How to Get a Stack Trace from C# without throwing Exception

Say you have some logging in your code that finds something unusual going on.  In my case, I have a DataContext that I check to make sure it’s not already open before I open it.  The method that I call the DataContext in is a utility method that is buried many layers down.  When this problem is found, I don’t want to throw an exception, but I do want to log where I was.  It does not help me to know that I’m in my utility method.  I need to know the stack.

Below is some simple code that lets me do this.  Notice, it’s important to call StackTrace with true, otherwise the line numbers don’t appear.


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)

    class TestClass
        public static void GoNow()
            var stackTrace = new StackTrace(true);
            foreach (var r in stackTrace.GetFrames())
                Console.WriteLine("Filename: {0} Method: {1} Line: {2} Column: {3}  ",
                    r.GetFileName(),r.GetMethod(), r.GetFileLineNumber(),
                    r.GetFileColumnNumber() );

About Peter Kellner

Peter is a software professional specializing in mobile and web technologies. He has also been a Microsoft MVP since 2007. In addition, he’s a multi-course video author at Pluralsight. To read more about Peter Kellner and his experience click here. For information about how Peter Kellner might be able to help you with your project click here.

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  2. Michael Blake says:

    Just for info, this might break when you run de-attached from a debugger in Release mode as the StackTrace changes.

  3. Nice work but its probably easier to use Environment.StackTrace

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