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Determining Your .NET Framework Version

In these days of automatic software updates, it’s a good idea to try to keep track of the software on your machine. This also applies to the .NET Framework itself. Perhaps the easiest way to determine which versions of the .NET Framework are installed on your PC is by opening a command prompt and changing directories to this folder:

%systemroot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework

If you prefer a graphical approach, paste the address above into the address bar of a Windows Explorer instance.

To figure out the exact versions of the .NET Framework that are installed your PC, follow these steps:

  1. Open one of your folders containing the .NET Framework. At the time of writing, on my PC the three released versions of the .NET Framework were contained in the following folders:
    • v1.0.3705
    • v1.1.4322
    • v2.0.50727
  2. Locate the file Mscorlib.dll. (Note that this file doesn’t seem to exist in the v1.0.3705 folder on my PC.)
  3. Right-click the file.
  4. Choose Properties from the context menu.
  5. Click the Version tab and make note of the file version.
  6. The number in the Version field is the exact release number for the folder containing the .NET Framework. For example, the Version field shows 1.1.4322.2407 for my folder v1.1.4322, and 2.0.50727.832 for my folder v2.0.50727.
  7. Repeat these steps for each version of the .NET Framework on the computer.

In the unlikely event that you don’t have the .NET Framework installed on your PC, that might explain why the code examples don’t work. In any case, it’s a useful exercise to know what versions are on your machine. This is because the .NET Framework is a competitor for other frameworks such as Java EE (formerly J2EE), COM, etc.

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