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Posted 3 Mar 2011
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Back to Basics – Reading a File into Memory Stream

, 3 Mar 2011
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How to read a file into Memory Stream

Back to Basics – Reading a File into Memory Stream

Today, I was asked to help a developer with a simple task she had. That task included reading an image file into a memory stream in order to send the image through an e-mail attachment. This post will show you how to do exactly that.

Reading a File into Memory Stream

Here is the code for reading the file into a memory stream:

using (FileStream fileStream = File.OpenRead(filePath))
    MemoryStream memStream = new MemoryStream();
    fileStream.Read(memStream.GetBuffer(), 0, (int)fileStream.Length);

That’s it for the reading part. Pay attention to use the using statement in order to dispose the FileStream after you use it.

Adding a MemoryStream as Attachment to a MailMessage

In order to use a stream as an attachment for an e-mail message object, all you have to do is to write the following code:

msg.Attachments.Add(new Attachment(memStream, filename, MediaTypeNames.Image.Jpeg));

In the code sample, msg is an instance of a MailMessage class, memStream is the MemoryStream (such as the memory stream from the previous code sample) and filename is the name of the file in the attachment. Since I know that the image is jpeg, then I use the MediaTypeNames.Image.Jpeg.


Reading a file into a stream is a very basic thing to know. In the post, I showed how to read an image into a memory stream and also how to attach it into a mail message object.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Gil Fink
Technical Lead sparXys
Israel Israel
Gil Fink is a web development expert and ASP.Net/IIS Microsoft MVP. He is the founder and owner of sparXys. He is currently consulting for various enterprises and companies, where he helps to develop Web and RIA-based solutions. He conducts lectures and workshops for individuals and enterprises who want to specialize in infrastructure and web development. He is also co-author of several Microsoft Official Courses (MOCs) and training kits, co-author of "Pro Single Page Application Development" book (Apress) and the founder of Front-End.IL Meetup. You can read his publications at his website:

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
wtwhite7-Mar-11 16:27
memberwtwhite7-Mar-11 16:27 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
Gil Fink12-Mar-11 4:08
memberGil Fink12-Mar-11 4:08 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
wtwhite12-Mar-11 23:56
memberwtwhite12-Mar-11 23:56 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
Gil Fink17-Mar-11 3:25
memberGil Fink17-Mar-11 3:25 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
wtwhite18-Mar-11 4:14
memberwtwhite18-Mar-11 4:14 
General[Nevermind] Pin
AspDotNetDev3-Mar-11 10:51
mvpAspDotNetDev3-Mar-11 10:51 
I recommend making this a tip/trick rather than an article.

Nevermind, I didn't realize at first that this was a technical blog.

GeneralRe: This is a Tip/Trick Pin
Gil Fink4-Mar-11 0:00
memberGil Fink4-Mar-11 0:00 
GeneralRe: This is a Tip/Trick Pin
AspDotNetDev4-Mar-11 11:57
mvpAspDotNetDev4-Mar-11 11:57 

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