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Posted 12 Dec 2012

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UpdateSourceTrigger Property in WPF Binding

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12 Dec 2012CPOL3 min read
Updating the source of a binding in WPF and Silverlight.


In this article I want to show you the concept of updating the source of a binding in WPF and Silverlight. As you may know, when we use TwoWay as the mode of our binding, any change that takes place in the target of the binding affects the value of the source. Please note that this only happens when we use TwoWay binding, not OneWay, which is the default mode, or OneTime.

Now, the question is when to update the source with the changes that has taken place in the target. Well, there are actually three approaches:

  • Default: Varies from control to control. For TextBox, for example, it means when the LostFocus event of the target of the binding occurs.
  • PropertyChanged: Means that when a change occurs in the target, the source is updated immediately. For example, as you type characters in a TextBox which is the target of a binding, the source is updated, too. This means that the Text property of the TextBox changes as you type characters.
  • Explicit: When UpdateSourceTrigger is set to Explicit, the source doesn’t get updated until you do this explicitly in the code-behind.

For all of these approaches I have written some code to help you better understand them. We begin with the default approach. Look at the following piece of code:

<Border BorderThickness="2" Margin="0 20 0 0" BorderBrush="Brown" CornerRadius="5">
        <TextBox x:Name="textInput2" Margin="5" />
        <TextBox x:Name="txtOutput2" Margin="5"
                         Text="{Binding Text,

Here, there is a Border element, within which a StackPanel which contains two TextBoxes. The Text property of the second TextBox is bound to the Text property of the first TextBox. Actually, this is the same code in all of our examples. The Mode of the binding is set to TwoWay because we want to update the source whenever a change occurs in the target. And finally, the UpdateSourceTrigger property of the binding is set to Default. This means that when the second TextBox, which is the target of the binding, loses focus (or the LostFocus event fires), the string in the Text property of the first TextBox, which is the source of the binding, is updated.

Our second example deals with setting the UpdateSourceTrigger to PropertyChanged.

<Border BorderThickness="2" BorderBrush="Brown" CornerRadius="5">
        <TextBox x:Name="textInput1" Margin="5" />
        <TextBox x:Name="txtOutput1" Margin="5" 
                         Text="{Binding Text,

The only thing that is different in this piece of code compared to the first one is that the UpdateSourceTrigger is set to PropertyChanged. As the name implies, this means that whenever there is a change in the Text property of the second TextBox, the Text property of the first TextBox gets updated immediately.

And finally our last example is about setting the UpdateSourceTrigger property to Explicit.

<Border BorderThickness="2" Margin="0 20 0 0" BorderBrush="Brown" CornerRadius="5">
        <TextBox x:Name="textInput3" Margin="5" />
        <TextBox x:Name="txtOutput3" Margin="5" 
                         Text="{Binding Text,
        <Button Content="Save" Click="Button_Click"/>

The thing that differs in this piece of code is that the UpdateSourceTrigger is set to Explicit. As we said earlier, this means that the updating process doesn’t take place unless you do it explicitly. The Button which is declared after the second TextBox is responsible for doing this. As you may have noticed, there is an EventHandler for its Click event, and the following lines of code are written in that EventHandler.

private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    BindingExpression be = txtOutput3.GetBindingExpression(TextBox.TextProperty);

An instance of the BindingExpression class is declared named be. After that, the binding expression for the Text property of the txtOutput3 is grabbed and put in that instance. And finally, the UpdateSource method of be is called which updates the source of the binding explicitly.


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

Written By
Software Developer (Senior)
Iran (Islamic Republic of) Iran (Islamic Republic of)
I'm a software engineer specialized in .NET framework. I've developed applications in such technologies as Console Applications, Windows Forms, WPF, Web Forms, MVC, Silverlight and Xamarin Forms. I also create and publish my multimedia courses at and
Some of my courses inclue Design Patterns in C#, OOP Principles, SOLID Principles, High Quality Coding Principles, Anti-patterns, Refactoring, TDD, DDD, .NET Core and so on.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralCrystal Clear Pin
aravinth santosh23-Jul-15 21:58
Memberaravinth santosh23-Jul-15 21:58 
GeneralAwesome! Pin
MiloRambaldi30-Sep-14 18:09
MemberMiloRambaldi30-Sep-14 18:09 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
naren19915-Jul-13 0:43
Membernaren19915-Jul-13 0:43 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
Mahesh Babu Kudikala19-Jun-13 1:26
MemberMahesh Babu Kudikala19-Jun-13 1:26 
QuestionSimple enough! Pin
gardnerp17-Dec-12 5:45
Membergardnerp17-Dec-12 5:45 
AnswerRe: Simple enough! Pin
Morteza Giti17-Dec-12 8:12
MemberMorteza Giti17-Dec-12 8:12 
Yes. I know what you're talking about. I also took a look at your article. Thanks for the inspiring comment.

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