mark indicates it is allowed to store null in variable a. You can check that either with if (a.HasValue) {...} or with if (a==null) {...}. Nullable variables, like a this example, allow to access the value via a.Value explicitly, or just as normal via a
    Note that accessing it via a.Value throws an InvalidOperationException instead of a NullReferenceException if a is null – you should do the check beforehand, i.e. if you have another on-nullable variable int b; then you should do assignments like if (a.HasValue) { b = a.Value; } or shorter if (a != null) { b = a; }.

The rest of this article goes into more detail and shows mistakes that many programmers often make which can lead to a NullReferenceException.