[Solved] How to know if Process.Start() is successful?

I’ve tried two different methods for starting a process.

The first

The definition is defined as parameters to the Start method:

System.Diagnostics.Process.Start("excel", string.Format("""{0}""

Solution #1:

The MSDN page on Process.Start() states that this method has an overload of type Boolean, where the return values mean:

true if a process resource is started;
false if no new process resource is
started (for example, if an existing
process is reused).

Additionally it can throw three exceptions:

  • InvalidOperationException

No file name was specified in the Process component’s StartInfo.


The ProcessStartInfo.UseShellExecute member of the StartInfo property is true while ProcessStartInfo.RedirectStandardInput, ProcessStartInfo.RedirectStandardOutput, or ProcessStartInfo.RedirectStandardError is true.

  • Win32Exception

There was an error in opening the associated file.

  • ObjectDisposedException

The process object has already been disposed.

To use this overload of Process.Start() (which is the only non static overload of the method) you need to create an instance of the Process class using a ProcessStartInfo object.

An example of this is below:

ProcessStartInfo processStartInfo = new ProcessStartInfo("EXCEL.EXE");

Process process = new Process();
process.StartInfo = processStartInfo;
if (!process.Start())
    // That didn't work

Though, given that this can still throw you are probably better of just wrapping a catch around one of the static .Start() method calls.

Given that, it seems clear that the call to Process.Start() will either work or not and you can determine this from the return value being 0 (or an exception being thrown).

Once your process has started you then have a lot of control over things, with properties of the Process class such as HasExited allowing you to check what state the process is in.

In short – if the user does not have excel on their machine, Process.Start() will throw an exception.

Respondent: David Hall

Solution #2:

You can check the Process.ExitCode property for a 0 (success) value .

Respondent: Mark Cidade

Solution #3:

Process.Start() also returns a boolean value that let’s you know if it acquired an existing process or if a new process was started.

Furthermore, you can check the ProcessId of the process to ensure it’s started/still running. Something like:

bool started = False;
Process p = new Process();
p.StartInfo = YourStartInfo;
started = p.Start();

try {
  int procId = p.Id;
  started = False
catch(Exception ex) {
  started = False
Respondent: Trevor Abell

Solution #4:

To accurately determine if the process actually started, I tried to find the process id, if it found the process id it would continue if it couldn’t find the process id it would enter the catch and print a debug statement.

     bool pathExists = File.Exists(module.ExecutionPath);
     if (pathExists)
         ProcessStartInfo startArgs = new ProcessStartInfo();
         startArgs.FileName = "C:WindowsSystem32
         startArgs.Arguments = null;
         Process process = new Process();
         process.StartInfo = startArgs;
        Process startedProcess = CheckIfProcessStarted(process);
catch (Exception ex)
    Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message + "  " + ex.InnerException);
    Debug.WriteLine("Couldnt find the process so it never ran");
private Process CheckIfProcessStarted(Process process)
    return Process.GetProcessById(process.Id);
Respondent: Craig Martin

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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